Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Directors

Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps Fibre Channel over Ethernet Module Data Sheet

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Product Overview

Multiprotocol storage networking is central to Cisco® Unified Fabric, providing a networking platform for IT departments to achieve lower total cost of ownership (TCO), enhanced resiliency, and greater agility. Cisco Unified Fabric unifies storage and data networking with the data center operating system to deliver convergence, scalability, and network intelligence. With the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Module (Figure 1), the Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Directors platform now offers both 16-Gbps Fibre Channel and 10-Gbps FCoE capabilities, providing multiprotocol flexibility for SANs. Now you can extend the benefits of FCoE beyond the access layer to the data center core with a full line-rate FCoE module for the Cisco MDS 9700 Series.

Save money, simplify management, reduce power and cooling requirements, and improve flexibility by deploying FCoE, while protecting your Fibre Channel SAN investment with the Cisco MDS 9700 10-Gbps 48-Port FCoE Module. FCoE allows an evolutionary approach to I/O consolidation by preserving all Fibre Channel constructs. It maintains the latency, security, and traffic management attributes of Fibre Channel, as well as your investment in Fibre Channel tools, training, and SANs. FCoE also extends Fibre Channel SAN connectivity; now 100 percent of your network servers can be attached to the SAN.

Figure 1.     Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps FCoE Module

Main Features

The main features of the Cisco MDS 9700 10-Gbps 48-Port FCoE Module include:

   High performance: Cisco MDS 9700 Series architecture, based on central arbitration and crossbar fabric, provides 10-Gbps line-rate, nonblocking, predictable performance across all traffic conditions for every FCoE port in the chassis.

   Efficient encoding: FCoE takes advantage of the more efficient encoding mechanisms of 10-Gbps Ethernet to provide 50 percent more bandwidth than 8-Gbps Fibre Channel (the actual throughput of 8-Gbps Fibre Channel is 6.8 Gbps). Therefore, you need fewer 10 Gigabit Ethernet links to achieve the same bandwidth as with multiple 8-Gbps links.

   High availability: Cisco MDS 9700 Series directors provide outstanding availability and reliability. These are the industry's first director-class switches that offer redundancy on all major components, including the fabric card. They provide grid redundancy on the power supply and 1+1 redundant supervisors. Users can also can add fabric cards to enable N+1 fabric redundancy.

   Scalability: The Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps FCoE Module provides up to 384 10-Gbps, full line-rate, autosensing ports in a single 9710 chassis or up to 192 10-Gbps full line-rate ports in a single Cisco MDS 9706 Multilayer Director chassis.

   Resilient high-performance Inter-Switch Links (ISLs): FCoE ISLs can be grouped into PortChannels with up to 16 physical links, creating massive 160-Gbps logical links. When you connect to Cisco Nexus® 7000 Series Switches populated with Cisco Nexus 7000 Series 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules, you can easily scale the number of director-class FCoE ports to meet the needs of the most demanding data center 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.

   Sophisticated diagnostics: The Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps FCoE Module provides intelligent diagnostics, protocol decoding, network analysis tools, and integrated Cisco Call Home capability for greater reliability, faster problem resolution, and reduced service costs.

Main Benefits

As server workloads increase, converged networks can reduce complexity and lower data center power consumption, extending the lifecycle of existing assets. Converged networks also improve SAN attachment rates to simplify virtual machine mobility.

Bring the benefits of I/O consolidation at the access layer to the data center core with the Cisco MDS 9700 10-Gbps 48-Port FCoE Module.This approach offers three important benefits:

   Investment protection: FCoE is an evolutionary technology with the same management model as Fibre Channel. With FCoE, you can preserve your investments in Fibre Channel tools, training, and SANs. The Cisco MDS 9700 FCoE module provides investment protection for existing Fibre Channel storage by transparently bridging the gap between FCoE SANs (traffic originating from server-side networks) and Fibre Channel SANs (traffic heading toward storage arrays), as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2.     MDS 9700 Interconnects FCoE and Fibre Channel SANs

   Agility: Over time, a converged network uses network capacity more efficiently in both LAN and SAN deployments. Higher bandwidth capacity also improves responsiveness for all traffic types. The end-to-end benefits of FCoE include the capability to set up, move, and change both physical and virtual assets with greater speed and fewer points of failure.

   Simplification: Through consolidation, a converged network can reduce complexity and provide a greater return on investment (ROI).

This module also supports connectivity to FCoE initiators and targets that send only FCoE traffic, thus providing a way to deploy a dedicated FCoE SAN without requiring any convergence.

Product Specifications

Table 1 lists the specifications for the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps FCoE Module.

Table 1.       Product Specifications



Product compatibility

Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Directors

Software compatibility

Requires Cisco MDS NX-OS Software Release 6.2(7) or later

Fibre Channel and FCoE protocols

Fibre Channel standards:

  FC-BB-5, Revision 2.0 (ANSI INCITS 462-2010)
  FC-BB-4, Revision 2.7 (ANSI INCITS 419-2008)
  FC-BB-3, Revision 6.8 (ANSI INCITS 414-2006)
  FC-BB-2, Revision 6.0 (ANSI INCITS 372-2003)
  FC-FS-3, Revision 1.11 (ANSI INCITS 470-2011)
  FC-FS-2, Revision 1.01 (ANSI INCITS 424-2007)
  FC-FS-2, Amendment 1 (ANSI INCITS 424-2007/AM1-2007)
  FC-FS, Revision 1.9 (ANSI INCITS 373-2003)
  FC-LS-2, Revision 2.21 (ANSI INCITS 477-2011)
  FC-LS, Revision 1.62 (ANSI INCITS 433-2007)
  FC-SW-5, Revision 8.5 (ANSI INCITS 461-2010)
  FC-SW-4, Revision 7.5 (ANSI INCITS 418-2006)
  FC-SW-3, Revision 6.6 (ANSI INCITS 384-2004)
  FC-SW-2, Revision 5.3 (ANSI INCITS 355-2001)
  FC-GS-6, Revision 9.4 (ANSI INCITS 463-2010)
  FC-GS-5, Revision 8.51 (ANSI INCITS 427-2007)
  FC-GS-4, Revision 7.91 (ANSI INCITS 387-2004)
  FC-GS-3, Revision 7.01 (ANSI INCITS 348-2001)
  FCP-4, Revision 2
  FCP-3, Revision 4 (ANSI INCITS 416-2006)
  FCP-2, Revision 8 (ANSI INCITS 350-2003)
  FCP, Revision 12 (ANSI INCITS 269-1996)
  FC-SB-4, Revision 3.0 (ANSI INCITS 466-2011)
  FC-SB-3, Revision 1.6 (ANSI INCITS 374-2003)
  FC-SB-3, Amendment 1 (ANSI INCITS 374-2003/AM1-2007)
  FC-SB-2, Revision 2.1 (ANSI INCITS 349-2001)
  FC-VI, Revision 1.84 (ANSI INCITS 357-2002)
  FC-SP, Revision 1.8 (ANSI INCITS 426-2007)
  FAIS-2, Revision 2.23 (ANSI INCITS 449-2008)
  FAIS, Revision 1.03 (ANSI INCITS 432-2007)
  FC-IFR, Revision 1.06 (ANSI INCITS 475-2011)
  FC-MI-2, Revision 2.6 (INCITS TR-39-2005)
  FC-MI, Revision 1.92 (INCITS TR-30-2002)
  FC-DA, Revision 3.1 (INCITS TR-36-2004)
  FC-FLA, Revision 2.7 (INCITS TR-20-1998)
  FC-PLDA, Revision 2.1 (INCITS TR-19-1998)
  FC-Tape, Revision 1.17 (INCITS TR-24-1999)

Fibre Channel features:

  T11 standards-compliant FCoE
  T11 FCoE Initialization Protocol (FIP)
  FCoE Forwarder (FCF)
  Multihop FCoE with virtual E (VE) port support
  Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) interoperability
  Direct attachment of FCoE targets
  Class of service: Class 2, Class 3, and Class F
  Fibre Channel enhanced port types: VE, TE, and VF
  F-port trunking
  F-port channeling
  Fibre Channel PortChannel
  VSAN trunking
  Fabric Device Management Interface (FDMI)
  Fibre Channel ID (FCID) persistence
  Distributed device alias services
  In-order delivery
  Port tracking
  N-port virtualization (NPV)
  N-port ID virtualization (NPIV)
  Fabric services: Name server, registered state change notification (RSCN), login services, and name-server zoning
  Per-VSAN fabric services
  Cisco Fabric Services
  Fabric Shortest Path First (FSPF)
  Diffie-Hellman Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (DH-CHAP) and Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP)
  Host-to-switch and switch-to-switch FC-SP authentication
  Fabric binding for Fibre Channel
  Port security
  Standard zoning
  Domain and port zoning
  Enhanced zoning
  Cisco Fabric Analyzer
  Fibre Channel traceroute
  Fibre Channel ping
  Fibre Channel debugging
  Cisco Fabric Manager support
  Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S)

Ethernet protocols

  IEEE 802.3, Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detect (CSMA/CD) access method and physical layer (phy) specifications
  IEEE 802.1Q, MAC address bridges and virtual bridged LANs
  IEEE 802.1Qbb, priority-based flow control (PFC)
  IEEE 802.1Qaz, enhanced transmission selection (ETS)
  IEEE 802.1Qaz, Data Center Bridging Exchange Protocol (DCBX)


  48 fixed autosensing 10-Gbps FCoE ports


  Can be used in any and all of 8 payload slots of the Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director
  Can be used in any and all of 4 payload slots of the Cisco MDS 9706 Multilayer Director

Features and Functions

Fabric services

  Name server
  Login services
  Cisco Fabric Configuration Server (FCS)
  Public loop
  In-order delivery

Advanced capabilities

  PortChannel with multipath load balancing
  QoS: Flow based and zone based

Diagnostics and troubleshooting tools

  Power-on self-test (POST) diagnostics
  Online diagnostics
  Fibre Channel ping
  Fibre Channel debug
  Cisco Fabric Analyzer
  Online system health
  Port-level statistics
  Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) debug
  Online Health Monitoring System (OHMS) or Cisco Generic Online Diagnostics (GOLD)
  Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP+) digital diagnostics


  Per-VSAN role-based access control (RBAC)
  Fibre Channel zoning
  Port security and fabric binding
  Cisco Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN)
  Management access
   Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol Version 2 (v2) implementing Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
   Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Version 3 implementing AES
   Secure FTP (SFTP)


  Nondisruptive, concurrent code load and activation
  Configuration file management
  Nondisruptive software upgrades
  Cisco Call Home
  Power-management LEDs
  Port beaconing
  System LED
  SNMP traps for alerts
  Network boot


  Port speed: 10-Gbps fixed bandwidth
  PortChannel: Up to 16 ports

Reliability and availability

  Hot-swappable module
  Hot-swappable SFP optics
  Online diagnostics
  Stateful process restart
  Nondisruptive supervisor failover
  Any module, any port configuration for PortChannels
  Fabric-based multipathing
  Per-VSAN fabric services
  Port tracking

Network management

  Access methods through Cisco MDS 9700 Series supervisor module:
   Out-of-band 10/100/1000 Ethernet port (Supervisor-2A)
   RS-232 serial console port
   In-band IPFC
   DB-9 COM port
  Access protocols
   Command-line interface (CLI) by console and Ethernet ports
   SNMPv3 by Ethernet port and in-band IPFC access
   Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) SMI-S
  Network security
   Per-VSAN RBAC 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 Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for SAN
   Cisco Device Manager
   CiscoWorks Resource Manager Essentials (RME) and Device Fault Manager (DFM)

Programming interfaces

  Scriptable CLI
  Cisco DCNM for SAN GUI
  Cisco Device Manager GUI


  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: 5 to 90%
  Relative humidity, ambient (noncondensing) nonoperating and storage: 5 to 95%
  Altitude, operating: –197 to 6500 ft (–60 to 2000m)

Physical dimensions

  Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.75 x 15.9 x 21.8 in. (4.4 x 40.39 x 55.37 cm)
  Occupies one slot in a Cisco MDS 9700 Series chassis
  Weight: 17.0 lb (7.7 kg)


  Typical: 400 watts (W)

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
   KN22 Class A
   CNS13438 Class A
   EN 55024
   EN 50082-1
   EN 61000-6-1
   EN 61000-3-2
   EN 61000-3-3
   EN300 386

Ordering Information

Table 2 provides ordering information for the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps FCoE Module.

Table 2.       Ordering Information


Part Number

Cisco MDS 9700 10-Gbps 48-Port FCoE Module


Cisco MDS 9700 10-Gbps 48-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


1 Forty different wavelengths are offered. See the dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) SFP optics data sheet for additional product numbers and information:

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 9700 Family Fibre Channel switching modules, visit or contact your local account representative.

For detailed information about supported optics, see Cisco MDS 9000 Family Pluggable Transceivers.