Q. What is the HP Blade Switch called and when is it available?
A. The HP Blade Switch is called the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 for HP.
Q. What does the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch offer to customers?
A. The Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 for HP is an integrated switch for HP c-Class BladeSystem customers that extends Cisco's resilient and secure Infrastructure Services to the server edge and utilizes existing network investments to help reduce operational expenses.
The Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 for HP provides HP c-Class BladeSystem customers with an integrated switching solution which dramatically reduces cable complexity. This solution offers consistent network services like high availability, quality of service and security. It utilizes Cisco's comprehensive management framework to simplify on-going operations. Cisco's advanced network services in combination with simplified management helps reduce total cost of ownership.
Q. Why is this switch a Catalyst product, while the CGESM is an OEM product?
A. Customers have overwhelmingly given us feedback that they want to treat the integrated blade switches as Cisco products. They want the same experience in terms of pre-sales (Cisco sales team involvement, documentation, trade-in programs etc) and post-sales (service and support, Advanced Services etc) support from Cisco. Hence, we are going to treat these switches as an extension of the Catalyst switching family. We are going to add it to the recently launched "Blade Switch" sub-brand within the Catalyst family.
Q. Was this product developed jointly?
A. Absolutely, the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 was developed jointly with HP.
Q. How is Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 different from CGESM?
A. CGESM is the integrated Cisco Ethernet switch that works inside a p-Class Bladesystem chassis, while the Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 is the integrated Cisco Ethernet switch that works insides a c-Class Bladesystem chassis. From a feature set perspective, they are very similar. The major differences are:
• Up to 8 GE uplinks are available on Catalyst Blade Switch 3020, while CGESM supports up to 6 GE uplinks
• Customers requiring copper connectivity do not need to use SFPs any more with Catalyst Blade Switch 3020
• The Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 switch is much smaller in size - it is driven by the chassis switch form factor
Q. How is Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 different from other blade switches?
A. The products are very similar and are part of a portfolio of switching products that integrates Cisco switching technology into Bladeserver chassis. They are all layer 2+ switches. Our goal is to have feature and functionality consistency within the blade switch product line. Each of the switches however have a different form factor to fit the different partner chassis they go into.
Q. What are the advantages of integrating switching into blade servers? What are the benefits of embedding a switch inside a blade server chassis?
A. The following benefits can be achieved as a result of embedding a switch in a blade server chassis:
• Efficiency: Efficiency from minimized number of cables typically required to connect servers and Optimzed rack space by integrating the switch inside the Bladesystem chassis
• Reliability: Increased Reliability from NICs being connected to the access layer switch via the backplane and switch getting redundant power and fan from the chassis
• Serviceability: Better serviceability from eliminating server to switch cabling at the access layer and consolidated chassis/system management
Q. How can I purchase the Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 for HP?
A. The switch only works in the HP c-Class BladeSystem. Therefore sales fulfillment will be done through your HP sales channel.
FEATURES AND FUNCTIONALITY
Q. What features and functionality will the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 have?
A. Cisco plans to offer intelligent switching for the blade server environment, including capabilities such as Gigabit EtherChannel®, industry-leading spanning tree for resiliency and network availability, and IP-based QoS, multicast, and security.
Q. What are Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020's capabilities?
A. Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 provides the following hardware port configurations:
• 16 internal 1000BASE ports connected to servers through the c-Class BladeSystem backplane
• Up to 8 external Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports
– 4 external dual media Ethernet interfaces. Interfaces can be either 1000BASE-SX SFP or 10/100/1000BASE-T ports. The SFP cage supports Gigabit Ethernet Fiber SX SFP modules from Cisco Systems
– 4 additional external 10/100/1000BASE-T ports. Two of these ports can be configured to provide an internal crossover connection to an associated additional Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020
• 1 FastEthernet connection to the HP Enclosure Onboard Administrator
• 1 external console port
From a software standpoint, Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 is an intelligent Layer 2+ Gigabit Ethernet switch module capable of more than pure Layer 2 switching. With Cisco IOS® Software supported on Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020, sophisticated intelligent services features for availability and resiliency, integrated security, delivery optimization, and enhanced manageability are provided.
Q. What software images does the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 support?
A. The Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 switch supports Cisco IOS Software running LAN Base software. The image that runs on Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 will be based on 12.2(25)SEF1.
Q. Where can I get the software image?
A. The software image for Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 is going to be available the same way as any other standalone Cisco switch. It is going to be available on Cisco.com website and customers need to have entitlement to get the latest software image.
Q. How often will Cisco release software updates for the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020?
A. The target is to release approximately two software updates for Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 every year.
Q. How will network security be handled?
A. Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 enhances data security through a wide range of features including Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol and Simple Network Management Protocol version 3 (SNMPv3), access control lists (ACLs), 802.1x, port security, private VLAN edge, Dynamic Host Configuration (DHCP) Protocol Trusted Boundary, MAC address notification, and RADIUS and TACACS+.
Q. How can I protect unauthorized users from accessing my network?
A. Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 provides the ability to restrict portions of the network by using ACLs. Access can be denied based on MAC addresses, IP addresses, or Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/User Datagram Protocol (UDP) ports. An additional protection method is to use port security, which ensures the appropriate user is on the network by limiting access to the port based on MAC address.
Q. What network management tools does the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 support?
A. The Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 offers standard Cisco CLI, support for standard SNMP and tools like CiscoWorks.
Q. Will Cisco offer Layer 3 services on Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020?
A. Layer 3 is a systems-level technology, and not a product level technology. Cisco architecture provides Layer 3 routing to achieve high availability and subsecond resiliency. Cisco believes that, at this stage of the blade server evolution, Layer 2 switching is appropriate at the access layer-it provides connectivity while centralizing routing/layer 3 services in the distribution/core layer.
Q. Will Cisco offer Layer 4 through 7 services on Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020?
A. The inclusion of higher-level services is an overall architectural issue. Aggregation of content, firewall, and other services at a single point aids in management, configuration, and control. It also increases flexibility, which could be lost if, for example, the blade server chassis is full, yet another computing resource (in another blade server) is required. It is also more cost-effective to deploy layer 4 through 7 services at the aggregation layer. Based on customer feedback, we think Layer 4 through 7 services will be applied outside the bladeserver chassis at the aggregation layer.
Q. Will the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 support 10 Gigabit Ethernet?
A. Cisco is monitoring customer needs and requirements and will continue to evaluate 10 Gigabit Ethernet for blade servers.
SERVICE AND SUPPORT
Q. Is service and support for Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 different from CGESM?
A. Yes. CGESM was sold by HP with a standard 3 year hardware and software warranty. Now, the Catalyst Blade Switch 3020 will carry a similar warranty as one offered by Cisco on other Catalyst products-which is 90 days of hardware and software warranty. Extending the warranty through HP is also possible. Please contact HP for more details in regards to warranty extension through HP.
Q. What is the support structure for this product?
A. The switch comes with a 90 day hardware and software warranty. If a customer wants to extend it, he/she can buy service from Cisco or any of its resellers (including HP).