Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities
As a Brocade employee it would be a lot of fun to get into a Brocade vs. competitors debate, but this is an EMC forum and since EMC has partnerships with said competitors we will respect our EMC partnership and *NOT* get into any direct comparisons.
Alternatively it may be worth comparing the before and after Fabric Vision versions from Brocade.
I will start by saying we felt our pre fabric Vision solution was very competitive and our dominant market share would lend some credibility to that statement. So this is not meant to be a knock against older version of FOS ... it has served many very well for a long time!
For this post lets compare MAPS to Fabric Watch and Advanced Performance Monitoring.
Brocade Fabric Watch and Advanced Performance monitoring pre-dated the MAPS feature and Fabric Vision. They were powerful tools but they were rarely used because they required you to invest a lot of time to understand, implement, and interpret the results ... and as your SAN grew over time ongoing maintenance was required.
With MAPS it is so much easier. The MAPS architecture of having a few categories of port (and other) types and a few policies to apply enables you to simply choose from column A (categories) and choose from column B (policy) and that easily your implementation is underway. New ports in the same category are automatically added. If you want to customize you can tweak until the cows come home, but your changes are now embedded in this new category/policy architecture, so even customization is easy to implement and manage going forward.
Understanding the MAPS results is improved compared to FW and APN, in particular when MAPS is combined with the new BNA/CMCNE versions with enhanced dashboard capability... the results are not only shown as widgets on the dashboard, but you also have the ability to "DVR" back in time now which I think is one of the most important new features.
I should also point out that when comparing the new MAPS to the older FW and APN, it is not just ease of use that is improved, MAPS is also a lot more powerful too. For example MAPS policies can be compound versus FW policies which were binary. You can look for C3 discards for both long and short intervals is a basic example.
I know that Brocade had our best product managers and engineers working on this for 2+ years so we had high expectations. Honestly I think the results of the efforts show and I think that Fabric Vision MAPS is is easily an order of magnitude more powerful than the old Brocade FW and APN and also compared to the old industry status quo.
We'll write about Flow Vision (which has no comparison from the past) in a separate post.