® MDS 9710 Multilayer Director (Figure 1) is a director-class SAN switch designed for deployment in large-scale storage networks to enable enterprise clouds and business transformation. Layering a comprehensive set of intelligent features onto a high-performance, protocol-independent switch fabric, the Cisco MDS 9710 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 9710 enables seamless deployment of unified fabrics with high-performance Fibre Channel, IBM Fibre Connectivity (FICON), and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity to achieve low total cost of ownership (TCO).
Figure 1. Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director
The Cisco MDS 9710 offers the following main features:
• Outstanding SAN performance: The combination of the 16-Gbps Fibre Channel switching module and the Fabric-1 crossbar switching modules enables up to 1.5 Tbps of front-panel Fibre Channel throughput between modules in each direction for each of the eight Cisco MDS 9710 payload slots. This per-slot bandwidth is twice the bandwidth needed to support a 48-port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel module at full line rate. Cisco MDS 9710 architecture, based on central arbitration and crossbar fabric, provides 16-Gbps line-rate, nonblocking, predictable performance across all traffic conditions for every port in the chassis.
• High availability: The Cisco MDS 9710 provides outstanding availability and reliability. The Cisco MDS 9710 is the industry's first director-class switch to enable redundancy on all major components, including the fabric card. It provides grid redundancy on the power supply and 1+1 redundant supervisors. Users can add additional fabric card to enable N+1 fabric redundancy. The Cisco MDS 9710 combines nondisruptive software upgrades, stateful process restart and failover, and full redundancy of all major components for best-in-class availability.
• Industry-leading scalability: With up to 24 terabits per second (Tbps) of Fibre Channel system bandwidth and 384 2/4/8-Gbps, 4/8/16-Gbps or 10-Gbps full line-rate autosensing Fibre Channel ports in a single chassis or up to 1152 Fibre Channel ports in a single rack, the Cisco MDS 9710 leads the industry in scalability and is designed to meet the requirements of the largest data center storage environments.
• 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 enterprisewide storage networks.
– 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 to 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.
– Intelligent storage services: The Cisco MDS 9710 interoperates with intelligent service capabilities on other Cisco MDS 9000 Family platforms and the intelligent services switch to provide services such as acceleration of storage applications for data replication and backup and data migration to hosts and targets attached to the Cisco MDS 9710.
– Smart zoning: When the Smart Zoning feature is enabled, Cisco MDS 9700 Series multi-protocol Director 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.
• Virtual machine transparency: The Cisco MDS 9700 Series 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 NX-OS Software offers VSANs, QoS policies, access control, performance monitoring, and data protection to promote the scalability and mobility of virtual machines. Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager provides end-to-end visibility all the way from the virtual machine down to the 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), and Cisco TrustSec® 1 Fibre Channel link encryption, the Cisco MDS 9700 Series supports a comprehensive security framework consisting of RADIUS and TACACS+, Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP) 1, Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol, and Simple Network Management Protocol Version 3 (SNMPv3). Cisco TrustSec Fibre Channel link encryption delivers transparent, hardware-based 16-Gbps line-rate encryption of Fibre Channel data on 16-Gbps Fibre Channel switching modules in addition to 10-Gbps line-rate encryption.
• Unified SAN management: The Cisco MDS 9700 Series includes built-in storage network management with all features available through a command-line interface (CLI) or Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), 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 pane.
• Sophisticated diagnostics: The Cisco MDS 9710 provides intelligent diagnostics, protocol decoding, and network analysis tools as well as integrated Cisco Call Home capability for added reliability, faster problem resolution, and reduced service costs. Starting with Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS 6.2, the powerful Cisco Generic Online Diagnostics (GOLD) framework replaces the Cisco Online Health Management System (OHMS) diagnostic framework on the new Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Director chassis. Cisco GOLD is a suite of diagnostic facilities to verify that hardware and internal data paths are operating as designed. Boot-time diagnostics, continuous monitoring, standby fabric loopback tests, and on-demand and scheduled tests are part of the Cisco GOLD feature set. This industry-leading diagnostics subsystem enables the rapid fault isolation and continuous system monitoring critical in today's continuously operating environments.
• Multiprotocol architecture: The multilayer architecture of the Cisco MDS 9700 Series enables a consistent feature set over a protocol-independent switch fabric. The Cisco MDS 9710 transparently integrates Fibre Channel, FCoE1 and FICON1.
– 2/4/8-Gbps, 4/8/16-Gbps, 10-Gbps Fibre Channel and 10 Gigabit Ethernet: The Cisco MDS 9710 supports 2/4/8/16-Gbps and 10 Gbps ports on the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module for deployment in both open systems and FICON environments. The Cisco MDS 9710 also supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet clocked optics carrying Fibre Channel traffic.
– FICON1: The Cisco MDS 9710 is mainframeready, with full support for IBM System z FICON and Linux environments.
– Multihop FCoE 1: The Cisco MDS 9710 supports multihop FCoE, extending connectivity from FCoE and Fibre Channel fabrics to FCoE and Fibre Channel storage devices.
Lower TCO with SAN Consolidation
With the exponential growth of data in today's business environment, organizations need to deploy large-scale SANs in the most efficient and cost-effective ways. To meet scalability requirements while managing TCO, the Cisco MDS 9710 offers industry-leading port densities of up to 384 16-Gbps Fibre Channel ports per chassis, multihop FCoE, 1.5-Tbps front-panel Fibre Channel performance per slot, up to 24-Tbps front-panel Fibre Channel line rate nonblocking system-level switching, unparalleled functionality with intelligent fabric services, VSANs for consolidating individual physical SAN islands while maintaining logical boundaries, and IVR for sharing resources across VSANs. These capabilities enable the consolidation of an organization's data assets into fewer, larger, and more manageable SANs, thus reducing the hardware footprint and associated capital and operational expenses. For unified fabric deployments that have converged LAN and SAN using lossless Ethernet, the Cisco MDS 9710 provides multihop FCoE capability to protect the organizations investment in existing storage infrastructure with any to-any connectivity across multiple protocols.
The Cisco MDS 9710 is designed from the beginning for high availability. In addition to meeting the basic requirements of nondisruptive software upgrades and redundancy of all critical hardware components, the Cisco MDS 9710 software architecture offers outstanding availability. The Cisco MDS 9700 Series Supervisor Modules automatically restart failed processes, making the Cisco MDS 9710 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 of traffic.
The Cisco MDS 9710 provides the industry's first redundency on all major hardware components, as detailed in Table 1.
Table 1. Redundancy Details for Cisco MDS 9710
High availability is implemented at the fabric level using robust and high-performance Inter-Switch Links (ISLs). The 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 9710 provides outstanding high availability, helping ensure that solutions exceed the 99.999 percent uptime requirements of today's most demanding environments.
Business Transformation with Enterprise Cloud Deployment
Enterprise clouds provide organizations with elastic computing and network capabilities, enabling IT to scale resources up or down as needed in a quick and cost-efficient manner. Cisco MDS 9710 provides the industry-leading scalability and 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 multitenancy 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 to quickly and cost-efficiently allocate elastic network capabilities to cloud applications. Furthermore, Cisco DCNM 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 use information through Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S)-based developer APIs to deliver IT as a service.
Advanced Traffic Management
Advanced traffic management capabilities integrated into the Cisco MDS 9710 simplify deployment and optimization of large-scale fabrics:
• Virtual output queue (VOQ): 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: Using extended credits, allows up to 4095 buffer credits from a pool of more than 6000 buffer credits for a module to be allocated to ports as needed to greatly extend the distance for Fibre Channel SANs; alternatively, 4095 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, and the Cisco MDS 9000 Family switch architecture helps ensure that frames can never be reordered within a switch
• 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
Ease of Management
To meet the needs of all users, the Cisco MDS 9710 provides three principal modes of management: the Cisco MDS 9000 Family CLI, Cisco Prime DCNM, and integration with third-party storage management tools.
The Cisco MDS 9710 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. Using the CLI, customers can enable debugging modes for each switch feature and view a real-time updated activity log of control protocol exchanges. Each log entry is time-stamped and listed in chronological order.
Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) is the network's industry's first converged SAN and LAN management solution. Cisco DCNM can manage all Cisco NX-OS devices, including the Cisco MDS 9000 Family and Cisco Nexus
® Family products. The intuitive GUI simplifies day-to-day operations of Cisco unified fabrics in today's highly virtualized data center environments.
The main functions that Cisco DCNM supports include:
• Monitoring of events and performance historically and at scale
• Wizard- and template-based provisioning of Cisco NX-OS technologies and services
• Cisco VMpath analytics, with dynamic topology views with extended visibility into virtual infrastructure
• Resource management through trend analysis of inventory and performance
• Rule-based event notification and filtering
• Role Based Access Control to provide separation between the network and storage teams
The solution is designed to scale to large enterprise deployments through scale-out server architecture with automated failover capability. These capabilities provide a resilient management system that centralizes infrastructure and path monitoring across geographically dispersed data centers. The Cisco DCNM base management function is available at no charge, and advanced features are unlocked with a license. The Cisco DCNM application can be installed on Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems and supports both PostgreSQL and Oracle databases.
Comprehensive Solution for Robust Security
Addressing the need for fool-proof security in storage networks, the Cisco MDS 9710 offers an extensive security framework to protect the highly sensitive data crossing today's enterprise networks. The Cisco MDS 9710 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 greater security and stability by providing complete isolation of devices that are connected to the same physical SAN. IVR enables controlled sharing of resources between VSANs. In addition, FC-SP
1 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
®1 Fibre Channel link encryption, available in the Cisco MDS 9700 Series 16-Gbps modules, allows you to transparently encrypt ISLs at up to line-rate speeds, 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 9710 integrates advanced analysis and debuggin tools. The power-on self test (POST) and online diagnostics provide proactive health monitoring. The Cisco MDS 9710 provides the integrated functions required to implement diagnostic capabilities such as Fibre Channel traceroute for identifying the exact path and timing of flows and Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) and Remote SPAN (RSPAN) to intelligently capture network traffic. After traffic has been captured, it can then be analyzed with the 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 9710, Cisco delivers a comprehensive tool set for troubleshooting and analysis of storage networks.
Convergence with Multihop FCoE (Supported in a Future Software Release)1
FCoE allows an evolutionary approach to network and I/O convergence by preserving all Fibre Channel constructs, maintaining the latency, security, and traffic management attributes of Fibre Channel and preserving investments in Fibre Channel tools, training, and SANs. Sharing the same operating system and management plane as the Cisco Nexus switches, the Cisco MDS 9710 provides seamless coexistence in a unified fabric with any-to-any connectivity for Fibre Channel and FCoE.
Integrated Mainframe Support (Supported in a Future Software Release)1
The Cisco MDS 9710 is mainframe ready, with full support for IBM System z FICON and Linux environments. The Cisco MDS 9710 supports transport of the FICON protocol in both cascaded and noncascaded fabrics, as well as an intermix of FICON and open systems Fibre Channel Protocol traffic on the same switch. Cisco Control Unit Port (CUP) support enables in-band management of Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches from mainframe management applications. The Cisco MDS 9710 supports a fabric-binding feature that helps ensure that ISLs are enabled only between specified switches in the fabric-binding configuration.
Table 2 lists the product specifications for the Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director.
• Hot-swappable fan trays with integrated temperature and power management
• Hot-swappable Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP+) optics (2/4/8/10/16-Gbps Fibre Channel and 10 Gigabit Ethernet)
• Hot-swappable switching modules
• Stateful process restart
• Any module, any port configuration for PortChannels
• Fabric-based multipathing
• Per-VSAN fabric services
• Online diagnostics
• Port tracking
• Virtual Routing Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) for management
• Access methods through Cisco MDS 9700 Series Supervisor-1 Module
• Out-of-band 10/100/1000 Ethernet port
• RS-232 serial console port
• In-band IP over Fibre Channel
• Access methods through Cisco MDS 9700 Series Fibre Channel switching module
• In-band FICON CUP over Fibre Channel
• Access protocols
• CLI using console and Ethernet ports
• SNMPv3 using Ethernet port and in-band IP over Fibre Channel access
• FICON CUP
• Distributed Device Alias service
• Network security
• Per-VSAN role-based access control using RADIUS-based and TACACS+-based authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) functions
• SSHv2 implementing AES
• SNMPv3 implementing AES
• Management applications
• Cisco MDS 9000 Family CLI
• Cisco Prime DCNM
• Scriptable CLI
• Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager web services API
• Cisco Prime DCNM GUI
Power and Cooling
• Power supplies (3000W AC)
• Input: 100 to 240V AC nominal (±10% for full range); 16A nominal; 50 to 60 Hz nominal (±3 Hz for full range)
• Output: 1451W 50V ±4%/28A, 3.4V ±4%/15A (100 to 120V AC input), 3051W 50V ±4%/60A, and 3.4V ±-4%/15A (200 to 240V AC input)
The Cisco MDS 9710 provides 700 linear feet per minute (LFM) average system velocity, and between 40 and 160 cubic feet per minute (CFM) total flow through each line-card slot depending on the line-card type and fan-speed setting.
With the Cisco MDS 9710 using front-to-back cold-aisle and hot-aisle air flow, Cisco recommends that you maintain a minimum air space of 7 inches (17.78 cm) between walls, such as in a cabinet, and the chassis front and back air vents.
Power consumption (typical)
Cisco MDS 9710 with 3 Fabrics (Watts [W])
• Temperature, ambient operating: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
• Temperature, ambient nonoperating and storage: -40 to 158°F (-40 to 70°C)
• Relative humidity, ambient (noncondensing) operating: 10 to 90%
• Relative humidity, ambient (noncondensing) nonoperating and storage: 10 to 95%
• Altitude, operating: -197 to 6500 ft (-60 to 2000m)
Physical dimensions (H x W x D)
• Chassis dimensions (14 rack units [14RU]): 24.35 x 17.3 x 34.0 in. (61.9 x 43.9 x 86.4 cm)
• Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Line Card: 1.75 x 15.9 x 21.8 in. (4.4 x 40.39 x 55.37 cm)
• Power supply (3000W AC): 22.04 x 3.95 x 1.6 in. (55.98 x 10.03 x 4.06 cm)
• Power supply (3000W DC): 23.54 x 3.95 x 1.6 in. (59.79 x 10.03 x 4.06 cm)
• Fabric-1 module: 18.09 x 2.02 x 9.22 in. (45.95 x 5.13 x 23.42 cm)
• Supervisor-1 module: 2.04 x 7.5 x 21.8 in. (5.18 x 19.05 x 55.37 cm)
• Fan tray: 23.54 x 5.15 x 4.09 in. (59.79 x 13.08 x 10.39 cm)
• SFP+: 0.49 x 0.54 x 2.22 in. (1.25 x 1.36 x 5.65 cm)
• Chassis (includes fans): 185.5 lb (84.2 kg)
• 48-port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel line card: 17 lb (7.71 kg)
• Power supply (3000W AC): 6 lb (2.7 kg)
• Fabric-1 module: 11 lb (5.0 kg)
• Supervisor-1 module: 7 lb (3.2 kg)
• Fan tray: 8.5 lb (3.86 kg)
• Supervisor blank cover: 1.25 lb (0.57 kg)
• Line card blank cover: 4.5 lb (2.04 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
* A minimum of three fabrics are needed to support a fully populated chassis with eight Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel cards; four fabrics are needed to provide N+1 redundancy.
Table 3 provides ordering information for the Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director.
Table 3. Ordering Information
MDS 9700 Component
MDS 9710 Chassis, No Power Supplies, Fans Included
MDS 9700 Series Supervisor-1
MDS 9710 Crossbar Switching Fabric-1 Module
MDS 9700 3000W AC power supply
MDS 9700 3000W DC power supply
48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module
MDS 9710 Base Config: Chassis, 2 Sup-1, 3 Fabric-1, 6 3K AC
Power cord 250VAC 16A, Australia, source plug AU20S3
Power cord 250VAC 16A, China, source plug GB16C
Power cord 250VAC 16A, Europe, source plug CEE 7/7
Power cord 250VAC 16A, international, source plug IEC 309
Power cord 250VAC 16A, Israel, source plug SI16S3
Power cord 250VAC 16A, South Africa, source plug EL 208, SABS 164-1
Power cord 250VAC 16A, Switzerland, source plug SEV 5934-2 Type 23
Power cord 250VAC 16A, United States/Japan, source plug NEMA 6-20
Power cord 250VAC 16A, United States/Japan, source plug NEMA L6-20
Power Cord, 125VAC 20A NEMA 5-20 Plug, North America/Japan
Power Cord 250VAC 16A, Korea, Src Plug
Power Cord 250VAC 16A, Argentina, Src Plug IR2073-C19
Power Cord 250VAC 16A, Brazil, Src Plug EL224-C19
Cabinet Jumper Power Cord, 250 VAC 16A, C20-C19 Connectors
MDS 9710 - Front Door Kit
Enterprise package license for 1 MDS9700 switch
E-delivery Enterprise package license for 1 MDS9700 switch
DCNM for SAN License for MDS 9700
E-delivery DCNM for SAN Package Advanced Edition for MDS 9700
1 This feature will be supported in a future software release.
Service and Support
Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative services programs are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco Services help you protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare the network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco Services, see
Cisco Technical Support Services or
Cisco Advanced Services.