Thursday, July 14, 2016

Brocade VDX vs Cisco Nexus: Configuration Management Difference

I've gotten enough experience in both Brocade VDX and Cisco Nexus to see some very key differences. Differences that are real game changers. I know, you are going to say that now that I work at Brocade, I have to say good things about Brocade over the competition. Well, keep in mind, this is my personal blog, and it belongs to me. I have a responsibility to my customers to always be truthful, no matter what the outcome. And you have my word that I will be truthful, no matter what. It's not a "competition thing" to me. It's a "character thing".
With that said, I have put in enough Cisco Nexus gear in data centers to know that when I have put in redundancy, say in a pair of 5Ks with connected FEXs, in order to get everything configured appropriately, I have to do the config twice. Meaning once on 5K #1 and then again on 5K #2. I have always said that Cisco should have designed it in such a way where you only had to do one config, which sync'ed over to the redundant 5K. However, that just is not the case. By the way, you can sub that 5K I just mentioned with 7Ks or 9Ks. It doesn't matter.
However, Brocade did do this right. In what's called "logical chassis mode", all the VDXs are configured together, ONCE!  The VDX fabric looks like a stack of switches. Cisco also looks like a stack, just two separate stacks that have to be configured separately. But with Brocade, all devices look like one device, configured only once. This, to me, is a huge differentiator.  So much so, I call that a game changer.

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