Brocade's new servers target the emerging market for so-called network function virtualization. The term stems from a whitepaper from a dozen carriers calling for easier ways to manage their networks in software.
The carriers formed a two-year work group under the European Telecommunications Standards Institute that now includes more than 60 carriers and network systems vendors. It essentially aims to lay out guidelines for delivering features in high-level server software rather than traditional systems using ASICs and proprietary code.
The group had its first meeting in Paris in January. It meets about every two months and has its second meeting in Silicon Valley this fall. "From the very first meeting the vendor that took the most action items was Intel," Herrell said.
With the founding of Vyatta and now his work at Brocade, Herrell is riding the trend. "You don't need proprietary ASICs to do the bulk of the work for routing VPNs, firewalls, and that sort of thing," he said.
But it's not all black and white. At the same time Brocade launched its x86 servers for edge routing, it also rolled out new switches using its own in-house ASICs. The VDX 6740 are 10/40GE switches supporting up to 32 ports of Ethernet, Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet. Prices start at $16,000.