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Updated:Jun 08, 2012
® MDS 9506 Multilayer Director is a director-class SAN switch designed for deployment in storage networks that can support enterprise clouds and business transformation. Layering a comprehensive set of intelligent features onto a high-performance, protocol-independent switch fabric, the Cisco MDS 9506 addresses the stringent requirements of large virtualized data center storage environments: uncompromising high availability, security, scalability, ease of management, and transparent integration of new technologies for extremely flexible data center SAN solutions. Sharing the same operating system and management interface with other Cisco data center switches, the Cisco MDS 9506 enables seamless deployment of unified fabrics with high-performance Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity to achieve low total cost of ownership (TCO). Compatible with all generations of Cisco MDS 9000 Family switching modules, the Cisco MDS 9506 continues to provide outstanding investment protection.
Figure 1. Cisco MDS 9506 Multilayer Director
The Cisco MDS 9506 offers the following benefits:
• Scalability and availability: The Cisco MDS 9506 combines nondisruptive software upgrades, stateful process restart/failover, and full redundancy of all major components for best-in-class availability. Supporting up to 192 Fibre Channel ports in a single chassis and up to 1152 Fibre Channel ports in a single rack, the Cisco MDS 9506 is designed to meet the requirements of large data center storage environments.
• Compact design: The Cisco MDS 9506 provides high port density in a small footprint, saving valuable data center floor space. The seven-rack-unit (7RU) chassis allows up to six Cisco MDS 9506 multilayer directors in a standard rack, increasing the number of available Fibre Channel ports.
• Multiprotocol architecture: The multilayer architecture of the Cisco MDS 9000 Family enables a consistent feature set over a protocol-independent switch fabric. The Cisco MDS 9506 transparently integrates Fibre Channel, FCoE, IBM Fiber Connectivity (FICON), Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI), and Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) in one system.
– 1/2/4/8-Gbps and 10-Gbps Fibre Channel: The Cisco MDS 9506 supports new Cisco MDS 9500 8-Gbps Advanced Fibre Channel switching modules as well as existing 10-Gbps and 8-Gbps MDS Fibre Channel switching modules for deployment in both open systems and FICON environments.
– 10-Gbps Multihop FCoE: The Cisco MDS 9506 supports multihop FCoE, extending connectivity from FCoE/Fibre Channel fabrics to FCoE/Fibre Channel storage devices. With 10-Gbps Multihop FCoE switching modules, the Cisco MDS 9506 supports extension of Fibre Channel SAN to devices that are connected using FCoE protocol over Ethernet, thereby extending the powerful capabilities of intelligent services to unified fabric deployments.
– 1/2/4/8-Gbps FICON: The Cisco MDS 9506 supports advanced FICON services including cascaded FICON fabrics, VSAN-enabled intermix of mainframe and open systems environments, and N_Port ID virtualization (NPIV) for mainframe Linux partitions. Control Unit Port (CUP) support enables in-band management of Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches from mainframe management applications.
• Intelligent network services: VSAN technology, access control lists (ACLs) for hardware-based intelligent frame processing, and fabric-wide quality of service (QoS) enable migration from SAN islands to enterprise-wide storage networks. Furthermore, the Cisco Arbitrated Local Switching feature provides high-performance, predictable, fair switching between all hosts attached to the same 8-Gbps Advanced Fibre Channel switching module and their associated storage devices.
– Smart Zoning: When the Smart Zoning feature is enabled, Cisco MDS 9000 Family fabrics provision the hardware access control entries specified by the zone set more efficiently, avoiding the superfluous entries that would allow servers (initiators) to talk to other servers, or allow storage devices (targets) to talk to other storage devices. This feature makes larger zones with multiple initiators and multiple targets feasible without excessive consumption of hardware resources. Thus, smart zones can correspond to applications, application clusters, hypervisor clusters, or other data center entities, saving the time that administrators previously spent creating many small zones, and enabling the automation of zoning tasks.
– Integrated hardware-based VSANs and Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR): Integration of VSANs into port-level hardware allows any port in a system or fabric to be partitioned into any VSAN. Integrated hardware-based IVR provides line-rate routing between any ports in a system or fabric without the need for external routing appliances.
– Arbitrated Local Switching: The Cisco Arbitrated Local Switching feature provides line-rate switching across all ports on the same module without degrading performance or increasing latency for traffic to and from other modules in the chassis. This benefit is achieved through the Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors crossbar architecture with a central arbiter arbitrating fairly between local traffic and traffic to and from other modules.
• Platform for intelligent storage applications: The Cisco MDS 9506 serves as a platform for intelligent services such as acceleration of storage applications for data replication and backup, storage media encryption for tapes and disks, data migration, and third-party applications such as continuous data protection and remote replication.
– I/O Accelerator (IOA): Cisco MDS 9000 IOA is a transport- and speed-agnostic traffic acceleration service capable of mitigating the effects of distance (and hence latency) on application throughput, thereby bringing flexibility to the choice of the data center location. Cisco MDS 9000 IOA is supported on the Cisco MDS 9000 Family 18/4-Port Multiservice Module (MSM) and 16-Port Storage Services Node (SSN-16) module.
– Cisco Storage Media Encryption (SME): Cisco SME services offer solutions that enable companies to address Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) 2.0 compliance and other legislative regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which require companies to store and protect data at rest for a specified number of years while publicly disclosing security breaches. Cisco SME is a fabric-based service and so is scalable and nondisruptive and addresses heterogeneous server and storage environments. Cisco SME enables data on disk arrays, tapes, and VTLs to be compressed, encrypted, and authenticated for centralized security management and data management and recovery. Cisco SME services employ clustering technology to create a highly available solution. The cryptographic cluster formed enhances reliability and availability, provides automated load balancing and failover capabilities, and simplifies provisioning as a single SAN fabric service rather than as individual switches or modules. The Cisco Key Management Center (KMC) provides comprehensive key management for Cisco SME, with support for single- and multiple-site deployments. Cisco KMC provides essential features such as key archival, secure export and import and translation for distribution, and key shredding.
– Cisco Data Mobility Manager (DMM): Cisco DMM is a fabric-based data migration solution that transfers block data non-disruptively across heterogeneous storage volumes and across distances, whether the host is online or offline. This data center-class solution helps address the challenges experienced in migrating data, such as downtime, the need to add data migration software to servers, and the potential for data loss and corruption. Enabling the Cisco DMM feature on the Cisco MDS 9000 18/4-Port Multiservice Modules located anywhere in the SAN allows data migration to be configured without host agents, without rewiring, with minimal effect on performance, and without downtime.
• Virtual machine transparency: The Cisco MDS 9000 Family provides deterministic hardware performance and a comprehensive feature set that allows virtual machines to have the same SAN attributes as a physical server. On a per-virtual machine basis, the Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS Software offers VSANs, QoS policies, access control, performance monitoring, and data protection to promote the scalability and mobility of virtual machines. Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for SAN provides end-to-end visibility all the way from the virtual machine down to storage, with resource allocation, performance measurements, and predictions available on a per-virtual machine basis to enable rapid troubleshooting in mission-critical virtualized environments.
• Comprehensive security: In addition to support for services such as VSANs, hardware-enforced zoning, ACLs, per-VSAN role-based access control (RBAC), Cisco SME for tapes and disks, and Cisco TrustSec® Fibre Channel Link Encryption, the Cisco MDS 9000 Family supports a comprehensive security framework consisting of RADIUS and TACACS+, Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP), Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol, and Simple Network Management Protocol Version 3 (SNMPv3) implementing Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Cisco TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption delivers transparent, hardware-based 8-Gbps line-rate encryption of Fibre Channel data on both generations of 8-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching modules.
• Unified SAN management: The Cisco MDS 9000 Family includes built-in storage network management with all features available through a command-line interface (CLI) or the Cisco DCNM (formerly called Cisco Fabric Manager), a centralized management tool that simplifies management of unified fabrics. Cisco DCNM supports integration with third-party storage management applications to allow seamless interaction with existing management tools. Cisco DCNM supports federation of up to 10 Cisco DCNM servers to manage up to 150,000 devices using a single management console.
• Sophisticated diagnostics: The Cisco MDS 9506 provides intelligent diagnostics, protocol decoding, network analysis tools as well as integrated Call Home capability for added reliability, faster problem resolution, and reduced service costs.
Business Transformation with Enterprise Cloud Deployment
Enterprise clouds provide organizations with elastic compute and network capabilities enabling IT to scale up or scale down resources on an as needed basis in a quick and cost efficient manner. Cisco MDS 9506 provides pay-as-you-grow flexibility to meet the scalability needs of enterprise clouds, multihop FCoE required to provision storage in a multiprotocol unified fabric, robust security required for multi-tenancy cloud applications, predictable high performance required to meet stringent service-level agreements (SLAs), resilient connectivity required for always-on cloud infrastructure, and Advanced Traffic Management capabilities such as QoS and Port Bandwidth Reservation to quickly and cost efficiently allocate elastic network capabilities to cloud applications. Furthermore, Cisco DCNM for SAN provides resource monitoring and capacity planning on a per-virtual machine basis, enabling efficient, consolidated enterprise cloud deployments, federation of up to 10 Cisco DCNM servers for ease of management of large-scale clouds, and resource usage information via SMI-S based developer APIs to deliver IT as a service.
Convergence with Multihop FCoE
FCoE enables an evolutionary approach towards network and I/O convergence by preserving all Fibre Channel constructs, maintaining the latency, security, and traffic management attributes of Fibre Channel while preserving investments in Fibre Channel tools, training, and SANs. With multihop FCoE connectivity, Cisco MDS 9506 extends advanced fabric services to unified fabric deployments attached to Cisco Nexus
® Family data center switches. Sharing the same operating system and management plane with Cisco Nexus switches, the Cisco MDS 9506 provides seamless coexistence in a unified fabric with any-to-any connectivity for Fibre Channel, FCoE, iSCSI, and network-attached (NAS) storage.
Scalable Expansion with Outstanding Investment Protection
The Cisco MDS 9506 is designed to make optimal use of valuable data center floor space. It is just 12.25 inches tall (7RUs), with single-side connection management for both interface and power terminations. This space-efficient design allows deployment of up to six Cisco MDS 9506 Multilayer Directors per standard 7-foot rack (42RUs), increasing the number of available Fibre Channel ports per rack.
Using Cisco MDS 9000 Family switching modules, the Cisco MDS 9506 supports up to 192 1/2/4/8-Gbps autosensing Fibre Channel ports, up to 64 1-Gbps Ethernet ports, and up to 16 10-Gbps Fibre Channel ports in a six-slot modular chassis. The Cisco MDS 9506 provides up to 1152 Fibre Channel ports in a single rack.
The Cisco MDS 9506 provides a very high level of system commonality. All Cisco MDS 9000 Family Fibre Channel switching modules are compatible with all Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors. Designed to grow with your storage environment, the Cisco MDS 9506 provides smooth migration, common sparing, and outstanding investment protection.
The Cisco MDS 9506 was designed from the beginning for high availability. Beyond meeting the basic requirements of non-disruptive software upgrades and redundancy of all critical hardware components, the Cisco MDS 9506 software architecture offers an exceptional level of availability. The Cisco MDS 9500 Series Supervisor Modules automatically restart failed processes, making the Cisco MDS 9506 exceptionally robust. In the rare event that a supervisor module is reset, complete synchronization between the active and standby supervisor modules helps ensure stateful failover with no disruption to traffic.
High availability is implemented at the fabric level using robust and high-performance Inter-Switch Links (ISLs). PortChannel capability allows users to aggregate up to 16 physical links into one logical bundle. The bundle can consist of any speed-matched ports in the chassis, helping ensure that the bundle can remain active in the event of a port, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), or module failure. ISLs in a PortChannel can have significantly different lengths. This capability is valuable in campus and metropolitan area network (MAN) environments, because logical links can now be spread over multiple physical paths, helping ensure uninterrupted connectivity even if one of the physical paths is disrupted. The Cisco MDS 9506 takes high availability to a new level, helping ensure that solutions exceed the 99.999 percent uptime requirements of today's most demanding environments.
Integrated Mainframe Support
The Cisco MDS 9506 is mainframe-ready, with full support for IBM System z FICON and Linux environments. Qualified by IBM for attachment to all FICON-enabled devices in an IBM System z operating environment, the Cisco MDS 9506 supports transport of the FICON protocol in both cascaded and non-cascaded fabrics, as well as an intermix of FICON and open systems Fibre Channel Protocol traffic on the same switch. VSANs simplify an intermix of SAN resources between z/OS, mainframe Linux, and open systems environments, allowing for increased SAN utilization and simplified SAN management. VSAN-based intermix mode eliminates the uncertainty and instability often associated with zoning-based intermix techniques. VSANs also eliminate the possibility of a mis-configuration or component failure in one VSAN affecting operation in other VSANs. VSAN-based management access control simplifies partitioning of SAN management responsibilities between mainframe and open systems environments, enhancing security. FICON VSANs can be managed using the integrated Cisco DCNM; the Cisco CLI; or IBM CUP-enabled management tools, including SA/390, Resource Measurement Facility (RMF), or Dynamic Channel Path Management (DCM). Extended Remote Copy (XRC) acceleration improves performance and bandwidth utilization over WAN links for IBM z/OS Global Mirror dynamic updates. FICON Tape Acceleration (FTA) improves read and write performance of physical and virtual tape applications across WAN links.
Advanced Traffic Management
Advanced traffic management capabilities integrated into the Cisco MDS 9506 simplify deployment and optimization of large-scale fabrics:
• Virtual output queuing: Helps ensure line-rate performance on each port, independent of traffic pattern, by eliminating head-of-line blocking
• Up to 4095 buffer-to-buffer credits: Can be assigned to an individual port for optimal bandwidth utilization across distance
• PortChannels: Allow users to aggregate up to 16 physical ISLs into a single logical bundle, providing optimized bandwidth utilization across all links; the bundle can consist of any speed-matched ports from any module in the chassis, helping ensure that the bundle can remain active even in the event of a module failure
• Fabric Shortest Path First (FSPF)-based multipathing: Provides the intelligence to load balance across up to 16 Fibre Channel or FCoE equal-cost paths and, in the event of a switch failure, dynamically reroute traffic
• QoS: Can be used to manage bandwidth and control latency to prioritize critical traffic
• Port bandwidth reservation: Allows users to define dedicated bandwidth on a per-port basis
Ease of Management
To meet the needs of all users, the Cisco MDS 9506 provides three principal modes of management: the Cisco MDS 9000 Family CLI, Cisco DCNM, and integration with third-party storage management tools.
The Cisco MDS 9506 presents the user with a consistent, logical CLI. Adhering to the syntax of the widely known Cisco IOS
® Software CLI, the Cisco MDS 9000 Family CLI is easy to learn and delivers broad management capabilities. The Cisco MDS 9000 Family CLI is an extremely efficient and direct interface designed to provide optimal capabilities to administrators in enterprise environments.
Cisco DCNM (formerly Cisco Fabric Manager) is an easy-to-use application that simplifies management across multiple switches and converged fabrics. Focused on supporting efficient operations and management of virtual machine-aware fabrics, Cisco DCNM provides a robust framework and comprehensive feature set that meets the routing, switching, and storage administration needs of present and future virtualized data centers. Cisco DCNM streamlines provisioning the unified fabric and proactively monitors the LAN and SAN components. Cisco DCNM can be licensed for managing a combination of SAN and LAN environments.
Cisco DCNM can be used independently or in conjunction with third-party management applications. Cisco provides an extensive API for integration with third-party and user-developed management tools.
Comprehensive Solution for Robust Security
Addressing the need for fool-proof security in storage networks, the Cisco MDS 9506 offers an extensive security framework to protect the highly sensitive data crossing today's enterprise networks. The MDS 9506 employs intelligent packet inspection at the port level, including the application of ACLs for hardware enforcement of zones, VSANs, and advanced Port Security features. VSANs are used to achieve higher security and greater stability by providing complete isolation among devices that are connected to the same physical SAN. IVR enables controlled sharing of resources between VSANs. In addition, FC-SP provides switch-to-switch and host-to-switch Diffie-Hellman Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (DH-CHAP) authentication supporting RADIUS or TACACS+, to help ensure that only authorized devices access protected storage networks. Cisco TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption, available on the Cisco MDS 9000 Family 8-Gbps modules, allows you to transparently encrypt ISLs at up to line-rate 10-Gbps Fibre Channelspeeds, providing an additional layer of protection for traffic within and between data centers.
Advanced Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Tools
Management of large-scale storage networks requires proactive diagnostics, tools to verify connectivity and route latency, and mechanisms for capturing and analyzing traffic. The Cisco MDS 9506 integrates advanced analysis and debugging tools. Power-on self test (POST) and online diagnostics provide proactive health monitoring. The Cisco MDS 9506 provides the integrated functions required to implement diagnostic capabilities such as Fibre Channel Traceroute to detail the exact path and timing of flows and Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) and Remote Switched Port Analyzer (RSPAN) to intelligently capture network traffic. After traffic has been captured, it can be analyzed with Cisco Fabric Analyzer, an embedded Fibre Channel analyzer. Comprehensive port-based and flow-based statistics enable sophisticated performance analysis and SLA accounting. With the Cisco MDS 9506, Cisco delivers a comprehensive tool set for troubleshooting and analysis of storage networks.
Table 1 lists the product specifications for the Cisco MDS 9506 Multilayer Director.
Table 1. Product Specifications
• Cisco MDS 9000 Family
• Cisco MDS SAN-OS Software Release 3.0(1) or later
• Input: 100-240V AC nominal (±10% for full range); 12A maximum; 50-60 Hz nominal (±3 Hz for full range)
• Output: 1050W (100V AC at 12A); 1900W (200V AC at 12A)
• 300 linear feet per minute (lfm) through system fan assembly
• Cisco recommends that you maintain a minimum air space of 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) between walls and the chassis air vents and a minimum horizontal separation of 6 inches (15.2 cm) between two chassis to prevent overheating
Cisco MDS 9506
• Temperature, ambient operating: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
• Temperature, ambient non-operating and storage: -40 to 167°F (-40 to 75°C)
• Relative humidity, ambient (non-condensing) operating: 10 to 90%
• Relative humidity, ambient (non-condensing) non-operating and storage: 10 to 95%
• Altitude, operating: -197 to 6500 feet (-60 to 2000m)
• Dimensions (H x W x D)
• 12.25 x 17.37 x 21.75 in (31.1 x 44.1 x 55.25 cm) -7 RU
• Chassis depth including cable guide is 26.75 in. (67.9 cm). All units rack mountable in standard 19 inch EIA rack
• Chassis (includes fan tray): 46 lb (20.9 kg)
• Chassis fully configured with two supervisor/fabric modules, four switching modules, and two 1900W power supplies: 124 lb (56 kg)
Approvals and compliance
• Safety compliance
• CE Marking
• UL 60950
• CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60950
• EN 60950
• IEC 60950
• TS 001
• AS/NZS 3260
• 21 CFR 1040
• EMC compliance
• FCC Part 15 (CFR 47) Class A
• ICES-003 Class A
• EN 55022 Class A
• CISPR 22 Class A
• AS/NZS 3548 Class A
• VCCI Class A
• EN 55024
• EN 50082-1
• EN 61000-6-1
• EN 61000-3-2
• EN 61000-3-3
• FIPS certified
• FIPS 140-2 Level 2
Table 2 provides ordering information for the Cisco MDS 9506 Multilayer Director.
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