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Smartoptics 16Gb Optical Transceivers Approved by Brocade for Fibre Channel Switches

January 09, 2015

This week in the transforming network infrastructure sector was an interesting one for Fibre Channel developments. First, Infonetics Research came out with a report that showed the business has restored itself to health after several lackluster quarters. Second, Oslo, Norway-based optical networking solutions provider Smartoptics announced that its 16Gb optical transceivers have been approved by Brocade in all of their latest Fibre Channel switches.

Smartoptics is promoting this as allowing what it claims to be the lowest cost and highest capacity options for SAN extensions in business continuity and disaster recovery applications.

A number of deployment options

Smartoptics says that the benefits of its portfolio of modular solutions can be deployed within a Brocade switch in several ways to provide cross-site Fibre Channel connectivity based on capacity requirements. It explains that: “Each solution offers the lowest cost alternative to traditional transponder based solutions and maximizes performance, reduces power consumption, improves latency and helps ensure the highest availability of mission-critical applications.”

The support of the Brocade solutions is extensive. The transceivers are approved in Brocade DCX 8518/8514 blades (FC16-32, FC16-48), 6520, 6510, and 6505. They do note that FOS 7.3.1 or later is required.

While a number of different configurations based on distance and number of channels.  In addition, Smartoptics says the primary deployments customers may use are:

  1. Single Channel Connectivity
    For point-to-point connections.
  2. Passive WDM Networking
    Allows up to 80 channels of Fibre Channel and/or Ethernet traffic to be connected together over the same fibre. Smartoptics (Brocade Certified) CWDM or DWDM transceivers reside directly in the Switch and connect via an LC patch cord to a completely non-powered (Passive) CWDM or DWDM mux/demux.
  3. Active WDM Networking
    If a ”grey” 850 or 1310nm signal is required at the customer sites.
  4. Semi-Passive WDM Networking
    Transceivers reside directly in the switch and are combined with Smartoptics powered M-Series platform to extend distances up to 150km.

The company believes that because of its different approach to embedded networking customers will see enormous cost savings over competing DWDM transport methods. They are touting the ability to move large volumes of data between sites over large distances with truly plug and play solutions and doing so with reduced CapEx and OpEx.

Sean Davies, Sales Director at Smartoptics said, “We are delighted to have our 16Gb optical transceivers approved by Brocade. This approval enables Brocade customers to connect their data centres over greater distances with greater reliability and resilience in a cost efficient manner without compromising on quality of service or bandwidth. ”

The need for speed in data centers for SANs is undeniable given explosive traffic growth inside data centers that is exponentially increasing with no end in sight. It is why so much attention is being paid to upgrading network infrastructures and why traditional Fibre Channel capabilities and evaluation of converged solutions are gaining traction in the market. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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