Cisco Announces End-to-End Data Center Fabric to Simplify Virtualization

Networking giant Cisco announced it is now offering end-to-end data center convergence from server to storage by delivering new director-class, multi-hop Fibre channel over Ethernet (FCoE) capability for the Nexus 7000 and MDS 9500 platforms, joining the FCoE capability available on the Nexus 5000.

Cisco's Unified Computing System, which unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single cohesive system, has a new family member with the new Cisco Unified Computing System C260 M2 Rack-Mount Server, the ideal solution for mission critical performance-intensive applications.

As part of this series of announcements, Cisco also unveiled technology innovations across its entire Data Center Business Advantage portfolio, including the Cisco Nexus 7000 family and Nexus 5000 Series, the new ultra-low latency platform Cisco Nexus 3000, Cisco MDS storage switches, the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM, the Cisco Data Center Network Manager, and Cisco NX-OS, the comprehensive data center operating system that spans the Cisco data center portfolio.

With these innovations, Cisco continues to integrate its Unified Fabric, Unified Computing, and Unified Network Services into a "holistic data center fabric" designed to be simple, scalable and highly secure, delivering any application across any location, within the data center, across data centers, or to the cloud.

The Cisco data center fabric enables converged network management and "wire-once" agility from the server to the storage array for both physical and virtualized environments. With these additions, Cisco allows multiple data centers and cloud services to be connected across a common intelligent fabric, delivering architectural flexibility, investment protection and operational simplicity.

With Unified Port (UP) capability on all ports for these 48- and 96-port data center switches, information technology managers can designate any port to be 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel (2/4/8 gigabits) or Fibre Channel over Ethernet, simplifying configuration and offering maximum flexibility for data center needs. These switches support Layer 2/3, provide support for IEEE 802.1Qbh, and are FabricPath-ready.

The new Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Switches delivers industry leading low latency (less than 1usec port to port), in a high-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch for specific markets, such as high-frequency trading applications, where low latency is the No. 1 requirement. The one-rack-unit switch supports Layer 2/3 wire-rate switching and a wide range of routing protocols within the Cisco NX-OS operating system.

Cisco fabric extender technology (FEX) enables customers to build a single, modular fabric that extends from Cisco Nexus switches to Cisco Unified Computing System servers to adapters and to virtual machines. The design flexibility, reduced cabling infrastructure, and simplified management have resulted in equipment and operational savings of up to 50% for the more than 5,000 customers who have deployed the Cisco FEX architecture. Today Cisco introduced three additions to its fabric extension portfolio, all based on the IEEE 802.1Qbh emerging standard: Adapter FEX, VM-FEX and FEX Support for Nexus 7000.

Designed for the evolution to cloud environments, Cisco's NX-OS data center operating system provides high availability, supports a unified data center fabric, advances virtualization, simplifies operations, and provides a platform for innovation while protecting existing technology investments. Spanning network, storage, and computational infrastructure, Cisco NX-OS now adds support for multi-hop Fibre Channel over Ethernet (an industry-first capability that enables multiple points of management to increase the scalability of unified fabrics.

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