Brocade also used open APIs to integrate the management software with partner products, such as VMware vCenter, Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center, and IBM Systems Director.
"All switches share a common configuration database through a distributed mechanism to enable things like automated migration of port profiles, Nilaver said. The new application can manage virtual machines even when they're moved from one network to another because the network profile associated with the server also moves with it, he said.
Brocade Network Advisor is expected to be available in mid-November and is a seamless upgrade from existing Brocade management software, the company said. Brocade will also provide migration guides, training material and educational courses to help ensure a smooth transition to the new product.
While pricing hasn't been officially announced, Nilaver said it will be similar to that for Data Center Fabric Manager, which comes as a free product at the entry level, costs $16,000 for the midrange Professional Plus product and lists for $38,000 for enterprise-class deployments.
"We'll maintain similar pricing for the IP side [INM] as well. And for customers that want to buy IP and [Fibre Channel] together, obviously we'll give them pricing discounts," he said.
IDC analyst Laura DeBois said Brocade's offering is different from those of Brocade competitors, such as Cisco Systems.
While Cisco has a number of network management products, such as its LAN Management Solution and Data Center Network Manager, that offer functionality similar to Brocade Network Advisor, Brocade's model of unified management is an advantage and it will have an impact on the trend toward converged IT products, DeBois said.
"Think about who Brocade customers are -- [equipment manufacturers] like EMC, HP, and IBM. These guys all want a unified network management component to offer to their customers, as there continues to be convergence of different protocols over a single wire," she wrote in an e-mail response to a Computerworld query. "And unified network management fits nicely with strategies these larger infrastructure suppliers have around automated IT service management/automated DC operations -- with network management being a piece of that."
DeBois added that there's still a long way to go in terms of converged data center management, but she said Brocade's new product is relevant to a larger developing trend.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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