On January 28, 2008, Cisco made headlines with the introduction of the market’s first Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Switch, the Nexus 5000. Cisco also reached out to ecosystem partners and demonstrated FCoE capabilities with them at various industry conferences.   When we introduced FCoE, we knew that it would revolutionize and transform the LAN/SAN connectivity landscape and lay the foundation for end-to end-convergence in the data center. A unified data center was possible for the first time. Flash forward seven years, and FCoE is now thriving, growing and is supported throughout the data center portfolio.

On May 21st 2015, Cisco introduced 40G FCoE support on Nexus 7000 / Nexus 7700. We continue to innovate and invest in FCoE and Storage Networking in general. Attend this Webinar on June 23rd to learn more.

FCoE Evolution. FCoE roadmap to success

For a while, Nexus 5K was the only platform that could support FCoE, and some of our progressive customers (like Coca Cola Bottling Company), who deployed FCoE with Nexus 5K, in the access layer immediately reaped the benefits of convergence (See below for FCoE customer references). Our customer feedback was that FCoE benefits were extremely tangible, but they wanted even more. Could Cisco extend FCoE beyond access layer? Could Cisco extend it to the core and to the storage array?

We have calculated an up to 50 percent energy saving, with commensurate reductions in cooling requirements. Overall our business case shows TCO falling by more than 40 percent,” says Ashi Sheth,  IT Director, American University of Sharjah

In order to support these requirements, in 2010 Cisco introduced new FCoE innovations, including multi-hop FCoE. Multi-hop FCoE enabled customers to deploy end to end FCoE and expand beyond access layer. Customers such as ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation, Boeing Case Study Adventist Health Systems and others, were able to reap the benefits of multi-hop FCoE (see below for list of FCoE customers)

Cisco continued to innovate on FCoE and currently FCoE is supported across all the Nexus (2K, 5K and 7K), MDS and UCS platforms, with a future roadmap for the Nexus 9K. Fast forward to May 21st 2015, – Cisco announced the support of 40G FCoE across the Nexus 7000 and Nexus 7700 family, along with support for Spine and Leaf architecture.  FCoE is growing, is in great demand and we are investing in it to support customer requirements.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts turned to the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®), Nexus® Data Center Switches, and innovative technologies such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to save money on power, cooling, cabling, and network infrastructure.

“Our tax payers work hard, and part of our goal to maximize efficiencies included maximizing funding to cut expenses and provide better service to our customers and citizens. Consolidating equipment and maintenance needs means employees can focus less on upkeep and more on developing innovative solutions for issues related to disaster recovery.” James Girardi, Manager of Enterprise Communications, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

FCoE is being rapidly adopted in the storage area networking (SAN) category as well.! Proof is in the customer adoption rate, customer case studies and the awards we received(IT Brand Pulse Award ). Cisco is technology agnostic and we keep on investing and innovating in multi-protocol SAN. We believe Fibre Channel will continue to exist, and it is not about FC or FCoE: it is about providing customer choices for their specific infrastructure needs. Strong support of FCoE across all data center platforms is a long term strategy to provide the right solutions to all customers, whether you are a small medium business, large enterprise or cloud provider.   Cisco provides all types of customers end to end server and storage connectivity, with a brand you can trust.

FCoE Customer adoption

About 30% of Cisco Nexus 5000 customers purchase switches with FCoE enabled. Customers include: government, information technology, healthcare, manufacturing, media, financial services, telcos, and service providers. Thousands of customers who deployed UCS also use FCoE internally to simplify storage connectivity and reduce cabling issues. FCoE has been stable and proven for over more than 7 years.

The Cisco solution, with its built-in Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) capability, will cut capital investment in the longer term, because Atlanta Technology will no longer need to purchase, deploy, and maintain as many cables and adapters. FCoE has also simplified the task of Atlanta’s engineers, by enabling them to carry out maintenance work more quickly because there are fewer cables to manage and identify.

“It’s made life easier because we rarely have to add or move cables now, and we can make changes much faster when necessary,” Mike Kelson, technical director, Atlanta Technology. “Not only that, the racks also look much neater and present a more professional appearance to any visiting customers or prospects.”

Check out the case study link below for a list of FCoE customers.

American University of Sharjah: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/aus_cs.pdf

AmWINS Group: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/amwins_casestudy.pdf

Adventist Health System:  http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/mds-ahs-fcoe-cs.pdf

Boeing:  http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/boeing.pdf

BMW –EMER: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/bmw_cs.pdf

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Builds Consolidated Data Center: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/cisco_cwm_casestudy.pdf

Texas University: http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/west_texas_am_university.pdf


University of Siegen:  http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/switches/catalyst-6500-series-switches/university_of_siegen_external_casestudy_fnl_01_30_13.pdf

NetApp:  http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/solutions/collateral/switches/catalyst-6500-series-switches/NetApp_external_casestudy_fnl_04_15_13.pdf

City of Hayward uses Unified Fabric technology to simplify network infrastructure and management.  A major differentiator of the Cisco Nexus 5548UP for the City was its universal port capabilities, handling either native Fiber Channel or Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) technology, which enabled the City to converge the data center infrastructure. At the same time, Cisco Nexus technology helped consolidate the compute and application network with the storage network through a switch with high port density, significantly reducing network complexity. Additionally, by implementing Nexus to connect the disparate array of dedicated servers and replace the older switching devices, the City of Hayward can substantially reduce its hardware and cabling requirements, producing significant cost savings.

By verticals :

Engineering:   Geometric Achieves Efficiency with VDI

Entertainment/Media:   Human Kinetics Optimizes Data Center, Improves Performance

Financial:  AmWINS Group Improves Scalability and Enhances Services

Government:      King County Creates Shared Infrastructure on FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud and Saves $700,000 Annually

Healthcare:  Health Insurance Company Improves Service and Cuts Cost

 Legal:  Legal Services Provider Improves Agility, Reduces Expenses (Case Study)

 Professional Services:    Case Study: Group Agrica Rises to Data Center Challenge

Service Provider:   HireRight Scales to Meet Real-Time Demand

Technology: Xerox: Process and Document Leader Improves Cloud Services Delivery

More Case studies: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/data-center-virtualization/dc_case_studies.html


Cisco is technology agnostic and supports all protocols; we believe Fibre Channel will be around for a long time to come, but we also see FCoE gaining ground rapidly because of its clear cost savings through reduction of cables, switches, adapters, and power cost savings.  Businesses are deploying FCoE rapidly because the technology is non-disruptive, improves green capabilities, and significantly reduces costs. It is not about FC or FCoE; it is about providing customer choice and options. Cisco continues to invest and innovate its FCoE solutions, and FCoE is thriving and growing!

For more info:  www.cisco.com/go/mds

Tony Antony
Sr Marketing Manager


Tony Antony