Cisco Expands Storage Networking Portfolio

Industry leader Cisco recently announced new additions to its storage networking portfolio which are designed specifically with enterprise customers in mind. The company's new 40 gigabit converged Ethernet option will support the existing Nexus 7700 and 7000 switches, while a new 96 port 16 gbps fibre channel switch is also now available.

The New MDS 9396S SAN Switch

One of the company's new products, the 2U MDS 9396S SAN switch, is designed to scale from 48 ports to 96 ports in 12 port increments. It can also be purchased with all 96 ports depending on the needs of the customer. Each of those ports is designed to guarantee a line rate performance of up to 16 gigabits per second when operating at peak efficiency. The new switch includes dual fans and multiple power supplies for the purposes of redundancy, and also extends support for over 4,000 buffer to buffer credits on a per port basis.

The MDS 9396S SAN switch is also designed to support 32 Cisco Virtual SANs, also commonly referred to as VSANs. The unit includes a number of features that make it an ideal solution for a wide range of customers, like the fact that it offers a unique configuration wizard, compatibility with automated provisioning and the fact that it uses the same operating system as other entries in the MDS switch line of products.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet

Also on the docket is upgrade support on Cisco's Nexus 7700 and 7000 switches for Fibre Channel over Ethernet functionality, also commonly referred to as FCoE. With this, Cisco now adds support for 50 gigabit Ethernet connectivity on these and many other devices in the company's product line. Up until now, 40 gigabit Ethernet connectivity was only available on Nexus 5600 and 2300 devices.

Along with this expansion comes the added benefit of 16 gbps Fibre Channel support on the Cisco MDS at the storage core level, along with a leaf-spine architecture to support Internet protocol storage traffic.

Along with these unique solutions, customers can now mix and match their choice of UCS, Nexus and MDS server products to create a truly customized solution that is designed with their own business in mind. This also enables them to build a unified fabric, creating a much more seamlessly integrated experience for everyone involved.

FICON

At the same time, Cisco announced the addition of FICON for MDS 9706 and MDS 9250i switch mainframes. These products began shipping in 2014 and are still widely available today. Additional upgrades in these products include a significantly enhanced data center network manager utility, which goes a long way towards adding a larger level of visibility and vast monitoring capabilities for all SAN switches in an enterprise.