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Automated Fabric Provisioning Using Cisco Prime DCNM

Do you have a need for automated provisioning of your data center? Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) might just provide that solution.

DCNM is designed to help you efficiently implement, visualize, and manage the Cisco Unified Fabric. The need today in the datacenter is for a comprehensive management platform that delivers visibility as well as control of all elements within the Unified Fabric which in turn significantly simplifies troubleshooting, maintenance and provisioning of the entire fabric in a fast and efficient way.Watch the video below to find out more.

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Storage Distance by Protocol – FC, FCoE, and FCIP, Part I

September 9, 2013 at 9:01 am PST

A long time ago I got asked to write about how to use Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) for distance. After all, we were getting the same question over and over:

What is the distance limitation for FCoE?

Now, the short answer for this can be checking out various data sheets for the Nexus 2000, Nexus 5500, Nexus 6000, Nexus 7000, or MDS 9X00 product lines. But it didn’t answer the most obvious follow-up questions: “Why?” and “How?”

Problem is, whenever you start talking about extending your storage connectivity over distance, there are many things to consider, including some things that many storage administrators (or architects) may not always remember to think about. The more I thought about this (and the longer it took to write down the answers), the more I realized that there needed to be a good explanation for how this worked.

Red_Propeller_Cap_clothing_icon_ID_407Generally speaking, the propeller spins the ‘other way’ when it comes to storage distance.

To that end, I began writing down the things that affect the choice for selecting a distance solution, which involves more than just a storage protocol. And so the story grew. And grew. And then grew some more. And if you’ve ever read any blogs I’ve written on the Cisco site you’ll know I’m not known for my brevity to begin with! So, bookmark this article as a reference instead of general “light reading,” and with luck things will be clearer than when we started. Read More »

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Ease of Troubleshooting : Meet Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director

June 13, 2013 at 7:00 am PST

End of April, Cisco introduced  the next generation Storage Network innovations with the new MDS 9710 Multilayer Director and new MDS 9250i Multiservice Switch (see Berna Devrim’s  blog ) . These solutions have been presented to the Storage Tech Field Day  (see blogs and videos below) , as well on the Cisco booth at different events  (ie EMC World) generating a lot of  comments  from bloggers and users. So I came back to the team of Cisco engineers  to know more  about these solutions -- Today I interviewed Bhavin  Yadav one of these fine engineers about the MDS 9710 .BhavinYadav

“Hi Bhavin . I heard a lot of comments  about troubleshooting , and the claim that it’s easy . Really? How can I achieve that? 

Haha . Welcome to the world of Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Directors, the easy to troubleshoot Multilayer Director Class platform in the storage area networking world! Isn’t it wonderful ? Who does not want that ? But let me first  remind you some fundamental facts before we come to any conclusion.

What are some of the reasons we have to troubleshoot?

1. Unknown human part – like wrong part replacement, playing around for fun (Are you serious? Yes, you can just pull the lever and get pull the module out like a piece of cake),
2. Technology changes –sudden traffic pattern change like unexpected data spikes, infrastructure changes like adding bunch of new virtual machines – new servers, using SSD based storage, exponential increase in data backups every night , deployment of new data centers, need of speedier networks, etc.
3. Unexpected infrastructure acts: sudden power loss, lost air cooling, burned out cables, failing hard drives – switches -- cables, etc.

So, the question comes out is – Okay, this is not something new, we deal with it everyday. Well, let me ask you this – while you work on above problems, does it impact your customers / clients? Does it impact (reduce) your available resources? Does it wake you up your staff at 2 am? But how about reducing these kinds of calls / engagements and also enhancing the customer experience? Yes, that’s what we are going to talk about.

Introducing Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director  Class SAN switch, along with Raising the bar for performance and new benchmarks on performance, reliability and flexibility, now also for troubleshooting.  Let’s see how it does this.

With MDS 9710, comes a newly refreshed hardware with new troubleshooting and monitoring tool: GOLD -- Generic Online Diagnostics. In this post, I want to talk about both, new hardware and GOLD.

MDS9710

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Data Center and Cloud @ Interop 2013

Interop 2013 took place last week in Las Vegas from May 6-10 and despite wireless connectivity at the Mandalay Bay being dreadful,  #Interop 2013 was very well received by customers, partners, and analysts. Our booth location was ideal, and we were situated in between Huawei and HP. This made for interesting conversations as attendees went from booth to booth looking for giveaways.

I wanted to share some of the highlights and buzz from the show. For a complete photo album, please visit our facebook channel

See Jacob Rapp and Robb Boyd discuss Unified Fabric trends in the Data Center

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New Multi-Layer Switching on TechWiseTV

May 9, 2013 at 10:44 am PST

As we prepared for this show working with the Cisco MDS (which I think stands for Multi-Layer Director Storage Switches), I thought it was fun that Nitin Garg, our top of show guest, was also our guest from a segment shot back in London. Nitin was foreshadowing upcoming announcments that he subsequrently revealed in today’s show.

Nitin Garg with Jimmy Ray Purser at Cisco Live London

Beyond the people you see on screen, this show was largely made possible by the hard work of Gabe Dixon. Gabe has worked with us on multiple topics over the years.
Gabe Dixon
Frankly, I don’t think he ages.

Watch the full show below…

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