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Storage Area Networks


Storage Networking Platform for Data Center Business Advantage

Your data center infrastructure must evolve rapidly to improve resiliency, increase business responsiveness, and keep up with the growing demands of new applications while reducing overall power consumption. Storage costs are growing faster than server costs, increasing the need for efficient and cost-effective storage area networks. In highly competitive environments that comply with government regulations for data recovery, 24-hour access to critical information is imperative.

Cisco Storage Solutions benefits and features:

  • Multi-protocol storage networking - Reduces business risk by providing flexibility and options - FC, FICON, FCoE, iSCSI, and FCIP
  • Unified OS and Management tools for reduced opex - operational simplicity, seamless interop, and feature consistency
  • Enterprise-class storage connectivity to support significantly higher virtualized workloads - availability, scalability, and performance
  • Services-Oriented SANs - to extend "Any Network Service to any Device" regardless of Protocol, Speed, Vendor, or Location

Cisco solutions for storage area networks provide:

  • Disaster Recovery / Business Continuance
    You have instantaneous access to data from multiple tiers, for disaster recovery.
  • Virtualization
    IT managers can provision their storage infrastructure.
  • Security
    Your data is protected when it is at rest and while it is being transported and replicated.
  • Consolidation
    Storage professionals can consolidate resources by taking advantage of highly scalable, intelligent SAN platforms.
  • Data Mobility
    A seamless, nondisruptive migration strategy is imperative for deployment flexibility and to support dynamic growing challenges of enterprise.

Storage area networks are central to the Cisco Data Center Business Advantage architecture, providing a networking platform that helps IT departments achieve lower total cost of ownership, enhanced resiliency, and greater agility through Cisco data center storage solutions.

Featured Products

Cisco MDS 9148 Multilayer Fabric Switch

The Cisco MDS 9148 Fabric Switch provides 48 line-rate 8-Gbps ports and offers cost-effective scalability through on-demand activation of ports via software licensing.

Cisco MDS 9000 16-Port Storage Services Node

The Cisco MDS 9000 16-Port Storage Services Node (SSN-16) hosts four independent service engines. Each of them can be activated individually and incrementally to scale as business requirements change, or they can be configured to run separate applications

Accelerate I/O Traffic Across MAN or WAN Links

The Cisco I/O Accelerator (IOA) provides a fabric-based, highly integrated, topology-independent acceleration service to improve remote I/O performance and bandwidth utilization over metropolitan and wide area networks.

Increase Data Center Efficiency

Data center managers want to increase the efficiency of their data centers by reducing power and cooling requirements, increasing overall use of servers and applications, isolating application traffic, and addressing security issues related to data integrity.

Cisco storage networking solutions addresses these requirements by:

  • Providing efficient SAN consolidation
  • Offering investment protection
  • Addressing data integrity concerns
  • Participating in the Cisco Energy Assurance Program

Disaster Recovery/Business Continuance
Cost-effective remote backup and recovery solutions from Cisco allow uninterrupted access to data, help your business meet performance metrics, and provide security for backup applications.

Solutions include:

  • Synchronized /asynchronized distributed data centers extension over an optical connection (ONS 15400) and IP (FCIP) for continuous service in the event of site disruptions
  • Continuous data replication (CDR) and continuous remote replication (CRR) using Cisco SANTap and EMC RecoverPoint along with I/O Accelerator

Virtualization
SAN fabrics themselves can be virtualized, enabling the consolidation of multiple physical fabrics into a more scalable, cost-effective infrastructure, just as virtual machines allow you to do with servers.

Cisco pioneered VSANs seven years ago when the MDS 9000 Family was introduced, and they form the basis of the industry's Virtual Fabric standard. VSANs provide isolation of traffic, fabric faults, and administrative responsibilities.


Security
Cisco address these security concerns and government regulations on protecting data inside the storage environment without slowing or disrupting business-critical applications.

  • Storage Media Encryption (SME):Encrypt data at rest on heterogeneous tape devices and virtual tape libraries
  • Secure Erase: Erase existing data at a specific logical unit number (LUN) on a storage array
  • Link Encryption: Encrypt data in flight on Fibre Channel links

Consolidation
The Cisco MDS 9000 Family consolidation solutions can help you reduce business risk, improve agility, and reduce costs. Enterprise-class storage connectivity provides scalability of up to 528 ports in a single MDS 9513 chassis. ANSI T11-based Virtual SANs (VSANs) let you separate a large physical fabric into multiple, smaller virtual fabrics each with their own set of fabric services using hardware-based data and control plane isolation.

Unified OS and Management tools provide operational simplicity, seamless interoperability, and feature consistency across the Cisco MDS 9000, Cisco Nexus 7000, Cisco Nexus 5000, and Cisco Nexus 1000V product families.


Data Mobility
Cisco Data Mobility Manager (DMM) provides an innovative solution for transparent data migration without additional virtualization layers, along with the flexibility to support a wide variety of applications in a timely manner.

The DMM's transparent insertion feature makes it possible to initiate and perform data movement:

  • Without any configuration changes to the host, the SAN, or the array
  • With minimal disruption to the application
  • Without needing support from systems, database, or applications administrators

Cisco Data Center Network Manager (Converged)

The newly converged Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM):

  • Provides comprehensive management of Cisco's LAN and SAN networks
  • Increases overall data center infrastructure uptime and reliability by monitoring health of the network in real time and identifying performance bottlenecks
  • Extends the view of the network path into the virtualized domain creating exceptional visibility across network and virtual infrastructure
  • Simplifies provisioning and configuration of Cisco's network switches

Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors

The 9500 Series shares a common architecture and switching and services modules that are backward and forward compatible with all Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors and 9200 Series Multilayer Fabric Switches.

Cisco MDS 9200 Series Multilayer Switches

These switches deliver state-of-the-art multiprotocol and distributed multiservice convergence.

Cisco MDS 9100 Series Fabric Switches and Blade Switches

These cost-effective, scalable, easy-to-install, and highly configurable Fibre Channel switches are ideal for small to medium-sized businesses.

Cisco MDS 9000 Series Intelligent Fabric Applications

Applications such as continuous data replication, Cisco Storage Media Encryption (SME), Cisco MDS Data Mobility Manager (DMM), and network-based volume management address frequent customer concerns.

Cisco Fabric Manager

Rebranded as Data Center Network Manager for SAN, this is now part of the Data Center Network Manager converged solution for managing LAN and SAN.

Build Scalable, Secure SAN Solutions

Cisco and its storage partners provide tested and validated solutions that help customers efficiently create high-performance storage environments. With these joint solutions, customers can accelerate deployment, reduce risk, and cut preproduction testing time and costs.

Storage Partners

To test and validate data center and SAN solutions, Cisco works closely with mulitple partners:

More Resources

Improving Business-Process Flow (PDF - 650 KB)
Cisco MDS 9000 family switches make the Oracle 11i environment easy to deploy, upgrade, manage, and scale.


Mixing Traffic on the Same SAN
The Cisco MDS 9000 product line delivers the benefits of IBM FICON intermix without sacrificing traffic separation and resilience.


Building Intelligent Storage Networks
Create and deploy your own storage environments with these storage networking designs.

Featured Content

Cisco MDS 9000 Overview
Get an overview of Cisco MDS 9000 Family features and benefits.

Investment Protection
Learn how the Cisco MDS 9000 Family provides a leading high-density, high-bandwidth storage networking solution and integrated-fabric applications to support dynamic data center requirements.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet
Fibre Channel over Ethernet facilitates consolidation of I/O in the data center, allowing Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks to share a single, integrated infrastructure.

Statement of Direction
The Cisco MDS statement of direction is a quick summary of the Cisco Storage Networking Solutions portfolio that also describes ongoing research and development efforts.

More Resources