Hong Kong – 5 July 2012 – China's largest online supermarket, Yihaodian, has turned to Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) for a high-performance data centre networking solution to cope with explosive growth in customers and orders. The company, in which Walmart Walmart raised its stake to 51 per cent earlier this year, had 2011 sales of Rmb 2.7 billion (US $429M), 335 per cent higher than in 2010. The Brocade networking solution will give the retailer an infrastructure that will enable it to meet current customer demands, while providing a blueprint for future growth.
Today, China has over 193 million online shoppers compared to 170 million in the US, more than double the number in Japan and five times that of the UK. By 2015, the size of China's e-commerce market is expected to rival that of the US, with e-commerce accounting for as much as eight percent of the total Chinese retail market. 
Yihaodian's success mirrors the country's appetite for e-commerce. The company was only founded in 2008, but already has logistics centres in five of China's largest cities -- Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Chengdu -- that stock more than 270,000 products and provide same-day and next-day delivery services. While Yihaodian's customer base tripled from 2010 to 2011, last year's average daily order volume was six times higher than 2010's.
"After four years of operations, we'd reached the point of outgrowing our existing data centre infrastructure and needed to replace it with something that had the performance, scalability and reliability to cope with rapid growth for several years to come," said Janson Han, CTO of Yihaodian. "Using Brocade MLXe Series routers with multi-chassis trunking in our data centre core makes it highly available and scalable while, reducing complexity and optimising performance."
The Brocade MLXe-4 Core Routers deployed by Yihaodian each have 1.92 terabit per second switching fabric capacity, ensuring that all 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) connections to the network core are handled at wire speed. The Brocade MLXe-4 routers are linked over multiple 10 GbE connections using Multi-Chassis Trunking (MCT) to create a single logical switch that dynamically load-balances traffic from access layer switches with multiple connections to the core devices.
"Multi-chassis trunking gives the Yihaodian network core active-active redundancy with very quick failover, load-balanced performance and highly efficient use of bandwidth. It's really a best-of-all-worlds solution," explained Sam Lo, regional director for Brocade China. "If Yihaodian's data centre grows beyond the capacity of the Brocade MLXe-4 routers currently installed, the core can be further scaled by adding another chassis to the MCT virtual switch cluster without incurring any performance downtime or increasing operational complexity. The customer also has the option of upgrading links to 100 GbE if required."
To handle the high-volume traffic between the core and the data centre's Internet-facing demilitarised zone (DMZ), Yihaodian has deployed Brocade ICX 6610 Switches that offer chassis-like performance and reliability in a stackable form factor. Each Brocade ICX 6610 has 48 1 GbE access ports that are linked into a single logical switch using dedicated 40 GbE connections. Multiple 10 GbE uplinks to the core enable a highly scalable solution designed for non-stop availability.
In addition, Yihaodian has deployed Brocade FCX Series Switches to provide wire-speed 1 GbE access to its application and database servers. As with the core and DMZ networks, these switches are combined into a single logical device with up to eight Brocade FCX 648 switches providing 384 access ports and multiple 10 GbE uplinks to the core.
"The overall Brocade solution has been performing extremely well since we switched over, with rock-solid stability and simplified operations. With this highly scalable network foundation in place, we have a lot of confidence that our data centre can expand to handle the continued rapid growth of online shopping in China," said Janson Han, CTO of Yihaodian.
The Brocade ICX switch family is compatible with Brocade HyperEdge technology (planned for general availability in the first half of 2013), which will enable customers to employ single-point management to simplify LAN operations while mixing and matching switches as they expands their access network stacks in the future.
About Brocade Data Centre Solutions and Technologies
The data centre is arguably the most active and critical segment of today's IT environment in terms of innovation, strategy and investment. In particular, it is integral to key initiatives such as the migration of legacy IT infrastructures and architectures to a more flexible, agile cloud model in its various forms -- including public, private, and hybrid clouds. One of the key factors driving organisations to migrate to these new, more agile IT architectures is the need to overcome the complexities associated with the widespread and accelerating adoption of server virtualisation. For more information, visit www.brocade.com.
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