A new breed of applications and devices is evolving. Secure, reliable, flexible data access is essential for any Enterprise IT environment to succeed in their wake. In the case of remote work, for example, companies have found themselves moving from in-office to work-from-home policies, placing greater demands on the application, storage, and networking requirements. Implementing these changes seemingly overnight is no easy task, and the environment must remain flexible, agile, and reliable. Organizations are also faced with the fact that these changes could become permanent. An effective disaster recovery plan, built with end-to-end encryption and timely analysis of highly-distributed virtualized data, is critical for Enterprise IT agility and company success.

A History of MDS and Dell EMC Innovation

In late 2019, Cisco announced 64G capability for MDS 9700 Series directors. They are the industry’s first 64Gbps capable directors available in the market today. The non-disruptive upgrade of the existing MDS 9700 Series chassis prepares these directors for future speeds and feeds without incurring the huge investment required for new chassis. The SAN Analytics feature in these directors allows customers to address performance problems before it becomes critical. Customers have assured peace of mind as the new components include anti-counterfeit technology using Secure boot, ensuring Cisco-genuine hardware and software.

In 2018, Dell Technologies announced the powerful Dell EMC PowerMax storage array equipped with end-to-end NVMe. With the recent PowerMax enhancements, simplified management, seamless cloud mobility, and improved security are redefined to improve mission-critical workload performance needs.

PowerMax combined with Cisco MDS 9000 Series switches are pushing the limits for scalability, flexibility to provide the unmatched infrastructure required to create a resilient and agile Enterprise IT environment.

Solution Advantages

When designing new infrastructure for your organization’s storage environment, it’s important to keep some key requirements in mind:

  1. Flexibility to scale from 8-port to 768-port
  2. Multi-speed and multi-protocol support
  3. Security to support end-to-end encryption
  4. Deep packet visibility to ensure storage arrays are running with optimal efficiency

The advantages of having a Cisco MDS 9000 series switches paired with Dell EMC PowerMax storage array can bring in:

  • Cloud mobility: Cisco MDS 9000 series switches seamlessly integrate with Dell EMC PowerMax to provide cloud infrastructure- public, private, and hybrid in a flexible POD like environment.
  • Flexibility: Moving from a hardware-based virtualization approach to application-centric, customers can deploy PowerMax SRDF/A replication for automated VM movements non-disruptively in a long-distance environment using Cisco MDS 9000 Series switches.
  • Security: While providing an anti-counterfeit security approach, the efficient, dedupe compression by PowerMax provides unmatched security with end-to-end data encryption from the host to storage media.
Cisco MDS 9000 series SAN switches: Deep pack visibility, built-in security, multi-protocol flexibility, higher scalability with proven reliability

The Partnership

The Cisco and Dell Technologies partnership span more than 17 years. Dell Technologies sells and services Cisco MDS products under the Dell EMC Connectrix brand.  Dell EMC is a SAN storage market leader, while Cisco leads the SAN market with innovation and investment protection. Through strong executive alignment, these companies continue to deliver solutions with integration at every level by identifying and mitigating challenges from the protocol to the application level.  Joint solutions like VxBlock are just one example of this growing partnership.

In Summary

Network demands for remote work have shifted from on-site to at-home, from rigid in-company network environments to flexible and agile network environments. The combination of PowerMax with Cisco MDS 9000 Series switches will surpass the demands of the new environment, with a next-generation solution providing agility, flexibility, reliability, and scalability.

Learn more about Cisco Storage Networking solutions.

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Bhavin Yadav

Technical Leader

Data Center SAN Switching