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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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Introducing MDS 9710 Multilayer Director and MDS 9250i Multiservice Switch – Raising the Bar for Storage Networks

The data center landscape has changed dramatically in several dimensions. Server virtualization is almost a defacto standard with a big increase in VM density. And there is a move towards world of many clouds.  Then there is the massive data growth. Some studies show that data is doubling in every 2 years while there is an increased adoption of solid-state drives (SSD).   All of these megatrends demand new solutions in the SAN market.  To meet these needs, Cisco’s introducing the next generation Storage Network innovations with the new MDS 9710 Multilayer Director and new MDS 9250i Multiservice Switch.  These new multi-protocol, services-rich MDS innovations redefine storage networking with superior performance, reliability and flexibility!

We are, once again, demonstrating Cisco’s extraordinary capability to bring to market innovations that meet our customer needs today and tomorrow.  

For example, with the new MDS solutions, we are announcing 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel (FC) and 10 Gigabit Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) support. But guess what? This is just couple of the many innovations we are introducing.  In other words, we bring 16 Gigabit FC and beyond to our customers:

A NEW BENCHMARK FOR PERFORMANCE

We design our solutions with future requirements in mind. We want to create long term value for our customers and investment protection moving forward.

The switching fabric in the MDS 9710 is one example of this design philosophy. The MDS 9710 chassis can accommodate up to six fabric cards delivering:

  • 1.536 Tbps per slot for Fibre Channel   – 24 Tbps per chassis capacity
  • Only 3 fabric cards are required to support full 16G line rate capacity
  • Supports up to 384 Line Rate 16G FC or 10G FCoE ports
  • So there is room for growth for higher throughput in the future …without forklift upgrades

This is more than three times the bandwidth of any Director in the market today – providing our customers with a superior investment protection for any future needs!

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Mega Trends are Reshaping Storage Area Networks. But Are You Ready?

The data center landscape has changed dramatically in several dimensions. Server virtualization is almost a defacto in our customers’ data centers with a big increase in VM density. They are also moving towards world of many clouds.  And then there is the massive data growth. Some studies show that data is doubling in every 2 years while there is an increase in the adoption of solid-state drives (SSD). Several of our customers are also either consolidating their data centers or forming mega data centers. All of these mega trends certainly come with increasing challenges for the Storage Administrator as the storage network is becoming more critical as it is the strategic asset in the Data Centers. 

Take a look at this short video with Richard Darnielle (Director of Product Management for MDS Product lines) and me. Richard shares his insights on the mega trends that will shape the next-generation storage networks.

Guess what? Once again Cisco is here to help you on your journey to addressing these mega trends by raising the bar for storage networks. How you ask?

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