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Redefine IP Storage Networking

Don't settle for a legacy IP network


The New IP: Transforming Networks

Revolutionizing business models for the Third Platform


An Application Boost For The New IP

Free 30-Day Trial: Brocade Virtual Traffic Manager, the leading virtual application delivery platform for the New IP

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Imagine having a Formula One race car at your disposal, but no race track. Just rocky, rutted dirt roads that slash its performance potential to that of an average sedan. That’s how many storage administrators felt when decreasing prices and increasing densities made flash a viable alternative to disk storage. For the first time in the history of storage networking, the storage protocol stack was the performance bottleneck. And storage protocol stacks were suddenly relevant in a way that they had never been before.

Enter NVM Express (NVMe™) – a specification that dramatically increased the speed at which data could move to and from a flash module. For use cases in which that movement was solely between the server and storage module, NVMe took flash from “viable” to “compelling.” But for enterprises that move data through a network, NVMe was just a frustrating taste of how the unprecedented performance of flash might someday be realized.

Today, the big buzz for scaling NVMe to the data center is about the NVMe over Fabrics technology specification. NVMe over Fabrics is an alternative to the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) standard, designed specifically for the high-speed environment of flash. The “over Fabrics” moniker relates to the fact that NVMe over Fabrics is a high-level protocol, and therefore requires a transport protocol such as Fibre Channel or Ethernet-based option. Choosing the right transport protocol is a crucial strategic decision that will affect storage networking efficacy for years to come. For mission-critical storage networking, Fibre Channel is the outright NVMe fabric of choice.


Fibre Channel is the most trusted and widely deployed purpose-built network infrastructure for storage. Decades of use have proven that Fibre Channel has the reliability, scalability, and performance to handle continually evolving and increasingly demanding storage applications. For organizations building greenfield storage networks or those that are not running Fibre Channel throughout their infrastructure, these reasons make NVMe over Fibre Channel the clear choice.

In reality, most of the shared flash deployed today already uses Fibre Channel and SCSI. For these deployments, an evolution to NVMe over Fibre Channel provides even greater value. As an incremental change, the evolution comes with far less disruption, lower risk, and less cost than transitioning to a different transport protocol.


Selecting Fibre Channel as the transport protocol for NVMe over Fabrics is an important first step in realizing the performance potential of flash in storage networks. With that long-term decision made, the next step will be product selection. Here, the unique visibility and analytics features in Brocade Gen 5 and Gen 6 Fibre Channel networks enhance the value of NVMe over Fabrics.

  • Brocade IO Insight complements Brocade Fabric Vision technology with integrated network sensors that automatically detect degraded application or device performance.
  • Brocade VM Insight provides the visibility into Virtual Machines (VMs) needed to monitor and optimize VM performance and identify VM anomalies in a storage fabric.
  • Automated monitoring and diagnostics simplify end-to-end management of large-scale environments.


Many industry experts believe that NVMe over Fibre Channel is the wave of the foreseeable future for storage networking. For more information, check out NVMe over Fibre Channel for dummies, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. A limited number of hard copies will also be available at Brocade and partner events. Ask your local Brocade representative about upcoming events in your area.

NVMe over Fibre Channel Technology Resources


Brocade products turn Possibilities into realities. Through industry transition and technology evolution. For large and small businesses, service providers, and the public sector. Our proven data and storage network fabrics, state-of-the-art virtual devices, management tools, and open approach are ready to support your success.