The Brocade BigIron RX Series of switches provides over one billion packet-per-second performance for cost-effective scaling in data center deployments, with hardware-based IP routing to 512,000 IP routes per line module. The high-availability design features redundant and hot-pluggable hardware, hitless software upgrades, and graceful BGP and OSPF restart.
The role of data networks in our daily lives continues to expand and grow. Emerging needs such as application convergence, non-stop operation, scalability and IPv6-readiness place new demands on the network. Modern network solutions must be assessed across a wider set of attributes than earlier-generation equipment. In particular, the network must be evaluated on merits that include performance, reliability, scalability, Quality of Service (QoS), security, and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
The BigIron RX Series of Layer 2/3 Ethernet switches excels in all of these areas, enabling network designers to deploy an Ethernet infrastructure that addresses today's requirements with a scalable and future-ready architecture that will support network growth and evolution for years to come. The BigIron RX Series incorporates the latest advances in switch architecture, system resilience, QoS, and switch security in a family of modular chassis setting industry-leading benchmarks for price-performance, scalability, and TCO.
Available in three chassis models, the BigIron RX Series allows network designers to standardize on a single product family for data center server access, aggregation, and core switching. In addition, the BigIron RX Series, with its high-density and compact design, is an ideal IP solution for data mining and high-performance computing environments where non-blocking, high-density Ethernet switches are needed.
All three BigIron RX systems are designed for non-stop operation, supporting 1:1 management module redundancy, N+1 switch module redundancy, M+N power module redundancy, and N+1 fan redundancy. Additionally, the BigIron RX Series supports hitless software upgrades and graceful restart routing for fast convergence in the event of a management module failure.
At the heart of the BigIron RX architecture is an adaptive self-routing Clos switch fabric with a Virtual Output Queue (VOQ) design. This non-blocking architecture is optimized for maximum throughput and low latency for all size packets. Scalable to over one billion packets per second, the BigIron RX Series is the most powerful Ethernet switch family in the industry. This advanced and scalable design ensures the reliable delivery of all IP-based voice, video, and data applications. The BigIron RX switches ship with field-proven Brocade IronWare networking software and Brocade IronShield security, embedded sFlow per port, advanced Ethernet switching, IPv4/IPv6 routing, and multilayer security services. The BigIron RX Series enables a user to deploy a reliable, secure, and scalable networking solution today that is ready to accommodate tomorrow's applications and technologies.
Industry-Leading Performance and Scalability
The BigIron RX Series is the industry's most powerful switch family, delivering up to 1.6 Tbps of switching capacity and 1.14 billion packets per second of forwarding performance. High-Availability Design
- Redundant, hot-swappable components provide non-stop service delivery; - Switch Fabric Element Redundancy: Systems configured with a redundant switch fabric module support millisecond fail-over performance; - Switch Fabric Element Redundancy: Systems configured with a redundant switch fabric module support millisecond fail-over performance; - Hitless Management Failover (HMF): Stateful Layer 2 failover ensures that the forwarding engines on the line modules are not impacted by a management failover. This capability enables non-stop packet forwarding in the event of a management module failover; - Redundant Power Supplies: All three chassis support M+N power module redundancy for AC and DC power configurations; - Distributed Forwarding Architecture — Advanced network processors, high-performance CPU, and high-speed memory on each interface module provide for a scalable high-performance architecture; - IEEE 802.3ad link aggregation up to eight links — Scalable, cross-module trunking provides for resilient high-capacity connections between switches; - Resilient Layer 2 and Layer 3 protocols provide fast service restoration in event of link or equipment failures; - Metro Ring Protocol optimized for ring topologies, IEEE 802.1s and 802.1w for general Layer 2 topologies, VSRP for redundant switch configurations, VRRP/VRRP-E for redundant router configurations, and ECMP for routed backbones.
Virtual Machine Mobility
- Seamless vMotion support across server racks and port speeds ensuring no disruption or downtime to application availability. Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is immediately updated in the system upon receiving a gratuitous ARP request from vSwitch when the virtual machine moves.
Robust Layer 3 Feature Set
Brocade IronWare software suite includes scalable EGP and IGP routing protocols.
- BGPv4 — Scalable to 2 million routes, 256 peers and 14,000 attributes with MR2 management module; - OSPF — Scalable to over 400,000 routes; - IS-IS — Support for Level 1 and Level 2, includes 25,000 routes and 256 adjacencies; - Brocade Direct Routing — The Forwarding Information Base (FIB) is downloaded to the hardware-based forwarding engine on each line module. This memory can be pre-populated with as many as 512,000 IP V4 and 64,000 IPV6 routes for wire-speed routing performance; - Policy-based Routing (PBR) — Supports customizable routing policies using Access Control Lists (ACLs). This feature can be used to balance network usage by controlling the network paths for different traffic flows; - Comprehensive multicast feature set — Provides hardware-based support for a number of multicast protocols, including DVMRP, MSDP, PIM-SM (Sparse Mode), and PIM-DM (Dense Mode), allowing network managers to efficiently deploy next-generation multicast applications; - VRRP and VRRPE (Enhanced VRRP) — Enables the BigIron RX to operate as a backup router to other network routers. In the event of a router failure, the BigIron RX will automatically and seamlessly perform the tasks of the failed router.
Industry-Leading Layer 2 Features To provide self-healing topologies in Layer 2 configurations, the BigIron RX supports industry-standard Ethernet protocols, including Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), Rapid Spanning Tree (RSTP), per VLAN STP (PVST), and per VLAN group STP (PVGST). The BigIron RX also supports Brocade Metro Ring Protocol (MRP) for sub-second service restoration in ring topologies. Additionally, the BigIron RX supports multi-instance spanning tree, VLAN topology grouping, and VLAN tunneling for advanced Layer 2 service configurations.
- Metro Ring Protocol (MRP) — An alternative to Spanning Tree Protocol, MRP provides sub-second fault detection and failover for Ethernet ring topologies. MRP works in conjunction with VSRP and 802.3ad-based link aggregation to provide bandwidth scalability and SONET-like resilience; - Virtual Switch Redundancy Protocol (VSRP) — Supports sub-second fault detection and failover for mesh topologies in which redundant switches provide backup operation for one another; - Single-instance STP— Provides a single instance of STP to run on all port-based VLANs within a single device, interoperable with others that are 802.1d compliant; - Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol based on IEEE 802.1w — Dramatically improves the spanning tree convergence time to sub-second by automatically renegotiating port roles in case of a link failure without relying on timers; - Per VLAN Spanning Tree (PVST) — Allows for control of STP on an individual VLAN basis for traffic engineering (i.e., load distribution); - Per VLAN Group Spanning Tree (PVGST) — Dramatically improves VLAN scalability by servicing up to 4096 VLANs with 2 to 16 STPs or Rapid STP group instances; - Topology Groups â?? Goes beyond PVGST to scale all supported Layer 2 control protocols, including STP, RSTP, MRP, and VSRP; - Super Aggregated VLANs (SAVs) â?? Allows transparent tunneling of multiple VLANs through a single backbone VLAN; - PIM and IGMP Snooping â?? Offers efficient handling of multicast traffic in Layer 2 topologies by identifying ports that request a multicast stream and forwarding the stream only on these ports. This dramatically improves the performance of multicast applications, allowing for many more streams to be transiting the network.
Advanced Quality of Service - Advanced QoS â?? Allows administrators to enforce QoS policies based on port, VLAN, source MAC, ACL rules, 802.1p priority, Type of Service (ToS), DiffServ settings, or Rate Limiting status; - Very low latency across all packet sizes â?? Consistent low latency for strict priority applications such as Voice over IP (VoIP), High-Performance Computing (HPC) and video over IP; - CConfigurable combinations of queuing disciplines and congestion control policies â?? Combinations of Strict Priority (SP) and Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ) provide flexibility for network administrators. In the event of egress port congestion, traffic policies can be configured for tail drop or Weighted Random Early Detection (WRED) operation; - Advanced Bandwidth Management â?? Allows intelligent bandwidth management using hardware-based enforcement of Committed Information Rate (CIR) with excess burst control capabilities and seamless integration with other advanced QoS features, including priority marking and honoring.
Cohesive, Unified, and Easy-to-Use Network Management - Centralized network management â?? Brocade IronView Network Manager is a Web-based, graphical interface tool that empowers network operators to seamlessly control software and configuration updates; - Command Line Interface (CLI) â?? Industry-standard configuration interface, consistent and common throughout all Brocade products; - Web interface â?? Provides easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI) for system configuration from standard Web browsers; - sFlow (RFC 3176) â?? Provides scalable, wire-speed network monitoring and accounting with no impact on network performance.
Brocade IronShield Security - Single interface for wire-speed extended IPv4 and IPv6 Layer 2, Layer 3, and Layer 4 Access Controls Lists (ACLs) â?? Controls packet forwarding and restricts access to the system management interface, while providing wire-speed switching and routing; - Extensible ACL Implementation for Layer 3 and Layer 4 Information: Identifies traffic based on source or destination IP address, IP protocol type, TCP or UDP port, IP precedence, or ToS values; - Flexible ACL Implementation for Layer 2 Information: Identifies traffic based on source or destination MAC address, Ethernet type, VLAN-ID values, and 802.1p values; - ACL scalability: Supports up to 8000 ACLs; - Ease of administration: Identify an ACL by name or number, or add a comment line for ease of administration; - Secure Shell and Secure Copy: Provides secure access to the administration and management interface over the network; - Protection against Denial of Service (DoS) attacks â?? Prevents or minimizes network downtime from malicious users by limiting TCP SYN and ICMP traffic and protects against broadcast storms; - User authentication â?? Authentication with AAA, MacAuth, 802.1x, RADIUS, TACACS, and TACACS+ prevents unauthorized network access; - sFlow (RFC 3176) â?? Provides cost-effective, scalable, wire-speed network monitoring to detect unusual network activity; - SNMPv3 â?? Secured SNMP management with authentication and privacy services - BGP-Guard â?? Complements MD5 security for BGP sessions to protect against session disruption by restricting the number of hops the BGP session can traverse.
Continuous System Monitoring - Increasing system availability and averting failure before it occurs are key to ensuring maximum network uptime and application availability. Continuous System Monitoring (CSM) is a tool that runs in the background and monitors specific hardware components on all line cards, switch fabrics, and management modules. It uses both polling and interrupt methods to gather information about the system. If a failure is detected, an alarm entry is placed in the syslog, allowing IT administrators to take action. CSM will shut down, reset, or redirect traffic depending on the failure type.