Brocade says it has become the first connectivity vendor to announce a storage networking switch based on sixth generation Fiber Channel technology, with the release of its G620 appliance.

Gen 6 technology has been designed to address higher speeds required for hyperscale virtualization, software-defined data center architectures and high performance storage technologies based on flash.

Brocade said that Fiber Channel remained the “most trusted and widely deployed network infrastructure for storage”. Thirty billion transactions go through Fiber Channel each day and 96 percent of the world’s banks, airlines and retailers rely on it.

Keeping up with flash

The new switch connects to 32 and 128Gbps links and offers impressive performance of up to 100 million IOPS. The Brocade G620 does this through four Q-Flex ports that can support a single 128Gbps channel or be split to provide four 32Gbps links. Within the single rack unit (1RU), the switch offers a high density of 24 to 64 ports for “pay-as-you-grow” flexibility and scalability.

Core diagnostic and management capabilities are offered by Brocade’s Fabric Vision technology but greater visibility for performance monitoring is offered by the inclusion of IO Insight. This helps to ensure critical SLAs are met and to provide early detection of storage performance degradation by monitoring IO statistics, including device latency and IOPS metrics.

The G620 Switch is available directly from the company or through Brocade’s channel partners and will become available through OEM partners during the second quarter of this year.

Jack Rondoni, vice president of storage networking at Brocade, said, “Brocade continues to drive Fiber Channel innovation to help customers deliver more value from their applications and infrastructure. Together with our partner ecosystem, we are now delivering Gen 6 Fiber Channel products that will redefine availability, performance and scalability for enterprise storage.”

Gen 6 Fiber Channel is set to accelerate the transformation of the datacenter, Brocade insists, especially where flash-based storage is concerned. Redesigned datacenters that use flash storage to optimize application performance require low-latency, high capacity networks. Gen 6 Fiber Channel networks will also accommodate Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) flash.

Hosting firm Rackspace’s principal architect James Howard commented, “Fiber Channel remains a core part of our IT infrastructure because of its performance, reliability, scalability and availability and we expect it to play a vital role in the future of our advanced storage deployments.

“We are pleased to see the Fiber Channel industry advance storage networking technology with its Gen 6 announcement and look forward to its expanded feature set and capabilities.”