Note: This is the first of a three-part series on Next Generation Data Center Design with MDS 9700; learn how customers can deploy scalable SAN networks that allow them to Scale Up or Scale Out in a non disruptive way.  Part 2 | Part 3 ]

High Speed (16Gbps) and High Capacity (384 Line Rate ports per Chassis)

Data centers are undergoing a major transition to meet higher performance, scalability, and resiliency requirements with fewer resources, smaller footprint, and simplified designs. These rigorous requirements coupled with major data center trends, such as virtualization, data center consolidation  and data growth, are putting a tremendous amount of strain on the existing infrastructure and adding complexity. MDS 9710 is designed to surpass these requirements without a forklift upgrade for the decade ahead.

MDS 9700 provides unprecedented

  • Performance – 24 Tbps Switching capacity
  • Reliability – Redundancy for every critical component in the chassis including Fabric Card
  • Flexibility – Speed, Protocol, DC Architecture

In addition to these unique capabilities MDS 9710 provides the rich feature set and investment protection to customers.

In this series of blogs I plan to focus on design requirements of the next generation DC with MDS 9710.  We will review one aspect of the DC design requirements in each.  Let us look at performance today. A lot of customers how MDS 9710 delivers highest performance today. The performance that application delivers depend

  • Throughput

  • Latency

  • Consistency

No Local Switching

Switching infrastructure should provide line rate, non-blocking, high speed throughput to effectively power applications like VDI, High Performance Computing, High Frequency Trading, Big Data among others.  Crutches like local switching, per port bandwidth allocation and oversubscription result in inflexible and complex design that breaks down every few years resulting in fork lift upgrades or running the DC design at sub-par performance levels.

Applications need both high through put and consistent latency. The switching latency is usually orders of magnitude less than that of the rest of the components in the data path. Thus the performance that applications can deliver is based on the end to end latency of the data path.

For both throughput and latency the most important factor that is often overlooked is consistency. Throughput and low latency should be consistent and independent of switching traffic profiles, network connectivity and traffic load .

Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director


MDS 9700 allows for high performance DC design with

  • 3X the performance of any director class switch
  • Line Rate, Non Blocking Performance without limitations
  • Consistent throughput and latency


Key Cisco innovations like Central Arbiter, Crossbar, Virtual Output Queues enable the consistent low latency and high throughput independent of the traffic profile or load on the chassis. Performance without high availability or data reliability is not good throughput. Let’s go through these features of MDS 9700 in the next discussion.

For more info about MDS-9700 you can listen to the following Webinar .

-Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change (Tom Peters)



Tony Antony