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

2 thoughts on “Brocade 48000 director End-of-Support notification”

  1. Hi, We want to use MAPS features in new FOS. However, few of our switches still have FOS below 7.2(actually v6.4.XxX) and due to hardware limitations on those switches(48Ks), we can’t have new FOS for MAPS, and we still have to live with them for some more time. My question is , can we have in a same fabric , MAPS on all and two three switches with still Fabric Watch. Okay, while converting Network Advisor will complain for them, but is there any other drawback apart from that. I mean since MAPS or FW are configured on switch basis, so at the most we will be unable to manage them with MAPS in Network Advisor. Apart from that what other issues you see in this scenario…
    I also found this –
    “Fabric capability is based on the least capable switch participating in the fabric. If a fabric has products participating that are operating with an older version of Brocade FOS, the limits of the fabric must not exceed the maximum limits of that older version of Brocade FOS.”
    But then again, I thought it will not be managed by MAPS, that’s it. We will manage it via CLI and Fabric Watch alerts anyway we will receive via email alerting set on those individual switches.
    So, what are your thoughts on “mixed” non-supported environment like this ?


    1. Hello Bacil,

      If I were you I would shift my focus on replacing these 48K’s to newer equipment as they are simply not longer supported as of January which leaves you no option to open any support-cases with any of the OEM vendors nor Brocade.

      As for the use of FW and MAPS you basically can not use any fabric wide feature of MAPS or FW. You can obviously still use the features and functions that monitor and action an individual port or switch. There is no restriction using these in a mixed environment.

      Once again, please get rid of these 48K’s especially when they are connected in mixed fabric you basically render your entire environment unsupported. You certainly don’t want that. Believe me I have experiences in that where a customer had even 24K and 12K directors installed not too long ago. His environment went down hard without us being able to do anything about it. This became a very costly exersize as all equipment had to be replaced in addition to numerous down-time occurrences.

      Hope this answers your question.

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