Cisco® unified fabric is a crucial building block for both traditional and virtualized data centers. Cisco unified fabric unifies storage and data networking with the data center operating system to deliver transparent convergence, scalability, and network intelligence. With the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module (Figure 1), Cisco introduces the industry's first multihop-capable Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) module for the core data center SAN. Now it is possible to extend the benefits of FCoE beyond the access layer into the core of the data center with a full line-rate FCoE module for the Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors.
FCoE allows an evolutionary approach to I/O consolidation 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. FCoE enables the preservation of Fibre Channel as the storage protocol in the data center while giving customers a viable solution for I/O consolidation. It simplifies customer environments by using Ethernet, allowing the industry to avoid creating a separate protocol for I/O consolidation. In addition, FCoE extends Fibre Channel SAN connectivity; now 100 percent of the servers connected to the network can also be attached to the SAN.
Enterprise networks are growing rapidly, and data centers are struggling to manage power, cooling, and space. In response, enterprises are looking for ways to extend the life of existing data centers to get the most from their investments for years to come. The Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module bridges the gap between the traditional Fibre Channel SAN and the evolution to FCoE. Enterprises can reduce capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) in the data center by deploying FCoE while using the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module to protect their investment in existing Fibre Channel SANs and Fibre Channel-attached storage.
The Power of Convergence
With the ongoing increase in server workloads, converged networks reduce complexity and provide lower overall data center power consumption, extending the lifecycle of existing assets. Moreover, a converged network reduces complexity and improves SAN attach rates, simplifying virtual machine mobility.
Enterprise customers have been waiting for a director-class FCoE platform, which is what they get with the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module. With up to 88 ports of line-rate performance per chassis, simplified deployment, and ease of configuration and management, the new module bridges the Fibre Channel and FCoE worlds at the core layer (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Converged Network Extended into the Core Director-Class Environment
The benefits that I/O consolidation brings to the access layer can now be achieved in the core of the data center as well. With the capability to consolidate the network in the core, as shown in Figure 2, the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module bring an immediate benefit by reducing data center complexity.
This type of next-generation approach brings three distinct benefits to the data center:
• Agility: Over time, a converged network provides a more efficient use of network capacity for both LAN and SAN deployments. Increasing bandwidth capacity over time results in improved responsiveness for all traffic types, meaning sacrifices do not have to be made to determine which applications get upgrades and which do not because of resource limitations.
• Efficiency: By eliminating infrastructure replication beyond the access layer, a converged network can provide a greater return on investment (ROI).
• Responsiveness: The end-to-end benefits of FCoE provide the capability to set up, move, and change both physical and virtual assets with greater speed and with fewer points of failure.
The Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module helps provide true enterprise-class systems and topologies for FCoE deployments.
The Power of Unified Fabric
A unified fabric uses converged network protocols such as FCoE to allow customers to wire once to connect any device on the SAN and LAN. FCoE in particular takes advantage of the more efficient encoding mechanisms of 10-Gbps Ethernet to provide 50 percent more bandwidth than 8-Gbps Fibre Channel (the real bandwidth of 8-Gbps Fibre Channel is 6.8 Gbps). This means that it is possible to use fewer 10 Gigabit Ethernet links to achieve the same bandwidth. Used in combination with low-cost media options such as Twinax cables, the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module helps align the storage network with the economies of Ethernet while preserving the reliability and features of Fibre Channel. Every host can mount any storage target, leading to storage consolidation and improving utilization.
The Power of Scalability
The Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module provides the scalability of 88 line-rate ports per chassis - without oversubscription - and PortChannels with up to 16 physical links, creating massive 160-Gbps logical links. When connecting to the Cisco Nexus® 7000 Series Switches populated with Cisco Nexus 7000 Series 32-Port 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet Modules, the number of director-class FCoE ports easily scales to meet the needs of the most demanding data center environments.
The Power of Intelligent Fabrics
Cisco Services embed critical, policy-based intelligent capabilities into the unified fabric for both traditional and virtualized data centers. Distributed, network-integrated services enable scalability, high performance, agility, and operational simplicity. Delivered in either physical (appliance or blade) or virtual formats, Cisco intelligent fabric services enable flexibility and cost effectiveness for service deployment.
Cisco MDS 9000 Services-Oriented SANs similarly deliver advanced, integrated storage services to improve agility and enable cloud storage deployments. These are huge investments in the world of Fibre Channel, and Cisco is dedicated to supporting Fibre Channel while moving to Ethernet and consolidated I/O, fulfilling the promise of unified fabric.
Not only does the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module take advantage of migration of FCoE into the core layer, but it extends enterprise-class Fibre Channel services to Cisco Nexus 7000 and 5000 Series Switches and FCoE initiators. This capability:
• Allows FCoE initiators to access remote Fibre Channel resources connected through Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) for enterprise backup solutions
• Supports virtual SANs (VSANs) for resource separation and consolidation
• Supports inter-VSAN routing (IVR) to use resources that may be segmented
• Uses Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for SAN, a tool for managing Cisco MDS 9000 Family and Cisco Nexus Family devices
Features and Benefits
Table 1 describes the features and benefits of the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module.
Table 1. Features and Benefits
• Compatible with FCoE connectivity to the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series directors
• Uses the same operating system that administrators are familiar with from Cisco Nexus products, providing transparent interoperability
• Extends Fibre Channel services and features to FCoE-capable systems connected to the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series
• Provides full line-rate bandwidth with no oversubscription
• Extends director-class services, such as FCIP, into the aggregation and edge fabric layers
• Uses the same policies and same management tools across Cisco Nexus and Cisco MDS 9000 Family platforms
More Efficient Encoding
• Uses line-rate 10-Gbps FCoE, which provides 50 percent more bandwidth than 8-Gbps Fibre Channel
Table 2 lists the specifications for the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module.
Table 4 provides ordering information for the Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module.
Table 4. Ordering Information
Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module
Cisco MDS 9000 10-Gbps 8-Port FCoE Module, spare
10GBASE-SR SFP+ Module
10GBASE-SR SFP+ Module, spare
10GBASE-LR SFP+ Module
10GBASE-LR SFP+ Module, spare
10GBASE-CU SFP+ cable 1 meter
10GBASE-CU SFP+ cable 1 meter, spare
10GBASE-CU SFP+ cable 3 meter
10GBASE-CU SFP+ cable 3 meter, spare
10GBASE-CU SFP+ cable 5 meter
10GBASE-CU SFP+ cable 5 meter
10GBASE-CU SFP+ active copper cable 7 meter
10GBASE-CU SFP+ active copper cable 7 meter, spare
10GBASE-CU SFP+ active copper cable 10 meter
10GBASE-CU SFP+ active copper cable 10 meter, spare
Service and Support
Using the Cisco Lifecycle Services approach, Cisco and its partners provide a broad portfolio of end-to-end services and support that can help increase your network's business value and ROI. This approach defines the minimum set of activities needed, by technology and by network complexity, to help you successfully deploy and operate Cisco technologies and optimize their performance throughout the lifecycle of your network.
For More Information
For more information about the Cisco MDS 9000 Family Fibre Channel switching modules, visit http://www.cisco.com/go/storage or contact your local account representative.