Modern data centers are becoming increasingly massive and complex. Proliferation of new technologies such as virtualization is adding yet another level of complexity while enabling higher workloads to be placed on the network. Innovations such as Cisco Unified Fabric unify storage and data networking to deliver convergence, scalability, and intelligence with reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) and faster return on investment (ROI). IT departments today are challenged to look beyond traditional silos of networking and storage to manage this converged, virtualized data center. Meeting this challenge calls for unification of the management plane to enable holistic management of the data center infrastructure.
Recognizing the need to support this convergence in management, Cisco is merging two best-in-class management solutions, Cisco Fabric Manager and Cisco Data Center Network Manager for LAN, into one unified product called Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM). Administrators can still maintain control and segmentation through role-based access control (RBAC), now with single-pane visibility across the network and storage access infrastructure. Cisco DCNM streamlines the provisioning of the unified fabric and proactively monitors the SAN and LAN components.
Virtual machine-aware path management
Cisco DCNM for SAN simplifies management of the virtual infrastructure by enabling management of the entire path through the physical to the virtual network across the whole data center environment. The VMpath views increase service availability by identifying bottlenecks in virtual machine and VMware ESX performance and extending visibility to the physical fabric. The virtual machine-aware (VM-aware) topology view shows all the dependencies from the virtual machine out to the physical host, through the fabric, and to the storage array with easy access to a detailed view of the path attributes. The VM-aware dashboard displays all the information needed to manage the virtual environment including performance charts, inventory information, events, and virtual machine and VMware ESX utilization information. Cisco DCNM for SAN maps paths all the way from the server to storage, enabling tracking of mission-critical workloads across the entire network.
Performance and troubleshooting
Cisco DCNM for SAN helps IT ensure the resiliency of the Cisco SAN infrastructure by monitoring and providing alerts for fabric availability and performance. It provides near-real-time monitoring of fabrics with visibility into traffic spikes and establishes baseline traffic patterns. When predefined thresholds are breached, appropriate alerts are generated and can be forwarded to operations staff and enterprise operations consoles for incident management.
Single pane of glass management
The interactive dashboard provides intuitive views into the top fabric users with the capability to view more details of key performance indicators (KPIs). Another view displays events based on their severity, with links to reports that show affected devices, leading to quicker root-cause analysis. Cisco DCNM for SAN proactively measures, analyzes, and predicts performance of SAN infrastructure and provides critical visibility into utilization and capacity.
Scalability: federation and VSAN Scoping
Data center management tools must scale to large and distributed data center deployments. Customers do not want to spend time switching between multiple dashboards for the information. Cisco DCNM for SAN solves this problem through the concept of federation; with federation, multiple servers can be deployed while still maintaining a consolidated view across distributed data centers. The simplicity of managing large environments from a single view revolutionizes data center management. For instance, network operations centers (NOCs) can now have a single point for monitoring alerts and events across multiple data centers.