UPDATED: A new data storage package consists of VMware-validated Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and NetApp FAS series unified storage using Fibre Channel over Ethernet in virtual environments running vSphere.
Fibre Channel over Ethernet got another boost July 28 from three front-line
Cisco Systems, NetApp and VMware jointly announced July 28 that they have made
ready for prime time a new fully certified, end-to-end FCOE storage package for
VMware virtual environments.
The package contains VMware-validated Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and
NetApp FAS-series unified storage using FCOE in virtual environments running
The package is now listed on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide, with
support offered by all three companies.
There's no question that FCOE is gaining momentum, as IT managers revamping
enterprise data centers look to replace standard, cabled Fibre Channel. Earlier
the week of July 26, Oracle
launched its first FCOE Sun storage package
with the help of controller
Basically, Cisco's switches and NetApp's storage FCOE arrays now have been
tested and credentialed by VMware to support VMware-based virtualized
environments. Previously, the companies' wares had been certified for Fibre
Channel, NAS (network-attached storage) and iSCSI.
By combining the attributes of Fibre Channel and Ethernet, FCOE presents a
unified data center fabric and reduces the number of adapters, cables and
network infrastructure devices-thus, much of the cost-involved in running a
FCOE has become the de facto first choice of an increasing number of data
center managers deploying 10 Gigabit Ethernet, which is fast becoming a key
connectivity building block for new and updated unified data center
Because FCOE supports NAS and iSCSI on a single unified network with 10G
Ethernet in virtualized environments, it allows data center infrastructure to
be consolidated for capital and operational expense savings and more efficient
data center environment
has been described as a
closed-loop, proprietary system. Clarification on this is needed: The server (Cisco's own), networking software and management software is indeed proprietary; however, the UCS uses an open-standards approach for storage connectivity that works with any commodity-type hardware.
partners in the Cisco UCS alliance,
and NetApp are named as the "preferred" storage partners in the Cisco
UCS partnership scheme, but in reality any storage supplier's wares can plug
into the system.
"It's a common misconception, but UCS works with any and all storage
vendors and can be managed by any overall management platform (IBM,
HP, CA, BMC, etc.) and can interoperate in
any existing data center," Cisco media rep Lee Davis told eWEEK.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify information about the UCS server and networking apparatus.