As customers continue to look for points of differentiation in their markets, the Storage Area Network (SAN) continues to play a vital role in enabling businesses to adopt new technologies and applications to help them grow.  To provide the highest reliability, scalability, and performance, organizations have traditionally deployed Fibre Channel (FC) storage networks and many will continue to do so.   FC is still a  preferred choice for enterprises (large and small), and the market transition from 4/8 G to 16 G is the best proof that the FC market is still strong.   Ethernet-based Storage solutions are also gaining mindshare and some of our customers desiring a unified data center fabric use Ethernet-based Storage protocols to reap the benefit of convergence.

We are sometimes asked about how Cisco MDS products will support the latest generation of storage technology on the market, namely flash.   Industry influencers have asked us if SAN technology will continue to be relevant as these newer memory technologies gain market share.  Can SAN technology cope with the increased performance and workload consolidation enabled by flash-based arrays?

Our answer is a resounding “Yes”: SAN solutions are here to stay.  No matter the underlying storage components, it is still very important for customers to be able to manage enterprise-level storage requirements centrally, and to optimize storage delivery.   Cisco is committed to working with third-parties to ensure that our MDS SAN technology interoperates with leading edge storage technology, and we have certification programs in place to ensure smooth deployments for customers.

The most recent example of this industry collaboration is with Nimble. To support varying storage requirements, Nimble on Nov 18th announced its support for FC SAN on their Adaptive Flash platform; now customers have the choice of  iSCSI Ethernet-based storage or FC. Unique application requirements lead to application specific infrastructure needs and Cisco, along with Nimble, provide over 450 joint customers with differentiated solutions tailored to address customer needs.

Highlights of  announcement

  1. Nimble CS300, CS500 and CS700 series arrays offer both iSCSI and FC protocol support
  2. Nimble completed a beta program with more than 40 enterprises; Customers have purchased and deployed FC arrays in production environments.
  3. Introduced  expanded capacity providing ability to scale non-disruptively up to 1.5 PB of raw capacity and up to 128TB of flash per cluster

Why Nimble + Cisco MDS solution?

  • Nimble Storage  SmartStack is part of Cisco’s Integrated Infrastructure solutions portfolio
  • Both companies are focused on customer choice in storage protocols
  • Joint  collaboration to assure customers of compatibility and support for their deployments
  • Allows enterprise customers with FC investments to deploy the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform in their environment

Cisco Storage Ecosystem

Cisco MDS is an open , flexible and standards based platform,  integrates well with a wide variety of storage systems including Nimble. Cisco along with its partners enable customers to realize the full value of IT investments faster.

Cisco and our Partners help to:

  • Develop a cost effective strategy
  • Speed time to Market
  • Reduce deployment costs
  • Maintain availability during deployment and migration
  • Improve performance, availability, resiliency
  • Mitigate risk

Bottom Line

To provide highest reliability, scalability, and performance, organizations have traditionally deployed Fibre Channel storage networks.   Nimble with this announcement, provide enterprise customers with more options  – customers can now deploy Ethernet based  or FC based storage, based on their storage requirements.

Cisco provides an Open, Flexible and Standards based platform and integrates well with Nimble and other FC and Ethernet based storage systems.

For more info:

Tony Antony
Sr Marketing Manager



Tony Antony