Cisco Introduces the Cisco MDS 9100 Multilayer Intelligent Fabric Switch Series
Sunnyvale, Calif. - September 9, 2003
-- Cisco today introduced the Cisco MDS 9100 series of Multilayer
Intelligent fabric switches, which offer IT organizations of all
sizes a consistent and seamless way to grow their storage area
networks (SANs) over time by utilizing the same set of intelligent
network services and integrated management tools available across
the entire Cisco MDS 9000 Family.
This level of manageability and investment protection have not been
available previously in the storage networking industry as Fibre
Channel fabric switches typically have not taken advantage of the
same level of intelligence and high-availability features that
director-class switches have.
"Because every switch in the Cisco MDS 9000 Family is built on a
common hardware and software architecture, customers can maximize
protection of their investment as they grow their SANs from the
very low end of this portfolio to the highest-end directors," said
Nancy Marrone-Hurley, senior analyst, Enterprise Storage Group.
"Customers we speak with would prefer a single vendor for the
entire storage infrastructure. Cisco now has a wide breadth of
products that will enable customers to scale, while ensuring they
will have all of the intelligent features that make the Cisco
solutions so attractive."
The Cisco MDS 9100 series are one rack unit (RU)-high,
fixed-configuration switches supporting 1 or 2 gigabit/second
auto-sensing Fibre Channel connectivity and available in 20 and
40-port models, the Cisco MDS 9120 and Cisco MDS 9140. Customers
can use the Cisco MDS 9100 series switches to build and manage
small and medium-sized SANs or to provide "edge-to-core"
connectivity into larger SANs. Because of their compact size, the
Cisco MDS 9100 series switches also offer maximum Fibre Channel
port density per rack, which addresses the problem of limited space
availability common in many enterprise data centers.
The flexibility of the Cisco MDS 9100 allows customers to deploy
the switches in multiple SAN configurations. For example, a small
to medium-sized business can use the Cisco MDS 9120 to build their
first entry-level SAN as they migrate from a direct-attached to a
networked-storage infrastructure. Or larger enterprises can use the
Cisco MDS 9120 to meet storage networking requirements of a
specific application or business function. Through the Cisco MDS
9140, customers can cost effectively connect a large number of
servers and storage devices at the edges of core, enterprise-class
SANs. In all these deployment scenarios, customers will be able to
take full advantage of the industry-leading scalability,
availability, security, and integrated management features
available throughout the Cisco MDS 9000 Family.
Cisco MDS 9000 SAN-OS v. 1.2
Every Cisco MDS 9100 switch will ship with the integrated
management tools and the intelligent network services already
available on the Cisco MDS 9000, such as virtual SANs (VSANs),
role-based access control, virtual output queuing, and advanced SAN
security and diagnostics. Cisco today added new, significant
software features for the Cisco MDS 9000 Family with version 1.2 of
its Cisco MDS 9000 operating system, or SAN-OS. Feature highlights
- Enhanced SAN security: Features including LUN
zoning, read-only zones and port security will help SAN
administrators ensure tighter security at both the switch and
- Enhanced administrative management: VSAN
access control will allow SAN administrators designate
user-management rights to specific VSANs, which helps them tailor
roles to better match the organization's needs.
- Advanced troubleshooting and diagnostics:
Remote SPAN (RSPAN) extends the switched port analyzer
functionality to multi-switch environments and simplifies Fibre
Channel troubleshooting across the entire fabric.
- Improved investment protection: Legacy switch
interoperability mode allows customers to deploy Cisco MDS 9000
switches into fabrics built with a select set of third-party SAN
switches without disruption.
The next upgrade of the Cisco MDS 9000 SAN-OS
will add support for more connectivity, security, and management
features. Most significant of these is expected to be support for
FICON (Fiber Connector), a high-speed mainframe transport protocol.
As part of this, Cisco has licensed FICON control unit port (CUP)
specifications from IBM to help manage SANs with attached mainframe
hosts. Cisco expects to complete its FICON development by year's
end with IBM FICON qualification to follow.
Pricing and Availability
The Cisco MDS 9100 and the Cisco MDS 9000 SAN-OS v.1.2 are
currently being qualified by Cisco original storage manufacturers
(OSMs) and other storage subsystem vendors. Pricing and
availability through these companies are expected within the next
30 to 60 days. HP is expected to make the Cisco MDS 9100 available
to its customers by the end of this month.
About Cisco Systems
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Industry Support for the Cisco MDS
"The Cisco MDS 9100 series Multilayer Intelligent fabric switches
offer significant functional advantages for IT organizations
seeking to optimize the efficiency of their storage infrastructure.
As the first backup solution to be qualified for these new
switches, CA's BrightStor ARCserve Backup offers customers the
unique ability to more fully leverage expensive storage resources
including tape libraries across a broader number of servers. The
Cisco MDS 9100 coupled with CA's BrightStor will help drive down
cost of data protection across the overall enterprise."
-- Bob Davis, vice president of BrightStor solutions
Hitachi Data Systems
"Customers are looking for vendors who can provide interoperable
SAN solutions that are easy to deploy, highly available, and have
the highest return on investment. Hitachi Data Systems is pleased
to support Cisco's new fabric switches which, combined with Hitachi
Freedom Storage systems, extend the benefits of networked storage
to a broader range of customers."
-- Scott Genereux, vice president, Global Marketing and Business
"As the first Cisco OSM to ship the Cisco MDS 9120 and MDS 9140, HP
assures our customers that we have conducted exhaustive
qualifications, and that we are ready to implement and support the
switches in SAN configurations today. Standard, interoperable SANs
are critical to building a reliable, manageable network storage
infrastructure. HP is working with Cisco as a key SAN provider to
deliver on the HP Adaptive Enterprise strategy to tighten the
linkage between business and IT."
-- Frank Harbist, vice president and general manager of storage
software, HP Network Storage Solutions
"With the addition of the Cisco MDS 9120 and Cisco MDS 9140, Cisco
switches will become a significant impact for small and medium size
customers. With these new switches, IBM customers will be able to
start small and grow their business with a Cisco SAN Fabric."
-- Scott Drummond, Program Director, IBM Storage Systems Group
"The new Cisco MDS 9100 Series switches extend Cisco's family of
compatible storage switches to meet the full range of enterprise
customer needs. Together, Cisco and Network Appliance provide a
scalable family of storage solutions, which are fully compatible
from the low to high end, and drive down the cost and complexity of
managing expanding IT environments."
--Patrick Rogers, vice president of Partners and Alliances
"Small and medium-sized businesses need the easily managed and
cost-effective data protection that VERITAS' BackupExec provides.
The combination of VERITAS' BackupExec and the release of the CISCO
MDS 9100 Series Multilayer Intelligent Fabric Switch provides a
pre-tested, pre-qualified storage solution with Intelligent Network
Services. VERITAS strives to integrate with widest variety of
switches in its mission to enable utility computing for today's IT
-- Brenda Zawatski, vice president of Product and Solutions
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