by Adam Armstrong

Cisco & Virtual Instruments Join On Networking Innovations

Today Cisco announced it is working with Virtual Instruments new technology innovations for next-generation storage networking that aim to help customers better analyze SAN operational performance and move to cost effective 32Gbps solutions that grow as digital business expands. The companies will be combining Virtual Instruments App-centric Infrastructure Performance Management platform, VirtualWisdom, with several Cisco products for deep fibre channel (FC) SAN performance monitoring.

There has been a general shift in recent times to hybrid data centers. This shift means that underlying infrastructure must be capable of changing as well. Organizations that rely on FC SAN infrastructures need a way to see into their performance, health, and utilization. This is where VirtualWisdom comes in; customers can address issues before they become larger problems. When combining VirtualWisdom with Cisco’s MDS 9700 32G Module and SAN Streaming Fabric customers can potentially see a significant reduction to OpEx and CapEx costs associated with monitoring these infrastructures.

The new innovations include:

  • The new Cisco MDS 9132T 32 Port 32-Gbps Fibre Channel Switch enables customers to cost effectively scale from 8 to 32 ports as demand grows. Its versatile semi-modular design caters to entry-level, departmental and enterprise-class SANs, and enables customers to grow from 8 to 16 ports initially on the base, with further expansion to 32 ports using the 16-Port expansion module. It supports flash memory environments (flash arrays for FCP workloads now and FC-NVMe in the near future), offering built-in telemetry diagnostics to proactively identify and correct conditions that affect all-flash array performance. The product offers director-level capabilities in a small, cost effective and expandable footprint: 32 auto-sensing line-rate 32-Gbps Fibre Channel ports in a compact 1-rack-unit (1RU) form factor; the industry’s largest B2B credits per port (8270) to enable long distance 32G fiber channel connectivity; and optimal resiliency with a field swappable port expansion modules.
  • Cisco SAN Telemetry Streaming provides advanced telemetry and diagnostics data that are key to troubleshooting and providing deep insight into SAN fabrics. The Cisco MDS 9700 32G Module offers built-in sensors to provide pervasive data plane visibility for troubleshooting, infrastructure capacity planning, and optimization of SAN fabrics. Data is streamed real time via a high-performance, open-source universal RPC framework. The 32GB line card with built-in telemetry can be placed anywhere in the I/O path for seamless integration and ease of operation, and streamed data can be sent to any analytics application. 
  • Cisco now offers direct technology integration with Virtual Instruments (VI), ideal for customers in high performance industries such as finance, enterprises or large scale service providers. VI’s VirtualWisdom application monitors and analyzes the performance and utilization of FC SAN infrastructure. Cisco FC SAN customers can now choose to deploy VirtualWisdom non-intrusively, eliminating the need for physical TAP and hardware probes. Data will be streamed real-time from Cisco’s MDS 9700 32G Module to the VirtualWisdom Platform Appliance, uniting Virtual Instruments analytics capabilities with Cisco’s leading SAN infrastructure. Based on Cisco Cloud Scale technology, the Cisco Nexus 9300-FX platforms are the next generation of fixed Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches, and offer support for 16G Fibre Channel NPV now and 32G FC in the future. This capability builds on Cisco’s commitment to Nexus customers who choose to consolidate their LAN and SAN infrastructure at the DC access layer by providing an easy migration path from the earlier generation of Nexus 5000, Nexus 5600 and Nexus 6000 to the latest generation of Nexus 9300-FX switches.

Cisco main site

Virtual Instruments main site

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