Cisco MDS 9000 Family 8-Gbps Fiber Channel switching modules deliver the intelligence and the high performance required to support the most demanding storage applications, providing the foundation for large scale Storage Area Network (SAN) consolidation. The 8-Gbps Fiber Channel switching modules enable you to build consolidated SANs with fewer chassis for dramatic savings in space, power and cooling, and total cost of ownership (TCO).
The Cisco MDS 9000 Family offers high port density. Because building a large-scale storage network requires more than just high port density, Cisco has introduced innovative features that make multilayer storage networks a reality. VSANs, Inter-VSAN Routing on every port, advanced traffic management, hardware-enabled serviceability, and comprehensive security features make the Cisco MDS 9000 Family the platform of choice when you require high scalability and low TCO.
Virtual machine transparency
Server virtualization means that a SAN must concurrently support thousands of diverse, tiered applications, each with unique performance requirements. These applications and the virtual machines they run on are not bounded by physical servers and network ports. The Cisco MDS 9000 Family provides deterministic hardware performance and a rich feature set that allows VMs to have the same SAN attributes as a physical server.
Ideal for efficient, secure SAN consolidation, ANSI T11 compliant VSANs allow more efficient storage network utilization by creating hardware-based isolated environments within a single physical SAN fabric or switch. Each VSAN can be zoned as a typical SAN, maintaining its own fabric services for added scalability and resilience. VSANs allow the cost of SAN infrastructure to be shared among more users, while ensuring absolute segregation of traffic and retaining independent control of configuration on a VSAN-by-VSAN basis. Through unique industry-first virtualization features, VSANs benefits can be extended to virtualized servers, providing the foundation for an end-to-end virtualized data center.
Integrated SAN routing
In another step toward deploying the most efficient, cost-effective, consolidated storage networks, the Cisco MDS 9000 Family 8-Gbps Fiber Channel switching modules support IVR functionality on every port for Fiber Channel. IVR allows selective transfer of data traffic between specific initiators and targets on different VSANs while maintaining isolation of control traffic within each VSAN, thereby maintaining fabric stability and availability. Integrated IVR lowers TCO by eliminating the need for external routing appliances, greatly increasing routing scalability while delivering line-rate performance, simplifying management, and nearly eliminating the challenges associated with maintaining separate systems.
Integrated mainframe support
Cisco MDS 9000 Family 8-Gbps Fiber Channel switching modules are mainframe ready, with full support for IBM System z FICON and Linux environments. The 8-Gbps Fiber Channel switching modules support transport of the FICON protocol in both cascaded and non-cascaded fabrics, as well as intermix of FICON and open systems Fiber Channel Protocol (FCP) traffic on the same switch.
Advanced diagnostics and troubleshooting tools
The Cisco MDS 9000 Family 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. Power-on self-test (POST) and online diagnostics provide proactive health monitoring. Integrated hardware functionality enables diagnostic capabilities to intelligently capture network traffic. Captured Fiber 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
The Cisco MDS 9000 Family 8-Gbps Fiber Channel switching modules offer an extensive security framework to protect highly sensitive data crossing today's enterprise networks. The 8-Gbps Fiber Channel switching modules employ intelligent packet inspection at the port level, including the application of ACLs for hardware enforcement of zones, VSANs, and advanced port security features. VSANs provide mutual isolation among devices connected to the same physical SAN, while IVR enables controlled sharing of resources between VSANs.