Cisco storage networking gets speed boost

Updates to the MDS 9000 line of products include new technologies designed to improve security and speed up traffic across wide-area networks

Cisco has announced updates to its MDS 9000 line of storage networking products designed to improve security and speed up wide-area data traffic.

The MDS 9000 family is aimed at companies using storage-area networks based on IBM's System z mainframes, but can also be used with third-party SANs, Cisco said in its announcement on Monday.

The updates, to be made available at the end of July, include a data traffic acceleration technology called XRC Acceleration that was co-developed with IBM. XRC Acceleration, designed for use with IBM's z/OS Global Mirror mirroring technology, speeds up data traffic travelling distances up to 20,000km, Cisco said.

Another new feature is TrustSec Fibre Channel Link Encryption, a hardware-based encryption system that is meant to allow users to encrypt data sent outside the datacentre without any seeing any degradation in performance, the networking company said.

The feature is intended for data travelling over metropolitan-area networks, such as traffic going from one datacentre to another. Customers with exceptionally strict security requirements, such as military organisations, can also deploy the technology within a datacentre so traffic between switches is encrypted.

The MDS 9000 I/O Accelerator is designed to boost transfer rates for storage-area network traffic, and for data-backup and disaster-recovery systems in particular. It can be used with either disk or tape systems and any transport protocol, regardless of whether the device is directly attached or located on a wide-area network or metropolitan-area network.

Finally, Cisco announced an update to the SAN Fabric Manager that increases the number of devices it can handle. Each node can now deal with up to 15,000 devices, and up to 10 nodes can be federated together for reporting purposes, making them easier to manage, the company said.

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