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Load Balancing with Dynamic FCoE

July 8, 2014 at 6:00 am PST

It may sound strange to hear me say it, but when I wrote the previous blog post about Dynamic FCoE I thought that it may get a little blip of attention and then filed away as a “oh, that is cool” little factoid about Cisco’s storage portfolio. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been so nonchalant, but I confess I was not expecting the number of questions that I (and other speakers at CiscoLive back in May) have been getting about the technology.

Many questions – including some in the comments of the previous blog – have indicated a strong desire to know more, and they have been excellent and well-thought out. I’m going to try to address some of them in a deeper dive blog whenever I can, in the hopes of being able to address some of the concerns and clarify some points.

switch goes downWe’ll start with one of the biggest concerns – sharing the spine layer for logical separation of SAN A/B, and what happens if one of the spine switches (nodes) go offline. Read More »

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Cisco Live US 2014 : Looking Forward to Great Sessions on Storage Networking (FC and FCoE)

April 23, 2014 at 7:00 am PST

Cisco Live 2014 is fast approaching in few weeks from now.
This is an important year for Cisco Live as well as Fibre Channel (FC) along with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) family of products. For Cisco Live : it is celebrating 25th anniversary on its home ground – Bay area, San Francisco. For Storage Market, Next Generation MDS product family lineup with 16G linerate FC and 10G FCoE support has renewed the energy in SAN industry with large customers building Green field Datacenters using new 16G FC and 10G multihop FCoE. This year has seen lot more traction on multihop FCoE; new set of customers now include Aerospace, Financial and Technology solution companies.
More details can be found here under Case studies.

BhavinyadavI asked Bhavin Yadav, from the engineering team, to bring his technical  expertise and knowledge of the customer’s needs  to help us create a catalog of the sessions you don’t want to miss at Cisco Live San Francisco .

“This year at Cisco Live, we have lot more focus and sessions on both SAN technologies -- Fibre Channel (FC) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Once the registration is finished, you can subscribe to the sessions and put it on your calendar as well. The Cisco Live Smart Mobile apps launching on April 28th will also help us drive to the right session using our smart phones.
In April 2013, a little while before last year’s Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando, Storage business unit of Cisco released its next Generation Fibre Channel Director class switch MDS 9710 and Multiservice Fabric Switch platform MDS 9250i. By now, most of us know that MDS 9710 is designed to support 16G linerate FC and 10G FCoE using its FC and FCoE Linecard modules. MDS 9250i is a 2 RU switch that gives us all the flexibility we need in terms of multi-protocol support, whether it is FC / FCoE / FCIP or ISCSI. MDS 9250i has 16G FC Line rate ports with 10G FCoE, 2 x 10G FCIP ports along with iSCSI support as well. This is like a Swiss army knife – you can use it anywhere (backups, storage migration, etc.) for any of the mostly used protocols (FC, FCoE, FCIP, ISCSI) in Fibre channel industry.

This year, we are bringing in more than 20 sessions to the storage track in various flavors, ranging from Learning Storage Fundamentals, Design, Deployment, Operation, Troubleshooting, Best Practice, Migration, etc. Let me highlight some of the important sessions for Storage experts. This will help you quickly identify, reserve your spot and get most out of the Cisco Live 2014 for storage focused technology experts.

Storage specific sessions:

BRKARC-1222 - Cisco MDS9000: expanding the family:
This session presents detailed analyses of the new members of the market leading MDS 9000 family, demonstrating their performance, reliability and flexibility. Topics include architectural design and enhanced capabilities of Cisco MDS 9710 and MDS 9250i, their typical use cases and interoperability with the other MDS 9000 family members as well as Nexus switches. This session is designed for storage engineers involved in FC and FCoE network design and Data Centre storage architecture. An understanding of FC switching technologies and FCoE benefits is assumed.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Adarsh Viswanathan

BRKSAN-2282 - Operational Models for FCoE Deployments -- Best Practices and Examples:
Converging SAN and LAN traffic onto common infrastructure enables customers to realize significant cost efficiencies through reducing power consumption, cooling costs, adapters, cables, and switches. FCoE/Unified I/O also provides additional flexibility through a wire-once model that allows ubiquitous access to block storage from all servers.. This session will help customers determine the FCoE operational model for their organization to successfully share a Converged Network between LAN and SAN teams. Best practices, case studies, and configuration examples will be provided, based on experiences with Cisco customers who have successfully implemented FCoE. The session covers operational management for FCoE deployments on Nexus 5000, Nexus 6000, Nexus 7000, Nexus 7700 and MDS.

90 min Technical Breakout -- Presented by Jason Walker and Santiago Freitas

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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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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – April 26, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.

Off The Top

Cisco Marketing Velocity wrapped up late last week with a call-to-action from Sherri Liebo, vice president, global partner marketing. In Cannes, Sherri urged partners to consider WISDOM – “what I say and do differently on Monday” – as they use Velocity takeaways to plan, build and run their revenue marketing strategies. Sherri also stopped by the Channels blog to offer a sneak peek of what’s in store for Cisco global partner marketing in the coming months, including top priorities for growth.

If you missed out on the Marketing Velocity action, fear not – we’ll be providing details about replays and archived content over the next few weeks, and you can also check out our various recaps and the Cisco Marketing Velocity YouTube playlist.

Several analysts and members of the press were also in attendance in Cannes; CRN’s Kristin Bent recapped key messages and also posted some snazzy scenes from Marketing Velocity, and Forrester’s Peter O’Neill offered tidbits and takeaways on his blog.

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Introducing MDS 9710 and 9250i – Raising the bar on Storage Networking

Key requirements shaping Storage Networks

With Big Data, trends like Internet of Everything hitting the data center and cloud, it is an exciting time for storage networking. These trends serve as market drivers with requirements for higher bandwidth, zero downtime coupled with some top careabouts like multi-protocol storage connectivity, ease of management, fast disaster recovery, low latency at scale etc.

MDS1

 

 

 

 

New Cisco Innovations

Cisco has been a strong innovator and leader in this market, and it is time to raise the bar yet again.

Today, we introduce two new storage area networking (SAN) switches to the MDS storage networking family – the Cisco MDS 9710 Multi-layer Director and the Cisco MDS 9250i Multi-Service switch. 

 

MDS2

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