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Ixia and IT Brand Pulse Establish Data Center Bridging (DCB) Testing Standards for Converged Network Switching Equipment

Top-of-Rack Brocade 8000 Switch Demonstrates DCB Conformance and Performance Benchmarks

CALABASAS, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/05/11 -- Ixia (NASDAQ: XXIA), a leading, global provider of converged IP network test solutions, announced a successful demonstration of DCB conformance and performance tests in conjunction with IT Brand Pulse and Brocade. These tests highlighted a series of benchmarks and provide an available measurement system for vendors to gauge equipment and network conformance to emerging standards.

IT Brand Pulse (ITBP) worked with Ixia to develop a suite of three converged network tests:

  • Converged traffic latency with Priority-based Flow Control (PFC)
  • Bandwidth optimization with Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS)
  • End-to-end connectivity with storage I/O performance

These three tests are mandatory for any converged network switch carrying both LAN and SAN traffic. Ixia's data center test solution is uniquely capable of performing all three tests in a single integrated system. Ixia tested the Brocade 8000 Switch using a combination of high-density Ethernet and native Fibre Channel load modules, DCB and FCoE protocols, real storage target/initiator emulation, and wire-rate traffic generation. The tests verified the switch's ability to:

  • effectively prioritize high-priority storage traffic over LAN data traffic under congestion,
  • conform with current DCB standards for PFC, ETS, and storage I/O performance, and
  • handle increased traffic loads under heavy stress.

Ixia's Fibre Channel and NGY 10GE load modules provide the industry's most flexible, cost-effective, and energy-efficient solution for fully testing high-density converged network switches at scale. Ixia's IxNetwork and IxSAN test applications work with Ixia's test platform to exchange control, data, and storage traffic with the device under test.

Before replacing existing data center infrastructure to converge LAN and SAN traffic on a single network architecture, data center operators need assurance that new infrastructure equipment can maintain requisite levels of performance, scalability, and reliability. This DCB test allows equipment manufacturers to demonstrate that their products meet performance and conformance requirements, and ensures that their customers can make data center purchases with confidence.

Key Facts:

  • IT Brand Pulse estimates that the market for converged IP test equipment grew to over $570 million in 2010.
  • The Brocade 8000 Switch is a top-of-rack link layer (Layer 2) DCB/FCoE switch with 24x 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports for LAN connections and eight Fibre Channel ports (with up to 8 Gbps speed) for Fibre Channel SAN connections. This high-performance switch provides advanced Fibre Channel services, supports Ethernet and DCB capabilities to operate as a Fibre Channel forwarding device (FCF), and is managed by Brocade Network Advisor.
  • Ixia's NGY 10 GE load module with native Fibre Channel provides high-density converged end-to-end data center infrastructure testing of Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Ixia's 4-port and 8-port load modules are part of its overall converged data center solution, delivering complete FC-1 and Fiber Channel Protocol (FCP) data plane capabilities and performance as well as providing the industry's highest density Fibre Channel test solution.

Supporting Quotes:

  • "Data center evolution is about convergence of technology. The standards for how to measure convergence are still in a state of flux, and vendors need specific guidelines that allow them to measure the effectiveness of their equipment," said Frank Berry at IT Brand Pulse. "This set of tests, using Ixia's solutions, initiates a benchmark that vendors can use to validate their DCB products and services."

  • "Our customers are looking for ways to further extend the benefits that server virtualization technology delivers in creating a more dynamic data center. One strategic option for achieving this is to deploy rack-based I/O consolidation using FCoE and DCB standards-based solutions, which also help reduce operating costs," said Doug Ingraham, vice president of Product Management, Data Center Products at Brocade. "The Brocade 8000 top-of-rack FCoE/DCB switch has been proven to provide systematic interoperability and industry-leading performance, and we are pleased that the latest IT Brand Pulse testing further validates that leadership."

  • "Next-generation data centers will carry various technologies over a converged 10GE link. Data center operators expect switches to have high density, high throughput, ultra-low latency/jitter, and be able to bridge the FCoE network to the native Fibre Channel infrastructure," said Atul Bhatnagar, president and CEO of Ixia. "Ixia provides vendors with thorough, high-density converged network switch testing, and validates a product's conformance and performance before it's released to the market."


About Ixia
Ixia is a leading provider of converged IP performance test systems and service verification platforms for wireless and wired infrastructures and services. Ixia's test systems are used by network and telephony equipment manufacturers, semiconductor manufacturers, service providers, governments and enterprises to validate the performance and reliability of complex networks, devices and applications. Ixia's multiplay test systems address the growing need to test voice, video and data services and network capability under real-world conditions.

About IT Brand Pulse
IT Brand Pulse is a trusted source of data and analysis about data center infrastructure, including servers, storage and networking. Products and services from IT Brand Pulse include hands-on testing, end-user research, product databases, market forecasting and industry analysis.

Ixia and the Ixia four-petal logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Ixia. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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