The Cisco® MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module deliver high performance and innovative features to enable convergence, scalability, and intelligence in large, virtualized data centers. With up to 384 line-rate 16-Gbps Fibre Channel ports per chassis, intelligent fabric services such as integrated VSANs, Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), and PortChannels, the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module (Figure 1) enables deployment of large, scalable, and virtualized data centers.
For the most demanding storage networking environments, the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module delivers uncompromising performance. The 48-port 16-Gbps switching module delivers full-duplex aggregate performance of 768 Gbps, making this module well suited for attachment of high-performance 16-Gbps storage subsystems, 16-Gbps Inter-Switch Links (ISLs), and high-performance and virtualized servers.
The Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module enables you to consolidate SAN deployments with fewer hardware components, consolidate workloads from hundreds of virtual machines with performance, and scale with incremental updates as your SAN grows while protecting your existing investment. The Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module also provides Cisco VMpath technology, which enables advanced virtual machine-aware SAN provisioning and monitoring for virtualized data centers. With Cisco VMpath, you can monitor, manage, and control SAN resource allocation and performance on a per-virtual machine basis and map paths all the way from the server to storage, enabling end-to-end tracking of mission-critical workloads.
Cisco MDS 9700 Series Fibre Channel Switching Module is hot-swappable and compatible with 2/4/8-Gbps, 4/8/16-Gbps and 10-Gbps FC interfaces, and supports hot-swappable Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP+) transceivers. MDS 9700 module also supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet clocked optics carrying 10Gbps Fibre Channel traffic. Individual ports can be configured with Cisco 16-Gbps, 8-Gbps, or 10-Gbps SFP+ transceivers. Each port supports 500 buffer credits for exceptional extensibility without requiring additional licensing. With the Cisco Enterprise Package, up to 4095 buffer credits can be allocated to an individual port, enabling full link bandwidth over long distances with no degradation in link utilization.
The 16-Gbps Fibre Channel switching module continues to provide previously available features such as predictable performance and high availability, advanced traffic management capabilities, integrated VSANs and IVR, resilient high-performance ISLs, comprehensive security frameworks, fault detection and isolation of errored packets, and sophisticated diagnostics.
• 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 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 9700 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 9700 provides outstanding availability and reliability. The Cisco MDS 9710 is the industry's first director-class switch to enables redundancy on all major components, including the Fabric Card. It provides Grid Redundancy on Power Supply and 1+1 redundant Supervisors. Users can add additional fabric card to enable N+1 Fabric Redundancy.
• Industry-leading scalability: With up to 24 terabits per second (Tbps) of Fibre Channel system bandwidth and 384 2/4/8/16-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 fabricwide quality of service (QoS) enable migration from SAN islands to enterprisewide storage networks.
– Integrated hardware-based VSANs and 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 9700 operates with intelligent service capabilities on other Cisco MDS 9000 Family platforms 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 9700.
– Smart Zoning: When the Smart Zoning feature is enabled, Cisco MDS 9700 Series 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 from the virtual machine 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®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®1Fibre 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.
• Resilient High-Performance ISLs: The Cisco MDS 9700 Series 16-Gbps Fibre Channel switching modules support high-performance ISLs consisting of 16-Gbps or 10-Gbps secure Fibre Channel. Fibre Channel switching modules also offer PortChannel technology, with up to 16 links spanning any port on any module within a chassis grouped into a logical link for added scalability and resilience. Up to 4095 buffer-to-buffer credits can be assigned to a single Fibre Channel port, providing industry-leading extension of storage networks up to 4000 km at 2 Gbps, 2000 km at 4 Gbps, 1000 km at 8 Gbps, 500 km at 16 Gbps, or 680 km at 10 Gbps while maintaining full link bandwidth. The Cisco MDS 9700 Series switch architecture helps ensure that frames can never be reordered within a switch.
• Sophisticated Diagnostics: The Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module 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.
• Advanced FICON Services1: The Cisco MDS 9710 is mainframe ready, with full support for FICON and Linux environments.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership 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 total cost of ownership (TCO), the Cisco MDS 9710 offers industry-leading port densities of up to 384 16-Gbps Fibre Channel ports per chassis, 1.5-Tbps Fibre Channel performance per slot, up to 24-Tbps front-panel Fibre Channel line-rate nonblocking system-level switching, unparalleled capabilities with intelligent fabric services, VSANs for consolidating individual physical SAN islands while maintaining logical boundaries, and IVR for sharing resources across VSANs. These features 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.
The Cisco MDS 9700 was designed from the beginning for high availability. Beyond meeting the basic requirements of nondisruptive software upgrades and redundancy of all critical hardware components, the Cisco MDS 9700 software architecture offers outstanding availability.
Virtual Machine-Aware SAN Deployment
Growing adoption of server virtualization in the data center increases the number of hosts attached to the SAN, places higher workloads on the SAN, requires more storage, and increases the need for SAN services. Cisco VMpath technology, part of Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager, provides end-to-end visibility from the virtual machine 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.
Advanced Traffic Management
Advanced traffic management capabilities integrated into every Cisco MDS 9700 Series 16-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module 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: Can be assigned to any individual port for optimal bandwidth utilization across distance.
• PortChannels: Allow you to aggregate up to 16 physical ISLs into a single logical bundle, providing optimized bandwidth utilization across all links; the bundle can be a mix of any port 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 equal-cost paths and dynamically reroute traffic in the event of a switch failure.
• QoS: Helps manage bandwidth and control latency to prioritize critical traffic; available on every port.
• Lossless Networkwide In-Order Delivery Guarantee: The Cisco MDS 9700 Series switch architecture guarantees that frames can never be reordered within a switch. This guarantee extends across an entire multiswitch fabric, assuming that the fabric is stable and that no topology changes are made.
Advanced Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Tools
The Cisco MDS 9700 Series integrates proactive diagnostics, tools to verify connectivity and route latency, and mechanisms for capturing and analyzing traffic, helping simplify the management of large-scale storage networks. The power-on self-test (POST) and online diagnostics provide proactive health monitoring. 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. Integrated hardware functions enable diagnostic capabilities such as Fibre Channel traceroute to identify the exact path and timing of flows, and Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN) and Remote SPAN (RSPAN) to intelligently capture network traffic. Captured Fibre Channel traffic can be analyzed with the embedded Cisco Fabric Analyzer. Comprehensive port-based and flow-based statistics enable sophisticated performance analysis and service-level agreement (SLA) accounting.
Comprehensive Solution for Robust Security
Addressing the need for fool-proof security in storage networks, the Cisco MDS 9700 Series 16-Gbps Fibre Channel line card offers an extensive security framework to protect the highly sensitive data crossing today's enterprise networks. The Cisco MDS 9700 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 of devices that are connected to the same physical SAN. IVR enables controlled sharing of resources between VSANs. In addition, FC-SP1 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 on 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. The Cisco MDS 9700 supports a fabric binding feature that helps ensure that ISLs are enabled only between specified switches in the fabric binding configuration.
Integrated Mainframe Support (Supported in a Future Software Release)1
The Cisco MDS 9700 is mainframe ready, with full support for IBM System z FICON and Linux environments. The Cisco MDS 9700 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.
Table 1 lists the product specifications for the Cisco MDS 9700 Series 16-Gbps Fibre Channel switching modules.
Table 1. Technical Specifications
• Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Directors
• Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS Software Release 6.2.1 or later