Choosing a FC Switch

How do you choose the best Brocade SAN switch for your enterprise storage environment given the wide array of options available today?

Because the market is now full of lightning-fast speeds, advanced technology, and greater available bandwidth, making the best decision for your enterprise can require rigorous hardware evaluation.

What to Consider When Choosing a SAN Switch

With help from several of our Linkedin readers, we’ve compiled a list of four more things to think about when purchasing a Brocade SAN switch.

  • How many ports do I need today? How many ports will I need in 3 years? While SAN switches range in port count from eight to 80 ports, it can be easy to limit your purchase to the number of ports you need today. To avoid painting yourself into a corner, take into consideration the number of ports you will need in the next three years and plan your purchase accordingly. If your enterprise is seeing rapid growth and you need a high port count already, it may be time to consider a SAN director. Directors can scale up to hundreds of ports and provide greater redundancy because of the lack a single point of failure.
  • How many ports can I afford to purchase? Discrepancies within how many ports you need and what you can afford to purchase may mean that you need to look at alternative SAN switch options. Used and refurbished Brocade SAN switches and directors are affordable options that can help you purchase more ports with the same budget. Purchasing used hardware can help you build your ideal Brocade SAN fabric without the cost associated with new hardware.

Choosing a Fibre Channel Switch

  • What speed does the switch need to be? Is bleeding-edge, 16 Gbps technology in your future plan? Or do you need to simply upgrade your SAN fabric to increase your switching power? Because Brocade offers 16 Gbps SAN switches that are backwards compatible, your enterprise can find hardware that is compatible with the speed of your environment. Depending on the switching demands of your enterprise, you may need to evaluate high-performance Brocade hardware to meet your enterprise requirements.
  • Do I need special connectivity, features, or software? If you are looking to extend your SAN fabric outside of the data center, you may need additional connectivity or specific software. To help you can deploy your SAN fabric strategy with ease, Brocade offers SAN switches and SAN director blades with a variety of advanced features and technology. Whether you need FCoE, FCIP, or data encryption capabilities, Brocade switches and directors are equipped to meet the needs of your environment.

What else should be considered when evaluating the purchase of Brocade SAN switch? Tell us in the comments below.

Photo Credit: clockwise from top right. Dennis van Zuijlekom, Flickr. CC Licensed. Drew Steib, Flickr. CC Licensed.

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