Choosing the right Top of Rack (ToR) Ethernet switch for your HPC cluster can be an important decision. The Ethernet traffic in a cluster doesn’t always require a large amount of bandwidth, but using an under powered switch can result in packet loss that will cause issues with your HPC cluster’s performance. Choose between Brocade and Cisco Ethernet switches.

Brocade Partners
Brocade Premier Partner Badge

Aspen Systems is a Brocade Premier Partner, having proven the ability to efficiently deliver networking solutions to customers, as well as the Company’s extensive knowledge, skills and expertise in the networking industry. Our certified engineers can help you determine which Brocade switches will provide the best solution for your HPC cluster configuration.



Brocade Ethernet Switches

Brocade automated switches, from Aspen Systems, deliver high performance, high capacity and high reliability for data center spine and leaf deployments. With fabrics for Layer 2 and Layer 3 networks, open standards support and extensive scalability for massive data centers, time- and cost-saving network automation, and a single switch family that supports it all, your data center is ready for innovation.

Brocade Logo

Aspen Systems primarily uses the Brocade ICX line of switches for most of the HPC clusters that we build. The ICX switches provide a great balance between performance and cost. The ICX line of switches provides unmatched availability for low-cost switching with redundant uplink/stacking ports, hitless stacking failover, and configurable power redundancy. Offering up to 176Gbps of throughput the Brocade ICX switches provide true wire speed communications for bandwidth intensive tasks such as transfering images to diskless compute nodes or transferring data for processing from end-users’ workstations to the cluster.

Campus Network Switches

Aspen Systems carry Brocade Campus Fabric Technology for ICX switches which feature flexible scalability, simplified management and low TCO. Scale ports and services easily, campus-wide, as user applications and devices grow. Premium switches share advanced services with entry-level switches while delivering centralized management. And enjoy open standards support that provides multi-vendor interoperability, SDN adoption, and investment protection.

A Cost Effective Path to High-End Networking

Brocade ICX 6450 Switch
Brocade ICX 6450 switch

The only thing that’s entry-level about the Brocade ICX 6450 campus switches is the price. You get a highly manageable networking switch in a flexible, stacking architecture with Layer 3 routing capabilities.

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Brocade takes a workflow-centric approach to bringing network automation and agility into IT operations with cross-domain workflows.

Brocade’s Kelly Herrell Opening Day Keynote for Big Communications Event 2016.

To unleash the design creativity necessary for New IP networks that can support the exponential growth of devices and traffic, we have to find the fundamental assumptions to which we are clinging. We need to shine a light on them and challenge those aggressively. It’s time to re-think the network.

Brocade Data Center Switches

Brocade’s VDX line of switches offer Ethernet speeds of up to 100Gbps for a lower cost alternative to Infinband for applications that don’t require the low latency of Infiniband. The VDX line of switches also provide an excellent base to create an Ethernet fabric in a multi-rack configuration for faster east/west communication between clusters. Brocade’s VDX switches can also be easily integrated into a data center’s existing fabric for redundancy and high-speed data transfers between the end-users and the cluster. VDX switches are also an excellent solution for applications utilizing FCoE.

A High Performance Switch for Data Center Ethernet Connectivity

Brocade VDX 6740 Switch
Brocade VDX 6740 switch

Brocade VDX 6740 switches can help you build a smart virtualization strategy by meeting the demands of today’s applications with easy scalability and automated management. These Top of Rack (ToR) switches support 1/10/40 GbE ports — enabling the efficiency and flexibility you need to support cloud computing, virtualization, mobility and consolidation.

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A Data Center Switch with Immediate ROI

Brocade VDX 8770 Switches are highly scalable, low-latency modular switches, perfectly suited for helping respond to demanding network environments based on booming data usage and cloud computing. Designed to support Brocade data center networking fabrics, the VDX 8770 supports complex, highly dynamic environments with dense virtualization, extensive automation and high availability requirements. Brocade VDX 8770 offers wire speed and non-blocking packet forwarding to meet the capacity requirements of 1/10GbE servers and storage with 40/100 GbE uplinks and deep buffers. The 8770 can support more than 10,000 ports using multi-fabrics with overlays.

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Brocade VDX 877 Switch
Brocade VDX 8770 switch

Fabric Switches Pack Massive Capability into a Small Footprint

Brocade VDX 6940 Ethernet Switch
Brocade VDX 6940 switch

Brocade VDX 6940 switches let you scale out your data center environments with huge capacity and compelling economic benefits. Enable connection with top-of-rack switches or directly to servers. Include automation that lets you add switches network-wide without manual configuration. Then top it off with exceptional application performance.

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Cisco Logo
Cisco Premier Partner

Access Switches that are Smart, Simple and Highly Secure

Aspen Systems also utilizes Cisco Catalyst switches as a Top of Rack (ToR) solution for HPC clusters. Use your network to innovate and transform your organization. Cisco Catalyst access switches bring wired and wireless together to more easily deploy mobility, strengthen security and simplify your network. They help you increase scale, improve reliability and create greater efficiency.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Switches

Choose the Switch that’s Right for You

The Catalyst 2960-X series of Cisco switches provide a good entry-level switching platform for any HPC cluster. The Catalyst 2960-X switches offer Ethernet speeds of up to 1Gbps for reliable, high-speed communication using standard UTP copper cabling. Cisco Catalyst 2960-X Series Switches are fixed-configuration, stackable Gigabit Ethernet switches that provide enterprise-class access for campus and branch applications. Designed for operational simplicity to lower total cost of ownership, they enable scalable, secure and energy-efficient business operations.

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Unify Access with High Performance

The Cisco Catalyst 3850 series of switches are also an excellent entry-level switch with stacking capabilities. The 3850 series switches offer Ethernet speeds up to 10Gbps using SFP+ to provide high-speed data transfers from the end-users to the cluster or to get images transferred quickly to diskless compute nodes.

Get faster access. Faster aggregation. And know that you’re ready for 802.11ac Wave 2 and other new technologies that are here today, or coming at you tomorrow. Stackable Catalyst 3850 Series multigigabit and 10Gb switches give you wired and wireless together so you can scale up and protect your investments.

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Cisco Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3850 Switches

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