Brocade 48000 director End-of-Support notification

Normally I don’t send out these notices as I think its the responsibility of the storage administrator and vendor sales-teams to keep up-to-date with product life-cycles, however in this case I make an exception. The Brocade 48000 has been a very reliable workhorse since 2006 where it succeeded the, then seemingly overpriced, 12000 and 24000 directors. In contradiction to its predecessors, the 48K gained massive popularity mainly due to the attractive price-point and longevity of life-span in addition to a fairly matured and well featured (for that time) FOS operating system.It was also the last system featuring the well known SilkWorm logo. (Which I like more than the B-wing symbol. :-))


In 2007 it was succeeded by the DCX series (DCX and DCX-4S) which moved the speeds up to 8G. Although initially the 48K did support the 8G blades there was an obvious limitation on the CP blades which only allowed 4G connectivity on “inter-blade” switched traffic. This caused a significant grief with customers who thought to have a cheap option to bump speeds an entire generation for almost peanuts. Tough luck. It does not work that way. If you pay peanuts you get peanuts. 🙂

The 48K was announced End-of-Life on November 15, 2010 after which a LSD (Last Ship Date) determines the entry into a 5-year “sustain engineering mode” . (Basically saying no new features from a hardware and software perspective are being developed and only bugs will be fixed.)

End Of Support date.

As of February 2016 no support-calls will be accepted anymore if a problem pertains a 48K or if a 48K is part of an existing fabric. The time between the EoL and EoS notification has been enough to plan for budget requirements and migration planning in my opinion so there shouldn’t really be problem moving forward.

If you don’t have plans and budget in order I’d suggest you get cracking especially if you have larger fabrics. The latest generation of switches (65xx and DCX8510) still do support 4G connectivity so a fairly transparent transition should be possible. If you still have 1G equipment in your environment (shame on you) you’re out a luck as the Condor 3 ASIC (16G chip on the 65xx and 8510) no longer supports that speed. In case you still need 2G connectivity you need to buy 2/4/8G SFP as that is still supported by that ASIC.

Just out of interest, do you still have a 48K in your fabric?

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Kind regards,

Erwin van Londen

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About Erwin van Londen

Master Technical Analyst at Hitachi Data Systems
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