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Cisco Storage Networking Innovations to support high data growth and scale

The SAN Also Rises: Cisco Delivers Storage Networking Innovations to Support High Data Growth, Scale and programmability.

New user demands and shifting application requirements impose higher demands on data center, cloud and storage infrastructure, requiring a transformative new approach that is simpler, more agile, high performance and cost-effective. To help customers grow, consolidate, converge and to adapt to changing business needs, Cisco is announcing new additions and innovations to its Cisco MDS, UCS and Nexus portfolios. The latest Cisco innovations include:

  1. Cisco MDS 9718 Director – The industry’s highest port density SAN Director (aka “The Beast”)scales up to 768 ports of 16G FC. Cisco MDS 9718 is also Industry’s first 32G-ready SAN Director and Industry’s first SAN Director to support native REST API calls directly to the switch.
  2. New 40G FCoE Module for MDS 9700 -Customers can now upgrade their SAN fabric between access and core to 40G speeds; Industry’s fastest interconnect speed for SAN Inter Switch Links (ISL). For FC customers 40G ISLs’ are very efficient providing 194% higher bandwidth compared to 16G FC and 47% higher bandwidth compared to 32G FC ISL.
  3. Nexus 5672UP-16G – Offering FC, FCoE and Ethernet convergence from a single platform, and the complementary Nexus 2348UPQ Fabric Extender, with support for Fibre Channel (FC) along with multiprotocol storage and LAN connectivity. Nexus 2348UPQ bring FEX capability to FC SANs.
  4. The Unified Computing System (UCS) Fabric Interconnect 6300 Series features two new 1RU 40G/16G FC switches and a new 40G/16G FC Fabric Extender. The new Fabric Interconnect enables 40G FCoE, and 16Gb FC to further bandwidth capacity and provide low latency and lossless fabric, with dramatic performance improvements
  5. Programmability: Latest REST API implementation of Cisco NX-OS allowing programmatic access to MDS, aiding simpler scripting and more effective programming.

To learn more, Please attend the webinar on Feb 23rd 8:00 PST – Register now.

A special thanks to all our partners for their support and participation to make the launch successful. Cisco’s MDS product line is supported and sold by authorized original storage manufacturers (OSM).  We are very pleased that all of our partners are looking forward for the arrival of the new high density MDS 9718 Director along with the other innovations. Cisco is also working closely with Flash Storage partners to bring customers better efficiency and flexibility and built a network that last for the next decade.  High performance SAN and Flash Storage Arrays are match made in heaven; Our Flash Storage partners are equally excited about the introduction of new MDS 9718, providing real value to our customers.

Global customers are also embracing Cisco’s new Storage Networking developments.  For example, China Guangfa Bank, which has 37 branches and more than 700 Business outlets across 76 cities in China, has used the high performing Cisco MDS 9513 Directors for the past 7 years.   With rapidly growing data requirements, and a current storage capacity exceeding 2.4 PB, the new MDS 9718 will help them meet growing customer demands.

Krones,  the market leader in the bottling and packaging industry, services customers worldwide through three data centers hosting over 1000 Virtual Machines that support more than 4.8 TB of data..   Krones currently uses the MDS 9700s to aggregate links and optimize bandwidth utilization as they scale, and is looking forward to implementing Cisco Data Center Network Manager for better visibility and scalability in their data centers

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New VersaStack™ optimized for distributed workloads

It has been said that data is the new oil. Given the price of crude today, the metaphor seems to fit in that there is just too much data in the world, to the point we have no idea what to do with all of it. The data glut is driven by the sheer number of data-producing devices in use today due to factors such as Internet of Things, distributed application architectures, and as-a-service consumption models of the cloud.VersaSTACK

The burden of managing all these devices and data is falling squarely in the heart of the data center, disruptively so. The urgency to modernize data center architectures and infrastructures has never been arguably stronger. Specifically, it requires data center to support higher VM densities, more powerful computational processing, a highly responsive and intelligent network, as well as a high-performance data storage foundation that form tightly integration solutions that can be rapidly deployed and provisioned at the speed of business.

Cisco and IBM took on these challenges head-on when they collaborated to launch the VersaStack™, a next-generation, converged infrastructure that combines the innovation of the Cisco UCS Servers , Nexus Switches and the IBM Storwize 7000 Storage solutions. The initial VersaStack Cisco Validated Design (CVD) solution was designed to address the on-premise data center use cases wherein the UCS servers scaled dynamically up to 160 servers and the Storwize 7000 array scaling up to multiple petabytes of storage. It quickly became the blueprint for cloud-ready enterprise data centers that needed exponential scale for the next decade.

Cisco and IBM followed this success up by adding the next solution – VersaStack for private cloud build-outs to address the needs for the XaaS market. This solution combined Cisco UCS servers, Cisco UCS Director, Cisco Nexus® 9000, and IBM® Storwize V7000 Unified system into a single highly automated and scalable system.

Fast forward one year to today, VersaStack solutions now extend from the on-premise data centers and private cloud solutions to a scale out architecture to address the needs of the distributed data and application use-cases. This comes in the form of two additional VersaStack solutions that have been added to thereby enable VersaStack solutions to address the modern distributed workloads—within and across multiple data centers. This newest solution is based on Cisco UCS Servers and IBM FlashSystem V9000 running vSphere 5.5, and seamlessly handles mission-critical, I/O-bound workloads.

In addition, Cisco and IBM are addressing the requirements of smaller IT environments for medium-sized businesses, branch offices and retail stores. For these organization, we offered a VersaStack solution based on Cisco UCS Mini Servers and IBM Storwize V5000 array running vSphere 5.5, optimized for remote office/branch office that:

  1. Monitors and manages the infrastructure remotely from a single management point
  2. Requires a much smaller footprint
  3. Offers new levels of RAS (service profiles to move a server image quickly) to give new levels of geographic RAS to the ROBO use case. For example, a failed server can be replaced automatically within minutes, not days.

UCS MANAGEMENT

 

The advantages of having a single UCS management interface regardless of location include : being able to spin up new VMs 85% faster1 and reducing cabling complexity 75%2 than legacy data center management methods.

A quote from IT industry analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) validates the benefits of the single-pane-of-glass UCS solution:

VersaStack offers a vast improvement. It is a converged infrastructure solution that uses some of the most well-known and proven server, storage, and networking solutions in the industry. Pools of compute, network, and storage resources can be shared among many applications and reclaimed when not in use, driving utilization up and costs down. Pre-integrated and pretested, VersaStack saves IT from having to purchase the components individually, test them for interoperability, integrate them manually, and then test, refine, re-test, and finally deploy. Handling all this manually steals valuable time away from IT and application users, and will not provide the agility and flexibility that organizations demand. The same goes for ongoing management. VersaStack enables IT to manage all resources from a single pane of glass, and offers end-user self-service, saving organizations time and money.”1

In other words, enterprise data is more distributed than ever before and compounded with its exponential growth and ubiquity presents new demands on IT infrastructure. To manage this growth, enterprise IT teams have to operate far more efficiently, to do more with less and always faster. In this respect, perhaps the data is oil metaphor falls short. Unlike oil, the production of which can be manipulated downward, the data glut streams inexorably forward toward the Zettabyte Era and beyond. In the face of this daunting onslaught, Cisco and IBM teamed to produce the highly versatile and adaptable VersaStack that will serve as the converged infrastructure blueprint for the next decade. This is the kind of synergy that OPEC members can only dream about these days.

[1] ESG Lab Validation Report: VersaStack Converged Infrastructure from Cisco and IBM, December 2015
[2] VersaStack Customer Validation

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Cisco ACI: Overcoming the ‘Stack Fallacy’

There’s a new buzz phrase making the rounds recently around the concept of the “stack fallacy,” with the premise being that market leaders in any industry are well adept at going “down the stack” in terms of innovation but constantly struggle to stave off more nimble upstarts who are creating disruption in the layers above. The underlying factor, according to the source of this theory, is companies focusing too much on the tools they need to build and not enough on solving the evolving needs of their customers.unleashingit

As the undisputed leader in networking infrastructure for decades, Cisco is now faced with this innovator’s dilemma with the emergence of SDN, or software-defined networking, which has spawned countless wannabes hoping to redefine how enterprise networks should be built. But as evidenced by the progress Cisco has made from vision to reality with the Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI), it is clear that Cisco is succeeding in every measure in overcoming the stack fallacy challenges.

Cisco introduced the ACI a little over a year ago. Since then more than 1000 customers have already deployed the groundbreaking SDN architecture as part of their application deployment and management processes. We believe the key success factor has been our ability to build the ACI ground-up on the fundamental understanding that that today’s enterprises must do a lot more with a lot less, and do it a lot faster.

Cisco incorporated this design principle into the original ACI architecture and has constantly evolved it with customer-driven features and capabilities such as:

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From desktop to Data Center…changing the game with graphics

What if you were able to give everyone in your organization the flexibility and freedom to securely work anywhere in the world and on any device? What types of productivity gains would your company see as a result? What efficiencies or cost savings might your IT department receive from moving desktops to your datacenter and managing these virtual workstations through one single pane of glass?

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Our Cisco UCS team is excited to present the new Maxwell generation NVIDIA Tesla M6 GPU for the Cisco UCS B200M4 Blade and the NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPU for Cisco 2U Rack Rack Servers. Cisco and NVIDIA have joined forces to deliver this new graphics solution.  Combining security, reliability and manageability from Cisco UCS and adding NVIDIA’s GRID technology, we’re able to deliver performance and speed needed to run high-end applications on virtual desktops. What’s better is that you have two form factor options to fit your organization’s’ data center footprint. 

The M60 Rack GPU is supported with UCS Manager 3.1(1) and later & Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC) 2.0(9) and later; the M6 Blade GPU is supported with both UCS Manager 3.1(1) and 2.2(7) and later.

 

With Cisco UCS & NVIDIA GRID, you can now expand your virtualization footprint without compromising performance or user experience while also increasing security. This means, you can empower your workforce to create anything around the world, from any location with the ease and flexibility.

 

The new Cisco & NVIDIA M6 Blade GPU solution is fully integrated with the flagship B200M4 Server, supporting all CPU configurations and performance on par with NVIDIA K2 GPU, at less than half the power profile!  With two of the M60 GPU’s on Cisco UCS C240M4, you can now enable high density NVIDIA Tesla Compute and GRID 2.0 VDI user consolidation, which is over 8,000 CUDA cores & 32GB of GPU memory for up to 64 GPU-accelerated virtual desktop users.
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This is especially exciting for organizations in the Oil and Gas, Manufacturing and Design industries since historically, this type of work demanded high-end applications like ESRI, AutoCAD, Petrel and Siemens to be used in on-site with workstations. But now, these types of applications can be powered virtually through your data center to any device.

Take an airplane manufacturer for example. With a follow-the-sun working model, this organization can now empower its employees to design from anywhere in the world with the device they prefer, while all working on the same application in real-time. This helps the company save time, money and fuels rapid innovation. Last but not least, this is all done while maintaining security for the organization.

Empower your employees to create flexibly, securely and from any device and any location in the world. Now possible with Cisco UCS & NVIDIA GRID.   

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Productivity, mobility, security, and flexibility for all. This changes everything.

Learn how others are transforming their data centers with Cisco UCS.

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The Journey to DevOps and Composable Infrastructure

The rate of change is accelerating in IT. The need to provide your enterprise with a competitive advantage and to leverage new technologies is driving the need for rapid change and constant improvement. IT organizations must deliver new business services consisting of new and enhanced applications faster while ensuring SLAs. This environment of frequent and rapid change is what analysts refer to as Mode 2. It requires adopting business practices where development and IT operations work more closely together and more processes are automated. These forces are driving the growing requirement for DevOps and composable infrastructure.

Speed of ChangeAfter watching the videos and reading the press reports from the recent HPE Synergy announcement, you’d think that transitioning to a DevOps and implementing composable infrastructure just requires purchasing the new hardware and launching HPE OneView. Some good marketing, but DevOps is a methodology, not a system. It is an ongoing journey of continuous improvement as well as continuous delivery. Adapting to a faster rate of change requires enhancing processes, better communication and tighter integration of tools as well as some new technology.

You can embrace the speed of change while minimizing the disruption and risk. We’ve developed a new brief that explains how you can make the transition to DevOps and composable infrastructure easier using your existing UCS systems, UCS management software and operations management tools.

Download the brief to learn more.

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