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Cisco Storage Networking Innovations to support high data growth and scale

The SAN Also Rises: Cisco Delivers Storage Networking Innovations to Support High Data Growth, Scale and programmability.

New user demands and shifting application requirements impose higher demands on data center, cloud and storage infrastructure, requiring a transformative new approach that is simpler, more agile, high performance and cost-effective. To help customers grow, consolidate, converge and to adapt to changing business needs, Cisco is announcing new additions and innovations to its Cisco MDS, UCS and Nexus portfolios. The latest Cisco innovations include:

  1. Cisco MDS 9718 Director – The industry’s highest port density SAN Director (aka “The Beast”)scales up to 768 ports of 16G FC. Cisco MDS 9718 is also Industry’s first 32G-ready SAN Director and Industry’s first SAN Director to support native REST API calls directly to the switch.
  2. New 40G FCoE Module for MDS 9700 -Customers can now upgrade their SAN fabric between access and core to 40G speeds; Industry’s fastest interconnect speed for SAN Inter Switch Links (ISL). For FC customers 40G ISLs’ are very efficient providing 194% higher bandwidth compared to 16G FC and 47% higher bandwidth compared to 32G FC ISL.
  3. Nexus 5672UP-16G – Offering FC, FCoE and Ethernet convergence from a single platform, and the complementary Nexus 2348UPQ Fabric Extender, with support for Fibre Channel (FC) along with multiprotocol storage and LAN connectivity. Nexus 2348UPQ bring FEX capability to FC SANs.
  4. The Unified Computing System (UCS) Fabric Interconnect 6300 Series features two new 1RU 40G/16G FC switches and a new 40G/16G FC Fabric Extender. The new Fabric Interconnect enables 40G FCoE, and 16Gb FC to further bandwidth capacity and provide low latency and lossless fabric, with dramatic performance improvements
  5. Programmability: Latest REST API implementation of Cisco NX-OS allowing programmatic access to MDS, aiding simpler scripting and more effective programming.

To learn more, Please attend the webinar on Feb 23rd 8:00 PST – Register now.

A special thanks to all our partners for their support and participation to make the launch successful. Cisco’s MDS product line is supported and sold by authorized original storage manufacturers (OSM).  We are very pleased that all of our partners are looking forward for the arrival of the new high density MDS 9718 Director along with the other innovations. Cisco is also working closely with Flash Storage partners to bring customers better efficiency and flexibility and built a network that last for the next decade.  High performance SAN and Flash Storage Arrays are match made in heaven; Our Flash Storage partners are equally excited about the introduction of new MDS 9718, providing real value to our customers.

Global customers are also embracing Cisco’s new Storage Networking developments.  For example, China Guangfa Bank, which has 37 branches and more than 700 Business outlets across 76 cities in China, has used the high performing Cisco MDS 9513 Directors for the past 7 years.   With rapidly growing data requirements, and a current storage capacity exceeding 2.4 PB, the new MDS 9718 will help them meet growing customer demands.

Krones,  the market leader in the bottling and packaging industry, services customers worldwide through three data centers hosting over 1000 Virtual Machines that support more than 4.8 TB of data..   Krones currently uses the MDS 9700s to aggregate links and optimize bandwidth utilization as they scale, and is looking forward to implementing Cisco Data Center Network Manager for better visibility and scalability in their data centers

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Introducing the Cisco Nexus 5600

What is the new Nexus 5600?

We at Cisco are really excited to introduce the new Cisco Nexus 5600 platform! It is the third generation of industry’s leading Data Center Server-Access Nexus 5000 series of switches. Cisco Nexus 5600 is the successor of industry’s most widely adopted Cisco Nexus 5500 series switches (with over 20,000 customers and 25 million ports shipped)  that maintain all the existing Nexus 5500 features such as LAN/SAN convergence, Fabric Extenders (FEX) and Fabric Path.

The new Nexus 5600 was unveiled at CiscoLive Milan in January 2014 with quite a bit of interest


Nuts and Bolts

We are introducing 2 models under the 5600 platform:

Cisco Nexus 5672UP – A 1 RU 10/40G Ethernet switch offering wire-speed performance for up to 48 10G Ethernet ports (16 of which are Unified Ports) and 6 true 40G ports.

Cisco Nexus 56128P – A 2 RU 10/40G Ethernet switch offering wire-speed performance for up to 96 10G Ethernet ports (48 of which are Unified Ports) and 8 true 40G ports..

In addition to the existing features of the Nexus 5000, 5600 platform brings new features such as True 40 GE support, VXLAN bridging and routing and Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) innovation. With a latency of about 1 µsec, the 5600 platform is ideal for applications which need low latency. For those of you who need network programmability, the Nexus 5600 supports Cisco OnePK and Openflow.

 Why these new features matter

 Extensibility with VXLAN support

The Cisco Nexus 5600 with its VXLAN support is very well suited for multi-tenant cloud deployments. In large scale, multi-tenant cloud deployments, there is a need for VMs to migrate across layer-3 boundaries. Traditional VLANs only support about 4000 VLANs which are insufficient in the deployments of thousands of VMs. With the migration need across layer-3 boundaries complexities of layer-3 routers are introduced. To solve the scalability as well as the migration issues VXLAN was developed. For more details on VXLAN, watch the video:

Ease of management with Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA)

 Our customers are also faced with complex, manual network configurations and have a hard time keeping up with application requirements. To solve these challenges, Cisco has developed an architecture called Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) which simplifies management and automation – such as automatic device and fabric configuration, automatic VM deployment, migration and seamless integration of bare-metal and virtualized resources in the data center. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform with DFA implemented in the hardware as well as software is ideal for the multi-tenant and mixed (physical and virtual) cloud infrastructure.

For more information on DFA, please visit:

True 40G support

 The difference between a 40G and True 40G port is that you can push an entire 40G flow in the True 40G port and in the normal 40G port, the port really is divided into 4 10G ports via Etherchannels, Thus in the True 40G, you get full 40G bandwidth. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform switches has True 40G ports, which help in servicing the full 40G flows.

The Big Picture

Cisco has one of the most comprehensive portfolios for the Data Center and Cloud Networking and this Nexus 5600 platform is but one of the pieces of this portfolio. You may want to read this excellent blog,   which explains Cisco’s Data Center and Cloud Networking portfolio.

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