Trunk Networks partners with Brocade to future-proof network infrastructure

Service provider increases switching capacity to adapt to growing data volumes

25 February 2015Trunk Networks, the leading IT managed services and cloud hosting provider, has chosen Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) to help it future-proof its infrastructure in anticipation of major increases in customer data and traffic flows. The deployment will be based on the Brocade MLX Series core routers, which are designed to deliver industry-leading scale and performance, high reliability and operational efficiency for the most demanding network environments.

With a customer-focused portfolio of services designed to be a one-stop shop for IT services, Trunk Networks needed a network that would be able to cope with the future needs of its customers. Anticipating a significant increase in data volumes – with some predicting data that global data volumes will grow from tenfold between 2013 and 2020 – as a result of business growth and changing customer requirements, in particular an increased preference for cloud-based software and applications, Trunk wanted to increase capacity and improve the performance of the network in order to future proof its infrastructure.

A longstanding Brocade customer, Trunk’s existing network was made up of NetIron CER compact routers and ICX stackable switches, which had been in place for several years. The new, chosen solution involved replacing half the network with the Brocade MLX Series core routers, and enhancing the remaining NetIron CERs in some sites with 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) interfaces, interconnected across the entire estate. Trunk Networks has been able to dramatically increase its bandwidth capacity and provide greater speed and performance for its hosted, cloud and ISP services.

“The biggest challenge we faced was the rapid growth in the amount of data our customers are generating,” commented Drew Marshall, director at Trunk Networks. “Increased reliance on the cloud, and the emergence of Big Data and the Internet of Things as major trends meant that we needed greater capacity and flexibility if the business was to grow. The answer for us was the Brocade MLX Series, which we’re using in a slightly unusual way in that they serve primarily as switches rather than routers.”

“The new architecture has made our entire network quicker and more responsive, and our platform performance and capacity have both substantially increased,” Marshall continued. “We’ve taken a network that runs well within its capabilities and upgraded and introduced more bandwidth before we needed it, but we’ve also seen improvements in processor functionality and the entire network is now easier to manage.”

“Customers most impacted by the new infrastructure are our cloud and hosted businesses – those customers will have tangibly different levels of access and speed. Our old system was still fit for purpose for the time being, but with the capacity we’ve added to our network we can seamlessly adapt to changing customer requirements for the long-term.”

Joy Gardham, Regional Director, EMEA West at Brocade commented, “Trunk Networks is taking the right steps in order to accommodate and stay two steps ahead of evolving IT requirements. Networks must be prepared for mobile computing, cloud-based services, and Big Data. IDC predicts an 11% shift in in budget towards the cloud, and that this year Big Data spending will total $125 billion so we will soon see these trends putting real pressure on networks, many of which are still based on the principles and architectures established 20 years ago. We’re delighted that Trunk Networks’ has chosen to continue adapting its network to the changing IT requirement with Brocade technology, and look forward to watching the business continue to grow and thrive into the future.”

In 2015 Trunk Networks will continue to upgrade its network with the addition of load balancers and has plans to expand its metro area network and pod sites by creating and consolidating dark fibre links between London data centres.

Marshall commented, “For our growing base of cloud and hosted customers, scalability and flexibility in IT is essential, and the new performance and capacity we’ve added are part of our overall strategy of maintaining a reliable, innovative network that is never oversubscribed.”