Cisco refreshes much of its data center hardware and software lineup led by a new server and a revamped operating system. Cisco also introduced several new storage switches and something it's calling a "fabric extender."
Systems has been making a large deal about converged data center hardware
infrastructures for more than two years with its Unified
, as increased functionality gets wedged into smaller
components and servers and routers-and as Cisco got into the server
the world's biggest IT networking company and newbie data center systems maker
is using the convergence headline to explain its 2011 data center software
strategy, which becomes physical in the company's Data Center Business
on March 30 launched a flotilla of new hardware products, including an application/networking
server, several storage switches, something called a "fabric
extender," management tools and a data center management appliance-data
center items that refresh a good deal of Cisco's product lineup.
not all. Cisco also updated its data center operating system, Cisco NX-OS, to
run all these new machines.
fact, the list of new items is so long and detailed that it would be fallacious
to try to describe them all here. Thus, we'll do something we don't often do
here at eWEEK: refer you to the Cisco
product announcement for all the details
most important new items are the new server, switches and the operating
new Unified Computing System C260 M2 Rack-Mount Server crams even more
computing, networking, storage access and virtualization resources into a
single box for the rack, Data Center Product Marketing Manager Omar Sultan told
eWEEK. This is the box that will run the Cisco OS and contain all the network
and storage management tools, among other things.
also announced that it is now offering end-to-end "fabric-type"
connectivity from server to storage with new director-class, "multihop"
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) in its larger-scale Nexus 7000 and MDS
9500 storage-area network switches. This is already available in its Nexus 5000
the Fibre Channel world, a "hop" is what happens when data moves from
switch to switch and the domain IDs change (each switch has its own IP domain).
Thus, the new Cisco switches can handle many "hops" as needed to get
the data from where it is to where it is supposed to go within the
idea of a data center "fabric" can be viewed in a few ways. Most IT
people see this as similar to the physical image the word presents: a pliable
yet connected structure that can sort of wrap around pools of enterprise data
to protect them as they go through the processes they need to endure.
It also can mean that parts of a data center are able to spin up and slow down
as workload fluctuates to maintain the best and most economical use of energy
for power and cooling.