What Excites Us About Cisco’s Latest Announcement

 

In April I talked about Cisco and Kaminario collaborating to meet the needs of today’s ‘as-a-service’ infrastructure, enabled by Cisco’s enablement of 32Gb Fibre Channel (FC) and support for simultaneous FC and Non-volatile Memory Express over Fabrics (NVMe-F) connectivity. Today, Cisco launched a new Cisco MDS 9132T 32 Port 32-Gbps FC switch, cost optimized with integrated telemetry and scale to future-proof your Storage Area Network (SAN) investments. With this new product, Cisco is rounding out their offerings which support the NVMe-F protocol, which also happens to be the foundation for our next generation flash storage. Check out Tony Antony’s blog on the launch here.

The prevailing wisdom seems to be that the need for 32Gb infrastructure is being driven by the growth of all-flash arrays. The reality is that the infrastructure needs of both traditional enterprises and cloud/managed service providers continue to evolve, driven by the sheer volume of data that needs to be captured, stored and analyzed during its lifecycle to make faster and more intelligent business decisions. This is driving the frenetic “get more done faster” pace of change in the data center infrastructure. Key to this is the need to maintain a cost efficient and predictable high-performance SAN environment.

This is what is really driving the innovation shown today in Cisco’s announcement. The MDS 9132T offers customers another option to build this robust, high-performance network. The integrated telemetry supports predictability, which is critical to the success of this new infrastructure. The combination of these three factors – cost efficiency, high performance and predictability – absolutely describe the demands that IT places on infrastructure vendors, the demands being met by the MDS 9132T.

Many Kaminario customers continue to leverage Fibre Channel for their SAN to gain the inherent low latency, high performance capabilities. With coming NVMe over FC support on the MDS 9132T, Cisco is providing these customers the investment protection they need to continue leveraging this network in the future. This is important to Kaminario given our recent announcement of the Kaminario K2.N, built on an NVMe-F fabric, with client connectivity options including both Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) and NVMe over FC.

The flexibility Cisco is providing on the MDS 9132T offers an ideal complement to K2.N, allowing us to support our customers’ connectivity protocol of choice. As we deploy K2.N into existing FC fabrics, customers can continue to leverage their current FC protocol until they are ready to deploy an end-to-end NVMe-F approach. Since this is already supported across the current generation of host bus adapters (HBAs) from Broadcom/Emulex and Cavium/QLogic, the customer transition to the pure NVMe-F environment becomes seamless.

According to the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA), FC remains the foundation for over 90% of SANs, and 96% of the world’s banks, airlines and retailers run over FC with over 30 billion transactions per day. Therefore, it is no wonder that many customers will value the future proofing that NVMe-F brings them. So, go ahead Mr/s. Customer, look at NVMe over FC. Kaminario and the Fibre Channel ecosystem will be right there alongside you ensuring it just works.

 

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