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Bronze winner in Storage magazine and SearchStorage's 2018 Products of the Year storage management tools category.
Venerable Fibre Channel switch maker Brocade picked up a bronze medal in its first year under the Broadcom Inc. banner for automation software that helps manage its devices.
Broadcom enables Brocade SAN automation by baking RESTful APIs directly into Brocade switch and management products and integrating the APIs into its Brocade Fabric Operating System (FOS) and SAN Management Platform. This allows IT admins to use the product as a tool to handle repetitive tasks such as provisioning, operational state monitoring and fabric inventory.
Brocade SAN automation does this by using the PyFOS Python scripting tool set run in a command-line interface (CLI), while the open source orchestration product Ansible can be used to establish automation operations for any storage systems in the infrastructure. Using predefined Python scripts in the PyFOS library enables administrators to establish consistent system operations such as logins, for example.
Brocade SAN automation's CLI brings automation to the switch level that helps reduce the cost and complexity of managing storage systems.
One judge said Fibre Channel fabrics are "by their nature, highly manual labor-intensive with many repetitive tasks subject to frequent human error." Regarding the easier automation enabled through Brocade SAN automation, the judge added, "That's a big change and much better than undocumented, unpatched, no quality assurance [ever] scripts."
Another judge observed, "If RESTful API management had been embraced by the industry sooner, SANs might never have become characterized as legacy." A third judge noted, however, that "just APIs that have to be used with a scripting language" wasn't what he thought of when hearing the term "automation." Though he did note it was free for Broadcom users of Brocade products.