Cisco's new director-class storage switch boosts throughput 6X

The MDS 9710 has up to 24 terabits-per-second performance

Cisco today announced upgrades to its director-class and multiservice fabric switches

The new Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director delivers six times the bandwidth of its predecessor, while the Cisco MDS 9250i Multiservice Fabric Switch is aimed at boosting SAN efficiency by performing storage services centrally in the network fabric.

The MDS 9710 supports file or block services, including high-density Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet, enabling SAN and LAN networking operations over the same platform.

The MDS 9710 Multilayer Director

Both switches allow users with existing Cisco MDS switches to upgrade because all of the products run off of the same NX-OS operating system.

The MDS 9710 replaces the Cisco 9500 series as Cisco's top director-class storage switch. The 9500 series offered up to 256Gbps of total throughput, according to Nitin Garg, senior manager of product management for Data Center Solutions at Cisco.

The MDS 9710 offers a total of 24 terabits per second of switching capacity for Fibre Channel connectivity and offers Cisco's highest fault-tolerant capabilities with fully redundant (N+1) fans, switching fabrics, and power-supplies or grid redundancy.

The director has 48 ports of 16Gbps Fibre Channel and 48 ports of 10Gbps FCoE in a single 14U chassis.

Operational consistency is provided across the data center, meaning customers can rely on staff knowledge and their existing processes to ease a migration to new platforms.

Both the MDS 9710 Multilayer Director and the MDS 9250i Multiservice Switch are ready to be used in preconfigured SANs, such as VCE's Vblock, Hitachi's HDS Reference Architecture and NetApp's FlexPod product.

The new MDS 9250i offers up to 40 line-rate ports of 16GB Fiber Channel or FICON, 8 ports of 10Gbps Fiber Channel over Ethernet, and 2 ports of either 10Gbps Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol (FCIP) or iSCSI.

The Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director is available now; the Cisco MDS 9250i Multiservice Fabric Switch will be available in the third quarter of this year.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at  @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is

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Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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