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Cisco Upgrades Storage Networking

Cisco has announced a storage networking upgrade to help customers prepare for a major surge in stored data. The move comes one day after VMware unveiled its own vSAN 6.6 upgrade.

The stakes for partners and customers certainly are high. Data stored in global data centers is expected to increase fivefold — to 915 Exabytes — by 2020, according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index. Amid that surge, Cisco is updating its MDS storage switch and Unified Computing System (UCS) C-Series server products to help customers better access, manage and automate this stored data, the company said.

The update offers storage networking customers 32G Fibre Channel (32GFC) performance across an integrated MDS storage director and UCS fabric, as well as storage networking analytics and NVMe over FC support for flash memory appliances.

Cisco Partner Benefits

With this announcement, channel partners can capitalize on the trend in data growth by offering customers an upgrade to support 32G Fibre Channel that preserves their existing Cisco investments, Scott Mohr, director of data center/cloud for Cisco’s Global Partner Organization, said in a statement.

The update helps partners drive profitability and expand current and future sales opportunities, he said, by using high-performance unified fabric solutions and advanced analytics as a foundation to cross-sell unified computing and switching products.

“The new products help partners build stronger account control with more and longer-term product and services revenue streams,” Mohr said. “We expect partners to take advantage of the industry’s broadest Storage Networking portfolio designed for the continued growth of virtualization, cloud and massive amounts of data.”

Cisco Storage Networking Features

The update is designed to improve performance, simplify connectivity, and enable better scalability and visibility for storage networking customers, Cisco said.

As a result of collaborations with Broadcom/Emulex and Cavium/Qlogic, the update includes high bandwidth SAN for flash storage and enhanced server to storage connectivity. 32Gb Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) address requirements of modern networked storage systems that use high-performance and low-latency solid-state storage drives, as well as hard disk drive arrays, the company says.

Built-in hardware-based analytics on MDS 32G modules offer organizations complete visibility across SAN in real time for fast and comprehensive monitoring of any potential network performance issues, Cisco said.

Existing MDS 9700 customers can upgrade the product to support the new 32G Fibre Channel, and NVMe over fabrics is supported on all current and future generations of MDS switches.

The update will be available sometime in May.

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