One of my favorite parts of the show was the conversation with Derek Masseth, Senior Director for Infrastructure Services for the Universtity of Arizona on their FCoE deployment.
Why they choose to deploy FCoE?
How difficult was the deployment?
What approach did they take? How long did it take?
What were the benefits, ROI, and TCO?
Were they worried about deploying FCoE before the standards had been approved?
Beyond Derek’s piece, there is some good info on our shiny new Nexus 4000 FCoE blade switch as well as a look ahead to some of the upcoming product and technology releases for the Nexus and MDS families.
Liam Fraser, general manager, Marketing at Australia’s leading Information and Communications Technology provider, Alphawest, demonstrated the Cisco C-Series Chassis Unified Computing System for the first time at Networkers in Australia yesterday. See him outlined the demonstration that they put together on the show floor of the World of Solutions at Cisco Networkers here:
As you deploy optimization to improve application performance over the WAN you need to know what kind of results you are getting. To help understand the benefits of deploying these systems you might be looking at reports from the WAAS central manager or to get end-to-end results you might have deployed probes from an NMS vendor. These reports can provide useful insight into the benefits of optimization; however there is more to the picture that you might want to look at. What if you need detailed data for planning, performance analysis and troubleshooting across network elements and you need to save on the costs of deploying these systems?
So Cisco has been on the forefront in leading Fibre Channel Over Ethernet (FCoE) in ANSI standard bodies along with Data Center Bridging (DCB) standards for lossless Ethernet in IEEE. We were the also the first company to productize a FCoE Network Switch for data center by introducing Nexus 5000 in March 2008.
We didn’t stop there, we were also the first company to introduce Unified Network Fabric and FCoE architecture integrated with compute and virtualization with our Unified Computing System earlier this year.
Nexus 5000 has been shipped to more than one thousand customers so far with more than 35% systems shipped with FCoE licenses. Several of these customers have deployed FCoE in production.
While some are trying to come up visions & announcing their future dreams to unify LAN & Storage and others are questioning FCoE technology readiness, Cisco is busy helping customers make tagible benefits of a Unified Data Center and FCoE a reality working with our eco-system of industry partners.
Continuing on this industry lead responsibly , tomorrow we are featuring one of our valued customer Derek Masseth, Sr Director of IT at University of Arizona to share his FCoE production deployment experience, lessons learned and the benefits he realized.
We will also be discussing our storage strategy, FCoE deployment best practices & roadmap to a truly Unified Data Center to address the current and future business challenges.
For our part, we have just posted a new white paper on FCoE Initialization Protocol, which was defined as part of FC-BB-5. FCoE Initialization Protocol supports many of the same functions as FIP in the Fibre Channel world (Fabric LOGIn, Fabric DISCovery, Exchange Link Parameters) in order to establish and maintain the virtual link between an FCoE End Node and an FCoE Forwarder (FCF) such as the Cisco Nexus 5000 that defines the edge of the fibre channel fabric. Amongst other things, that lets us build more sophisticated network topologies as we deploy an FCoE based unified fabric. Up to this point, End Nodes have had to be directly attached to the FCF; however, with FIP, you can have intermediate “passthrough” switches between the End Node and the FCF (as long as they meet certain criteria, laid out in the white paper). A quick example of where this might be helpful is a blade server chassis, where you might not want the cost and/or complexity of a full FCF in the chassis, but do want a switch that can serve as an FCoE passthrough to properly forward the FCoE traffic to an FCF.
Finally, its nice to hear from customers on the topic. To that end, Derek Masseth, Senior Director for Infrastructure Services at the University of Arizona, will be joining us on a webcast tomorrow to discuss his experiences with deploying unified fabric in his environment. The balance of the webcast will give you an update on some other goings on with storage as well as some new products on the horizon.
The Webcast is tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT. It can be accessed at http://tools.cisco.com/cmn/jsp/index.jsp?id=90342 (no registration required, just go to the URL at 10:00 a.m. PDT and select “Play” to launch the live presentation).