So the final nail is in the coffin. Brocade Network Advisor is being put to rest. The juggling of Java code to the ever expanding demand of functions, features and other capabilities was no longer sustainable. Oracle starting to charge for Java would’ve made the decision even easier.
The replacement is SANNav (No I don’t get into the same discussion VMWare has with which character should be capitalized or not. :-))
BNA has had a long history dating back over 15 years when the choice of vendors in the fibre-channel world was still massive. When Brocade and McData were still separate companies each had their own toolkit. McData had EFCM whilst Brocade was pushing Fabric Manager into the world. When the companies merged there was a fairly large install base of numerous hardware in the world from both companies which still had many years of run-time and so it made sense to merge the EFCM and Fabric Manager code base and provide a holistic management tool for both platforms. This resulted in DCFM. After numerous upgrades and some core changes the marketing name was changed in Brocade Network Advisor.
When Brocade entered the networking world with the acquisition of Foundry back in 2008 a decision was made to not have this incorporated into DCFM as the methodology of management was vastly different plus Foundry had a very good set of tools to configure and operate that equipment. An additional argument was that the clientele was also vastly different. As Brocade operated mostly in company data-centers Foundry was very established in large-scale ISP hubs.
Below a small graphic which shows the history of BNA.
When Brocade entered the Ethernet market in the datacenter world with the VDX product line it made sense to have management capability consolidated with the FC side as there were some cross-interaction capabilities via FCoE so having the option to manage both from one tool was a big bonus.
When Brocade got acquired by Broadcom and the entire networking business was sold off the effort required to untangle the codebase just be able to just keep the FC stack plus the aging Java platform in addition to Oracle starting to charge licensing fees for the Java development platforms the decision was easily made.
Around two years ago Brocade started to build a new management platform based on newer systems with more distributed capabilities. This culminated in a new tool called SANNav. More on that in a later post.