Cisco SAN Switch, Director Appliances Suited for Cloud Environments

The MDS 9710 Multilayer Director is available now, and the MDS 9250i Multiservice Fabric Switch is scheduled to be available in Q3 2013.

Networking specialist Cisco announced two solutions for storage area networks (SANs) that are designed to help businesses address rising trends such as big data and cloud computing: the MDS 9710 Multilayer Director and the MDS 9250i Multiservice Fabric Switch.

The MDS 9710 Multilayer Director delivers 24 terabits per second of total switching capacity and supports both high-density Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet, enabling consistent SAN and LAN operations. The appliance also builds on the MDS heritage of nonstop operations, including software upgrades, by providing the high-fault-tolerant capabilities with fully redundant (N+1) fans, switching fabrics, and power-supplies or grid redundancy (N:N).

In addition, operational consistency is provided across the data center, helping enable organizations to use staff knowledge and existing processes to minimize change management when migrating to new platforms. The appliance supports up to 384 line-rate 16GB Fibre Channel ports or Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) in a single 14-rack unit (RU) chassis.

The MDS 9250i Multiservice Fabric Switch offers SAN Extension, which simplifies data protection and business continuance strategies by enabling backup, remote replication and other disaster recovery services over wide-area network (WAN) distances using an open-standards based Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) tunnel.

In addition, Cisco's Data Mobility Manager provides the ability to migrate data easily from logical unit number (LUN) to LUN or array to array, while the company's I/O Accelerator (IOA) provides acceleration for wire encryption for backup and replication operations, helping make disaster recovery and regulatory compliance a more streamlined process.

A company release noted the MDS 9710 Multilayer Director is available now, and the MDS 9250i Multiservice Fabric Switch is scheduled to be available in the third quarter. The company's MDS Storage Networking product line is supported and resold by authorized original storage manufacturers.

"Today's announcement cements Cisco's technology leadership in the storage director market," David Yen, senior vice president of Cisco's data center group, said in a statement. "Cisco continues to deliver the greatest depth and breadth for an end-to-end data center unified fabric. Together with our ecosystem of partners, we are reshaping the data center into an IT linchpin that transforms business continuity and operations for customers, one that is critical to today's competitive business environments."

In a recent report, IT research firm IDC forecasts that data storage needs will show a compound annual growth rate of 61.4 percent through 2015.

Cisco says that as demand from enterprises for data storage systems continues to grow, so too does the need to better integrate these systems with other critical data center infrastructure such as networking and computing systems.