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Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors

Cisco MDS 9000 Family: Leadership and Innovation

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In 2002 Cisco introduced the Cisco® MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Switches, with many industry-first features and advanced capabilities that redefined the storage networking industry (Figure 1). Over the years, the Cisco MDS 9000 Family has maintained technology leadership by continuing to deliver exceptional innovation. Despite industry consolidation accelerated by Cisco's rapid pace of innovation, competitors are still followers, delivering some features 2 to 7 years later than Cisco. In most cases, even if a competing product claims feature parity, in reality it delivers only limited functions.

Figure 1. Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Switches

Table 1 outlines industry-first features and capabilities from Cisco MDS 9000 Family products and when, if ever, competitors delivered these same features, even with limitations.

Table 1. Delivery of Features in Cisco MDS 9000 Family and Competing Products

Feature

Cisco

Competition

Director supporting more than 200 ports

2002

2005

Virtual SANs (VSANs) and ANSI virtual fabrics

2002

2009

Secure management through Simple Network Management Protocol Version 3 (SNMPv3)

2002

2004

Quality of Service (QoS)

2002

2007

Fibre Channel Congestion Control (FCC)

2002

No

Network diagnostics: Ping and Traceroute

2002

2006

Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN)

2002

2007

Fabric Analyzer

2002

No

Tiered connectivity for network design optimization

2002

No

VSAN trunking

2002

2009

Centralized Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) services (RADIUS and TACACS)

2002

2004

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

2002

2006

Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) for management port redundancy

2003

No

Port rate limiting

2003

2008

Integrated SAN Routing on every port

2003

No

IBM Fiber Connection (FICON) and Open System intermix through VSAN

2003

2009

Fibre Channel ID (FCID) persistence

2003

No

Integrated SAN Extension: Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP)

2003

2006

Integrated iSCSI

2003

2007

Fibre Channel LUN zoning and read-only zones

2003

No

Integrated virtualization

2003

2007

Native switch interoperability modes

2003

2007

Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP) for host-switch and switch-switch authentication

2003

2006

Cisco Fabric Services

2004

No

Fibre Channel Write Acceleration

2004

2007

Hardware-based IP Security (IPsec) encryption for FCIP and iSCSI

2004

2007

FCIP hardware compression

2004

2006

FCIP Write Acceleration

2004

2006

FCIP Tape Acceleration

2004

2007

Large pool of extended credits (more than 5800 per port)

2004

No

SAN Extension Tuner

2004

No

Dynamic Port VSAN Membership (DPVM)

2004

No

Embedded Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) agent

2004

2005

Distributed device aliases

2004

No

Integrated Fibre Channel routing with FCID Network Address Translation (NAT)

2005

No

Heterogeneous data protection via SANTap

2005

2007

IPv6 support

2006

2007

Remote SPAN (RSPAN)

2006

No

Intelligent port bandwidth management

2006

No

10-Gbps Fibre Channel

2006

2007

Director supporting more than 500 ports

2006

No

Large-scale support for highly scalable iSCSI service

2006

No

4-Gbps Fibre Channel

2006

2006

Enhanced inter-data-center routing through Autonomous Fabric ID

2006

No

SAN Device Virtualization

2007

No

Integrated Storage Media Encryption (SME): encryption of data at rest

2007

2009

Integrated Data Mobility Manager (DMM)

2007

No

Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS)

2007

No

N-Port Virtualization (NPV)

2007

2007

Secure Erase: Permanent data erase

2008

No

Offline data restore tool

2008

No

FlexAttach: simplified server mobility and replacement

2008

No

F-port trunking: trunking of multiple VSANs to servers

2009

No

Fibre Channel Link Encryption: encryption of data in motion

2009

No

8-Gbps Fibre Channel

2008

2008