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Brocade tightens fabric security

Kevin Komiega

After releasing a new, security-intensive operating system earlier this month, Brocade Communications Systems Inc., San Jose, Calif., has signed its first partner to sell the Brocade Secure Fabric Operating System (Fabric OS). New features for the SilkWorm 12000 Director will be available worldwide through Hitachi Data Systems, a subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.

Brocade added new storage area network (SAN) security features to its Brocade Secure Fabric OS. It uses security methods that include digital certificates and digital signatures, multiple levels of password protection, encryption of management information such as passwords, public key infrastructure (PKI)-based authentication, and 1024-bit encryption of the switch's private key for digital signatures, the company said.

"We've released secure Fabric OS with several different components from a set of encryptions and access controls," said Steve Daheb, Brocade's director of software product marketing. "From a device level perspective, users can control what devices can plug into fabric and where they can plug in," Daheb said.

Fabric Manager, the Brocade fabric management software that configures, monitors, provisions and manages multiple switches, SANs, and host bus adapters (HBAs) from a single console, now has integrated HBA management, advanced security management, and call home capabilities.

Non-disruptive firmware activation and enhanced failover capabilities have also been added to the

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upgrade list.

The Brocade OS is not specific to HDS. Hitachi just happens to be [selling] the latest version of the platform. Nancy Marrone, a senior analyst for the Enterprise Storage Group Inc., Milford, Mass., said the Brocade Fabric OS solution works in heterogeneous environments, so all of its security features will work if the SilkWorm 1200 is used in heterogeneous environments, as long as the other arrays have been certified by Brocade.

"Most of the security features focus on access to the Brocade switch itself, through encrypted passwords and authentication. When the administration of the switch is secure, then the chance of unauthorized users changing the SAN zoning and masking is severely limited," she said. She added that unauthorized user access is severely limited.

Let us know what you think about the story. E-mailKevin Komiega, News Writer

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