Brocade has released a new switch to help cope with the explosion in capacity driven by video, along with updates to help transition to software-defined networking (SDN).
The new Brocade ICX 7250 switch delivers 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) port density and is designed to address the onslaught of user video and wireless traffic that is taxing campus networks.
Brocade has also extended OpenFlow 1.3 support to Brocade ICX 7450 and 7750 switches to enable SDN solutions in LAN architectures.
Combined with the Brocade Vyatta Controller, these switches give customers a way to begin SDN automation.
Brocade senior director A/NZ, Gary Denman, told ARN the announcement of OpenFlow 1.3 support inside the switch meant it became a piece of hardware which could be controlled through an OpenDaylight controller.
"Every conversation that we have with a customer today, there is some consideration about where does SDN sit in my plans, where do it sit within my architecture and my strategy," he said.
"A lot of the tenders with channel today are requesting OpenFlow support, so this is one of those enablements that will allow partners to comply with those requirements.
"It allows for the channel to start building out a range of different services to support a customer as they evolve their network to purely a physical environment, into a physical automated environment, and then into a mixed mode of physical software and networking."
Denman said channel partners needed to start understanding what role they would play in the shift to SDN.
"It's a whole area that's bridging hardware and software worlds together to build agile environments for agile solutions," he said.
"So that's a whole range of different skill sets that are required, which opens up opportunities, particularly for the channel.
The company has also unveiled Switch Port Extender, a new HyperEdge Architecture technology, designed to simplify network deployment and ongoing maintenance.
Through added automation, this technology enables shared network services and management between Brocade ICX 7250, 7450, and 7750 switches distributed across the campus.
Denman singled out Brocade elite partner, ASI Solutions, as an example of a channel player tackling the transition to a software-defined world.
"ASI continues to be a very important channel for us," he said.
"If you are trying to identify how to move from a traditional business into that mixed business that customers require, they're a great example of an organisation who is starting to do that really well.
"They have come from a very mixed background, but they are bringing together their services business into the mainstream product supply businesses and their implementations businesses."
Read more: Changing of the guard at ASI Solutions
Denman said Brocade had been working very closely with ASI to build capabilities that were "replicable".
"We don't want to be building stuff every time in a totally new world," he said.
"It has to be templatised so you can build your IP around it, otherwise its purely a time and materials game and for a partners that's difficult to scale.
"You have to be able to build IP through experience and offerings and that would be consistent with how we are engaging with our channel.
Denman said the company was building new channel programs to support the transition.
"We are looking to engage our channel in a different manner than we have done historically," he said.
"We need to think about what role the channel wants to play in the shift to the hybrid world that is happening."
General availability for the Brocade ICX 7250 begins this month with a list price starting at US$2,000.
The initial release of Switch Port Extender is planned for late 2015 and will support Brocade ICX 7750 and 7450 mixed domains.
Future releases will include support for all Brocade ICX 7250, 7450, and 7750 switches.
The Brocade ICX 7450 and 7750 OpenFlow 1.3 implementations are available this month and will support standalone mode initially, with full stacking support to follow in a future software release.