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Cisco Unveils New Director and Modules for MDS 9000 Family Products


Cisco redefines SAN scalability; provides industry-leading investment protection.

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Storage Networking World), April 3, 2006 - Cisco Systems® today announced the availability of the Cisco MDS 9513 Multilayer Director, Cisco SAN-OS Software Release 3.0, and 4- gigabits per second (Gbps) and 10-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Modules for use in new and existing MDS 9000 Family products.

These new products redefine SAN scalability, allowing the new MDS 9513 Multilayer Director to scale to 528 1/2/4-Gbps Fibre Channel ports and the MDS 9509 and MDS 9506 Multilayer Directors to scale up to 336 and 192 1/2/4-Gbps Fibre Channel ports, respectively. Additionally, the new switching modules can be deployed in existing MDS 9500 and 9200 Series products providing 4- and 10-Gbps technology, advanced functionality and unparalleled investment protection.

These new products retain the complete MDS 9000 feature set including Virtual SANs (VSANs), Inter-VSAN Routing, and advanced management, diagnostic and security features. Additionally, new features in SAN-OS 3.0 include advanced port bandwidth management and enhanced FICON capability.

“The Cisco MDS 9513’s high port density, coupled with Cisco VSAN and Inter-VSAN Routing capabilities would allow us to consolidate SANs and to logically separate project data while at the same time simplifying our storage management,” said Peter Haas, Director of Network and Data Management in the High Performance Computing Center (HLRS), at University of Stuttgart. “During our tests of the Cisco MDS 9513 director, we also found the 10-Gbps capability to be very helpful for interconnecting our multiple campus SANs.”

New Cisco MDS 9513 Multilayer Director
As with all other Cisco MDS 9500 Series directors, the MDS 9513 offers an advanced feature set and full bandwidth redundancy, to help ensure system throughput even in the event of a crossbar failure. Other high availability attributes include support for non-disruptive software upgrades, modular software with stateful process restart, support for cross-module inter-switch links (ISLs) scaling to 16 ports each, and full redundancy of all critical hardware components. The MDS 9513 delivers industry-leading port density, availability, and the advanced feature set to help the most demanding enterprises consolidate and scale for the future.

New Cisco 4-Gbps and 10-Gbps Switching Modules
Four new switching modules are being introduced. New 1/2/4-Gbps autosensing modules are available in 12-, 24- and 48-port configurations. In addition Cisco is introducing a new 10-Gbps Fibre Channel module available in a 4-port configuration. The new switching modules provide increased performance, higher density, improved economics and superior investment protection. Also being announced today is the new Supervisor-2 Module for use in all MDS 9500 Series directors. Together these new modules allow the MDS 9500 Series to break through the 256-port barrier, extending to 528 4-Gbps Fibre Channel ports and up to 44 10-Gbps Fibre Channel ports per system.

Industry-Leading Investment Protection
The new switching modules provide true investment protection by fitting seamlessly into existing Cisco MDS 9500 Series directors as well as Cisco 9216i and 9216A Multilayer Fabric Switches. Additionally, the MDS 9513 supports all currently shipping modules. This level of forward and backward compatibility allows customers to mix and match switching modules to achieve optimal performance while avoiding costly forklift upgrades.

“Investment protection in the form of solid backward and forward compatibility is very important to customers who must control costs but still want to take advantage of the latest technology,” said James Opfer, research vice president at the Gartner Group, a research firm that tracks the storage networking industry. “In addition, scalability is key to achieving low total cost of ownership. It has the potential to reduce initial capital outlays as well as lower recurring management expense.”

Broad Industry Support
Cisco has garnered broad support from storage vendors that participate in its Original Storage Manufacturer (OSM) and Solution Technology Integrator (STI) partner programs. OSM and STI partners that intend to qualify and sell the new products include EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, Network Appliance, and Xiotech.

“EMC and Cisco share a common vision to help customers consolidate their multiple SANs as part of an information lifecycle management strategy,” said Marty Lans, Director, Storage Networking, EMC Corporation. “As a member of the EMC Connectrix family of switches and directors, the MDS 9513 will be an ideal complement to our leading storage platforms, including the new Symmetrix DMX-3 systems which provide our customers with the capability for massive data center consolidation.”

“Hitachi Data Systems continues to work with Cisco to provide solutions that map application requirements to storage resources,” said Steve TenBarge, vice president, Global Product Marketing, at Hitachi Data Systems Corporation. “The high port density and the VSAN capability in the new Cisco MDS 9513 complement our controller-based storage virtualization by segregating and managing traffic for different tiers to achieve the most robust tiered storage architecture in the industry.”

“The new offerings from Cisco strengthen HP’s portfolio of flexible storage networking solutions that help customers put information to work by dramatically simplifying SAN deployment, consolidation and information lifecycle management, allowing them to address both current and future IT storage infrastructure needs,” said Kyle Fitze, director of SAN marketing, StorageWorks Division, HP.

“We are pleased by the enterprise class scalability that these new Cisco products allow IBM to deliver to our customers,” said Robert Mahoney, IBM business line executive, storage networking. “IBM’s large mainframe customers will be especially interested with the ultra-scalability range of 4-Gbps features and switch characteristics supporting investment protection now available in the MDS 9000 Family. Together with products in the IBM System Storage portfolio, customers stand to benefit from a range of midrange and enterprise infrastructure simplification and business continuity solutions that utilize the expanded Cisco MDS 9000 capabilities.”

The Cisco MDS 9513 Multilayer Director and the new modules announced today are expected to be generally available through Cisco’s OSM and STI partners starting in May.

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