Cisco Live 2014 is fast approaching in few weeks from now.
This is an important year for Cisco Live as well as Fibre Channel (FC) along with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) family of products. For Cisco Live : it is celebrating 25th anniversary on its home ground – Bay area, San Francisco. For Storage Market, Next Generation MDS product family lineup with 16G linerate FC and 10G FCoE support has renewed the energy in SAN industry with large customers building Green field Datacenters using new 16G FC and 10G multihop FCoE. This year has seen lot more traction on multihop FCoE; new set of customers now include Aerospace, Financial and Technology solution companies.
More details can be found here under Case studies.

BhavinyadavI asked Bhavin Yadav, from the engineering team, to bring his technical  expertise and knowledge of the customer’s needs  to help us create a catalog of the sessions you don’t want to miss at Cisco Live San Francisco .

“This year at Cisco Live, we have lot more focus and sessions on both SAN technologies – Fibre Channel (FC) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Once the registration is finished, you can subscribe to the sessions and put it on your calendar as well. The Cisco Live Smart Mobile apps launching on April 28th will also help us drive to the right session using our smart phones.
In April 2013, a little while before last year’s Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando, Storage business unit of Cisco released its next Generation Fibre Channel Director class switch MDS 9710 and Multiservice Fabric Switch platform MDS 9250i. By now, most of us know that MDS 9710 is designed to support 16G linerate FC and 10G FCoE using its FC and FCoE Linecard modules. MDS 9250i is a 2 RU switch that gives us all the flexibility we need in terms of multi-protocol support, whether it is FC / FCoE / FCIP or ISCSI. MDS 9250i has 16G FC Line rate ports with 10G FCoE, 2 x 10G FCIP ports along with iSCSI support as well. This is like a Swiss army knife – you can use it anywhere (backups, storage migration, etc.) for any of the mostly used protocols (FC, FCoE, FCIP, ISCSI) in Fibre channel industry.

This year, we are bringing in more than 20 sessions to the storage track in various flavors, ranging from Learning Storage Fundamentals, Design, Deployment, Operation, Troubleshooting, Best Practice, Migration, etc. Let me highlight some of the important sessions for Storage experts. This will help you quickly identify, reserve your spot and get most out of the Cisco Live 2014 for storage focused technology experts.

Storage specific sessions:

BRKARC-1222 – Cisco MDS9000: expanding the family:
This session presents detailed analyses of the new members of the market leading MDS 9000 family, demonstrating their performance, reliability and flexibility. Topics include architectural design and enhanced capabilities of Cisco MDS 9710 and MDS 9250i, their typical use cases and interoperability with the other MDS 9000 family members as well as Nexus switches. This session is designed for storage engineers involved in FC and FCoE network design and Data Centre storage architecture. An understanding of FC switching technologies and FCoE benefits is assumed.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Adarsh Viswanathan

BRKSAN-2282 – Operational Models for FCoE Deployments – Best Practices and Examples:
Converging SAN and LAN traffic onto common infrastructure enables customers to realize significant cost efficiencies through reducing power consumption, cooling costs, adapters, cables, and switches. FCoE/Unified I/O also provides additional flexibility through a wire-once model that allows ubiquitous access to block storage from all servers.. This session will help customers determine the FCoE operational model for their organization to successfully share a Converged Network between LAN and SAN teams. Best practices, case studies, and configuration examples will be provided, based on experiences with Cisco customers who have successfully implemented FCoE. The session covers operational management for FCoE deployments on Nexus 5000, Nexus 6000, Nexus 7000, Nexus 7700 and MDS.

90 min Technical Breakout – Presented by Jason Walker and Santiago Freitas

BRKSAN-2378 – Evolution of Connectivity options for FCoE Environments:
The landscape for connectivity options for FCoE environments have continued to evolve with the addition of 40Gb Ethernet and 10GBASE-T. With 40Gb Ethernet comes the possibility of running Fibre Channel-based storage networks at previously unheard-of speeds and capability. In addition, 10GBT has been out for many years now, but it has finally evolved to a point where FCoE is now possible. However, planning and designing networks for these changes are not as simple as plugging in a different cables and doing business as usual. This breakout session will cover architecture, design, cabling, bandwidth calculations and QoS will be covered. This seminar is completed with a discussion on migration scenarios and best practices for evolving storage network designs.

90 min Technical Breakout – Presented by Nick Furman and J Metz

BRKSAN-2449 – Storage Area Network Extension Design and Operation:
This session focuses on the different extension solutions available for storage area network (SAN) extension. Solutions covered include native Fibre Channel and FCoE based distance solutions including CWDM, DWDM, and SONET/SDH, and IP-based solutions based on 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP). The session presents different options when designing for high availability in SAN extension deployments. Performance and security technologies are reviewed including compression, tape acceleration, Fibre Channel acceleration and FCIP acceleration, and data encryption. Also discussed are implementation best practices and tools for troubleshooting.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Mark Allen

BRKSAN-2883 – Advanced Storage Area Network Design:
This session presents the details of the protocols, principles, and practices used in designing Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs). A review of Fibre Channel and FCoE Protocols will be followed with discussion of advanced capabilities of the Cisco MDS 9000 family. Design principles and practices for building Fibre Channel and FCoE SANs in multi-speed, multi-protocol environments, including high availability, security, scalability, and management. Included are topology design choices, optimal use of hardware, fabric routing (FSPF), link aggregation (Port Channels) and Virtual Fabrics (VSANs). The last section will cover integration of intelligent SAN services such as SAN extension with FCIP and optical extension (CWDM and DWDM), Acceleration, and Data Mobility.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Blaise Pangalos

BRKSAN-3446 – MDS 9710 Understanding/Detecting/Troubleshooting/Mitigating Slow Drain in a Cisco Fabric:
All data traffic between end devices in a SAN fabric is carried by Fibre Channel Class 3, and Class 2 services that use link-level, per-hop-based, and buffer-to-buffer flow control. These classes of service do not support end-to-end flow control. When there are slow devices attached to the fabric, the end devices do not accept the frames at the configured or negotiated rate. These slow devices, referred to as “slow drain” devices, lead to ISL credit shortage in the traffic destined for these devices and they can congest significant parts of the fabric. The credit shortage affects unrelated flows in the fabric that use the same ISL link even though destination devices do not experience slow drain. This session will be an in-depth look at the abilities that the MDS 9710 platform provides to be able to do the following: 1) Detect when slow drain is occurring 2) Troubleshoot and identify where it is occurring 3) Implement mechanisms to automatically mitigate effects

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Edward Mazurek

Product Solutions:

PSODCT-1406 – Migrating to Cisco SAN:
As Storage Area Networking (SAN) has evolved, it has always been challenging migrating SAN from one vendor to another one. Cisco is committed to make the migration process simpler by expanding its flexibility and simplicity to interoperate smoothly with Non-Cisco solutions. Cisco SAN switches have set a new industry standard by providing interoperability functionality within MDS switches. In this session we would cover following topics: MDS Product portfolio overview, Overview of Technical concepts used during Migration, Migration Options, Execution and Verification of migration and Limitations and things to be aware of during Migration.

1 hour Product or Solutions Overview Presented by Bhavin Yadav

Technical Seminars:

TECSAN-2301 – Soup-to-Nuts: Storage Area Networking Fundamentals, Protocols, and Architecture:
This session gives non-storage-networking professionals the fundamentals to understand and implement storage area networks (SANs) and will add many new skills to your Cisco Data Networking career. The broad, fast-paced curriculum is intended to prepare attendees for involvement in SAN projects and I/O Consolidation of Ethernet & Fiber Channel networking. You will be exposed to the introduction of Storage Networking terminology, standards, and applications. More detailed discussions center on SAN technologies including protocols, management, troubleshooting tools, and best practices. Specific topics covered include Fibre Channel (FC), iSCSI, FCIP and FCoE, FC services, FC addressing, fabric routing, zoning, virtual SANs (VSANs), storage virtualization; high availability from an infrastructure and data perspective including SAN Extension, SAN QoS, and storage applications; SAN management; SAN troubleshooting tools and techniques. The session includes discussions on Cisco MDS Fabric Manager & Performance Manager with regards to the Cisco MDS 9000 line of SAN switches. Case studies illustrate various aspects of SAN solutions. Because of the broad nature of this session, attendees are encouraged to follow up with other SAN breakout sessions and labs to learn more about specific advanced topics.

4 hours Technical Seminar – Presented by Chad Hintz, J Metz and Nick Furman

While above is the listing of SAN specific sessions, Cisco Live 2014 is also hosting other SAN related Cisco Datacenter sessions, which will talk about FC plus FCoE design guides, deployments, troubleshooting, etc. We would also recommend you to register for those and attend them if possible to get overall Datacenter understanding and how Cisco Datacenter product portfolio can help you in your existing / new requirements.

Other Storage related sessions:

Technical Breakout sessions:

BRKNMS-2695 – Administration and Monitoring of the Cisco DataCenter with Cisco Prime DCNM:
Cisco Prime DCNM is the global solution for the management of the Cisco DataCenter, including LAN, SAN and unified networks. DCNM provides a comprehensive set of management features across the whole range of NX-OS platforms, and down to the Virtual Machines. These features include the discovery, inventory, configuration and change management, NX-OS software management, template-based provisioning, proactive monitoring, performance monitoring and capacity planning, topology views and troubleshooting tools. New with DCNM 7.x, Power on Auto Provisioning, Cable Plans, and new high scale monitoring that supports, but can be used separately from Dynamic Fabric Automation is also addressed in this session. This session will explore those features and highlight some best practice methodology to get the most out of DCNM. A basic understanding of the underlying technologies is needed, together with some network management skills. Attendees will learn how to best plan, design, implement and operate DCNM.

90 min Technical Breakout – Presented by David Kirsch

BRKCOM-2007 – UCS SAN Deployment Models and Best Practices:
UCS Fabric Interconnect modes of operation and associated supported storage topologies including discussions of FC, FCoE and NAS direct connect configurations, UCS storage vendor integration including supportability and integrated Pod type solutions. This session includes Storage best practices and common integration use cases around FC, FCoE and iSCSI booting with UCS, UCS to Brocade Connectivity, traffic engineering, and failure scenarios. Additional review of Hyper-V Synthetic FC, iSCSI Single IQN, and UCS monitoring the storage path Deep Dive will also be done.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Craig Ashapa

BRKCOM-3011 – Troubleshooting Storage Technologies with UCS in the Data Center:
This session will detail key troubleshooting techniques for interconnecting UCS with supported storage technologies. The primary focus will be on issues observed in the field by Cisco TAC. We will outline FC, FCoE, and IP storage troubleshooting techniques and configuration best practice to help participants quickly identify storage related issues within datacenter environments.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Eric Austin

BRKDCT-1121 – Fibre Channel Networking for the IP Network Engineer and SAN Core Edge Design Best Practices:
This session gives non-storage-networking professionals the fundamentals to understand and implement storage area networks (SANs). This curriculum is intended to prepare attendees for involvement in SAN projects and I/O Consolidation of Ethernet & Fibre Channel networking. You will be exposed to the introduction of Storage Networking terminology & designs. Specific topics covered include Fibre Channel (FC), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), FC services, FC addressing, fabric routing, zoning, and virtual SANs (VSANs). The session includes discussions on Designing Core-Edge Fibre Channel Networks and the best practice recommendations around this design. This is an introductory session and attendees are encouraged to follow up with other SAN breakout sessions and labs to learn more about specific advanced topics.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Chad Hintz

BRKDCT-2121 – Virtual Device Context (VDC) Design and Implementation Considerations with Nexus 7000:
This session will illustrate use cases for VDCs in the Nexus 7000 series switches. VDCs, a unique differentiator that enables virtualization of a switch into multiple logical devices lends itself to many designs. We’ll focus on the considerations when VDCs are used. Common use cases include device consolidation while maintaining a hierarchical design, co-residency of DMZ and internal networks, FCoE fabric consolidation, and FabricPath designs.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Ron Fuller

BRKDCT-2334 – Real World Data Center Deployments and Best Practice Session:
The seminar will discuss real world Nexus Deployment scenarios to make sure your network will meet the demands for performance and reliability. This session will provide and equip you with the latest information on Cisco® data center network architecture and best practices around those designs. This session will focus on STP, vPC, Fabric Path, QOS, routing and service node insertion from the core of the network to the host. This session will not cover all of the possible options just the best practices to make sure we are all successful.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Jeff Ostermiller

BRKDCT-2426 – Designing a Storage Infrastructure in the DC in a Multi-protocol world:
Today’s Data Centers are complex and multi-protocol capable environments, which support a wide range of connectivity options. The session provides knowledge on working with multi-protocol capable platforms like Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000, Nexus 2000, MDS 9500, MDS 9700 and MDS 9250i which help you better architect your Storage Network infrastructure with protocols such as FC, FCoE, FCIP, iSCSI and NFS. What are the fundamental principles a network architect or a design engineer must know and understand to navigate and balance the multiprotocol paradigm that is required to make their infrastructure tick? The focus will be on the various strengths and features in each platform to enable the architects to evaluate and utilize features like, port-channels, vPC, vFC, NPV, NPIV in building a scalable and stable Data Center infrastructure. The session will examine the used cases for the various protocols

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Venkat Kirishnamurthyi and Joe Kastura

BRKDCT-3237 – Versatile architecture using Nexus 7000 with a mix of F and M modules to deliver FEX, FabricPath, Multihop FCoE, MPLS and LISP all at the same time: This session will highlight various design options of deploying Cisco Nexus 7000 switches in converged topologies simultaneously supporting top of rack Fabric Extenders, Cisco FabricPath and Multihop FCoE technologies. We will leverage FabricPath integration with MPLS and LISP at the WAN edge to extend the reach of our solution beyond the boundaries of a single Data Center. We will walk through how leveraging Nexus 7000 device versatility allows us to deploy those technologies in consolidated fashion utilizing combinations of F and M-series I/O modules.

90 min Technical Breakout – Presented by Umar Shafiq and David Klebanov

BRKDCT-2385 – Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation Architecture:
This session provides an overview of Cisco Next Generation DC fabric technology. The session specifically covers the forwarding and control plane functions which are critical to the simplicity operation of the architecture in achieving scale, small failure domains and any app anywhere. The session also provides an overview of the architecture management functions, network orchestration capabilities and multi-tenancy details. This intermediate session is intended for network, design and operation engineers from Enterprises, Service Providers or Enterprise Hosting Service Providers.

2 hours Technical Breakout – Presented by Lukas Krattiger

Technical Seminars:

TECDCT-2405 – Designing Fabric Based Networks:
This session is for network architects to get a understanding of what fabric based networks are and how to design them. It will include introductions to multiple types of fabric based designs Cisco offers in the Data Center, the benefits and drawbacks to each one and best practices design recommendations. Session attendees should expect to understand spine-leaf CLOS based architects and how they will impact their futures designs.

4 hours Technical Seminar – Presented by Chad Hintz and David Jansen

TECDCT-2181 – Deployment Considerations for Interconnecting Distributed Virtual Data Centers:
This tectorial describes the components required to connect the network, storage, and compute resources in virtualized distributed data centers. This will be done by targeting both single and multi-tenant scenarios and with different scale characteristics (focusing both on Enterprise and Service Provider deployments). The first part of the tectorial will discuss the main business requirements driving the need for Inter Cloud Networking (aka Data Center Interconnect) solutions, introducing few specific use cases ranging from geo-cluster to workload mobility deployments. The second part will introduce the main functional components building up a complete DCI architecture: Storage Extension, LAN Extension and Traffic Path Optimization. In discussing storage extension functionalities, we’ll provide recommendations and highlight validated design in term of maximum distances supported for transparent virtual machines mobility. Storage specific considerations will also be included in the discussion and validated solutions resulting from the collaboration between Cisco and other storage vendors (like NetApp and EMC). The final section will provide an analysis of the differences between the discussed approaches and introduce design guidance inclusive of product support considerations.

8 hours Technical Seminar – Presented by Patrice Bellagamba, Wayne Ogozaly, Yves Louis and Victor Moreno

Once the Cisco Live registration is done, you can book your slots for the session so that it gets on the calendars.
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Schedule us on your calendar for Storage related sessions. Would love to see you there!!!