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A new look at SAN Fabric Switching: Performance, Flexibility and VALUE

April 9, 2010 - 0 Comments

 In the past, SAN Fabric switches filled a particular niche, offering stripped-down functionality to serve basic connectivity needs, while only director-class products offered greater performance and flexibility. Pure connectivity solutions, without scalability and performance options, are not acceptable in those environments any more. 

“Performance and flexibility are two key aspects we look for in a SAN switch as we consolidate our storage infrastructure.   Full fabric features as well as high 8 Gbps per port performance of the MDS 9148 are ideal to accommodate our bandwidth intensive virtualized server environment.”  – Samnang In, IT Analyst, City of St Paul, MN

 With the introduction of Cisco MDS 9148 Fabric Switch, we’ve raised the bar for SAN Fabric solutions by providing a feature-rich, high performance (8-Gbps line rate) switch which scales non-disruptively in eight-port increments from 16 to 48 ports, all at an entry-level price point.  

The MDS 9148 offers similar value to director-class switches with enterprise features including VSANs, security, non-disruptive firmware updates, and NPV, providing mid-market customers with the versatility and capability needed to grow their businesses. 

Most importantly, not only does the “pay-as-you-grow” model reduce the initial investment, all advanced features continue to be delivered as part of Cisco’s standard SAN package, not as upgrades or separate licenses which add significant incremental costs to competitive solutions. 

To clarify, this Cisco solution is not only for mid-market customers.  Due to its redundancy (including dual power and dual fans), scalability and line rate performance, the MDS 9148 switch is an ideal candidate for deployment in top-of-rack architectures and departmental SANs at larger organizations as well.  The MDS 9148 is powered by NX-OS, a common OS that spans the MDS, Nexus and UCS 6100 families of products. Having a common OS among both storage and Ethernet switches decreases IT’s learning curve and enables greater staff flexibility in large IT organizations.

ESG tested our switch and validates our claims; the ESG Lab found that “the MDS 9148 is a rock-solid, feature-rich, 8-Gbps multilayer fabric switch that cost effectively delivers the benefits of SAN-attached connectivity to small- and medium-size businesses and enterprises looking for affordably powerful edge connectivity.” You can read their report here.

One of our partners in Europe, MTI, tested the MDS 9148 and found that that the VM optimization features in the MDS 9148 makes this an ideal platform of choice for Virtual Machine environments and is very easy to setup and manage. You can read the MTI test report here.

Tony Antony, Marketing Manager Data Center Solutions

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