Cisco moves UCS forward with four-in-one card

A new network line card for MDS 9000 storage switches aims to move more data-storage functions out of end devices and into the fabric of the datacentre
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Cisco has released a 16-port line card that combines four services for the MDS 9000 family of Fibre Channel storage switches.

The Storage Services Node-16 (SSN-16) card will move more data-storage functions out of end devices and into the fabric of the datacentre, and is being introduced as part of Cisco's Unified Computing Strategy (UCS), the company said in its announcement on Thursday.

UCS is a next-generation datacentre effort, launched in March, that offers a coherent set of products and services. It is designed to let customers take full advantage of virtualisation while keeping down costs and streamlining management.

The new card ties current storage networks into UCS, the networking company said, allowing MDS 9000 switches to funnel storage services to any device in a Cisco fabric.

The SSN-16, which can run up to four storage protocol streams at once, is the first to consolidate Cisco's existing fabric-based storage-area network (SAN) services into a single card, the company said.

Those services include I/O acceleration, data encryption, secure data erasure and Fibre Channel over IP services, each of which can be licensed separately.

The I/O accelerator engine should cut bandwidth requirements over metropolitan and wide-area networks, Cisco said, while the data encryption service can work with tape or virtual tape libraries.

In addition, the company is repackaging its Data Mobility Manager (DMM) data migration software into a standalone appliance based on a Cisco MDS 9222i intelligent fabric switch.

The DMM product will eliminate downtime during migrations by allowing them to take place while data is still in use, Cisco said.

The SSN-16 card and the DMM appliance are available immediately from Cisco and its partners.

Cisco in November announced a partnership with EMC and EMC subsidiary VMware to provide UCS-compatible integrated datacentre products that combine virtualisation, networking, computing, storage, security and management technologies.

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