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Cisco Next Gen 32Gb Fibre Channel NVMe SAN Updates

server storage I/O trends

Cisco Next Gen 32Gb Fibre Channel and NVMe SAN Updates

Cisco announced today next generation MDS storage area networking (SAN) Fibre Channel (FC) switches with 32Gb, along with NVMe over FC support.

Cisco 32Gb Fibre Channel MDS directorsCisco FC Switches
Cisco Fibre Channel (FC) Directors (Left) and Switches (Right)

Highlights of the Cisco announcement include:
  • MDS 9700 48 port 32Gbps FC switching module
  • High density 768 port 32Gbps FC directors
  • NVMe over FC for attaching fast flash SSD devices (current MDS 9700, 9396S, 9250i and 9148S)
  • Integrated analytics engine for management insight awareness
  • Multiple concurrent protocols including NVMe, SCSI (e.g. SCSI_FCP aka FCP) and FCoE

Where to Learn More

The following are additional resources to learn more.

What this all means, wrap up and summary

Fibre Channel remains relevant for many environments and it makes sense that Cisco known for Ethernet along with IP networking enhance their offerings. By having 32Gb Fibre Channel, along with adding NVMe over Fabric provides existing (and new) Cisco customers to support their legacy (e.g. FC) and emerging (NVMe) workloads as well as devices. For those environments that still need some mix of Fibre Channel, as well as NVMe over fabric this is a good announcement. Keep an eye and ear open for which storage vendors jump on the NVMe over Fabric bandwagon now that Cisco as well as Brocade have made switch support announcements.

Ok, nuff said (for now...).


Greg Schulz - Microsoft MVP Cloud and Data Center Management, VMware vExpert (and vSAN). Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press), Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier) and twitter @storageio. Watch for the spring 2017 release of his new book "Software-Defined Data Infrastructure Essentials" (CRC Press).

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Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group, an IT industry analyst and consultancy firm. Greg has worked with various server operating systems along with storage and networking software tools, hardware and services. Greg has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, and storage and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO.

In addition to his analyst and consulting research duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after popular speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can also be found on twitter @storageio.