Cisco MDS 9300 License

Cisco MDS 9300 Multilayer Fabric Switch License

Cisco MDS 9396S 16G Multilayer Fabric Switch

Product Overview

The Cisco MDS 9300 License 9396S 16G Multilayer Fabric Switch is the next generation of the high performance, high density and highly reliable Cisco MDS License Series Fabric switches. It combines high performance with exceptional flexibility and cost effectiveness. This powerful, compact, 2-rack-unit (2RU) switch scales from 48 to 96 line-rate 16-Gbps Fibre Channel ports.

The Cisco MDS 9396S is excellent for:

  • A standalone SAN in large departmental storage environments
  • A middle-of-row or top-of-rack switch in medium-sized redundant fabrics
  • An edge switch in enterprise data center core-edge topologies

The Cisco MDS 9396S is powered by Cisco NX-OS Software and Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) software. It delivers advanced storage networking features and functions with ease of management and compatibility with the entire Cisco MDS 9000 Family portfolio for reliable end-to-end connectivity.

Main Features

High Performance and Flexibility at Lower Cost

Up to 96 autosensing Fibre Channel ports are capable of speeds of 2, 4, 8, 10, and 16 Gbps, with 16 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth for each port. The base switch model comes with 48 or 96 ports enabled. The 48-port base model can be upgraded as needed with the 12-port Cisco MDS 9396S On-Demand Port Activation license to also support configurations of 60, 72, 84, and 96 enabled ports. Only the Cisco MDS 9396S scales from 48 to 96 high-performance Fibre Channel ports in a 2RU compact form factor. The Cisco MDS 9396S switch is a high-end fabric switch. It offers more buffer-to-buffer credits than the previous generation fabric switches and also supports a much greater number of VSANs, making it an excellent choice for standalone small and midsize business (SMB) Fibre Channel networks. The 16-Gbps MDS 9396S is the first generation of NVMe over Fibre Channel ready 2RU switches1. When deployed as an N-Port virtualization (NPV) node or as an N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) core connecting legacy Fibre channel switches or multi-protocol Nexus NPV switches, it provides a flexible and scalable option for host connectivity.

High-Availability Platform for Mission-Critical Deployments

In environments in which downtime is intolerable, the Cisco MDS 9396S offers In-Service Software Upgrades (ISSU). With this feature, Cisco NX-OS Software can be upgraded while the Fibre Channel ports carry traffic. The Cisco MDS 9396S includes dual redundant hot-swappable power supplies and fan trays, PortChannels for Inter-Switch Link (ISL) resiliency, and F-port channeling for resiliency on uplinks from a Cisco MDS 9396S operating in N-Port Virtualization (NPV) mode. New hardware-based slow-port detection and recovery provide enhanced performance and monitoring capabilities.

Simplified Storage Management with Sophisticated Diagnostics

The Cisco MDS 9300 License offers built-in storage network management and SAN plug-and-play capabilities. All features are available through a Command-Line Interface (CLI) or Cisco Prime DCNM for SAN Essentials Edition, a centralized management tool. Cisco DCNM task-based wizards simplify management of single or multiple switches and fabrics. For virtual infrastructure, it manages the entire path: from the virtual machine and switch to the physical storage. The Cisco MDS 9396S also supports Power On Auto Provisioning (POAP) to automate software image upgrades and configuration file installation on newly deployed switches. Additionally, it provides intelligent diagnostics, protocol decoding, network analysis tools, and Cisco Call Home for added reliability, faster problem resolution, and reduced service costs.

Intelligent Network Services and Advanced Traffic Management

The Cisco MDS 9396S uses virtual SAN (VSAN) technology for hardware-enforced, isolated environments within a physical fabric. It offers Access Control Lists (ACLs) for hardware-based, intelligent frame processing. Advanced traffic management features, such as fabricwide quality of service (QoS) and Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), are included in the optional Cisco MDS 9000 Family Enterprise Package. QoS prioritizes application data traffic for better and more predictable network service. Zone-based QoS simplifies configuration and administration by using the familiar zoning concept. IVR facilitates resource sharing across VSANs without compromising scalability, reliability, availability, or network security.

Comprehensive Network Security Framework

An extensive set of innovative and powerful security features and functions is available with the optional Cisco MDS 9000 Family Enterprise Package. It offers fabricwide, per-VSAN role-based authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) services using RADIUS, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), Microsoft Active Directory (AD), and TACACS+. It also deploys VSAN fabric isolation, intelligent port-level packet inspection, Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP) host-to-switch and switch-to-switch authentication, Cisco Trustsec Link encryption, Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Secure Shell Version 2 (SSHv2), and Simple Network Management Protocol Version 3 (SNMPv3) implementing Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Other security features include control-plane security, hardware-enforced zoning and management access.

Cisco MDS 9396T 32-Gbps 96-Port Fibre Channel Switch

Product Overview

The next-generation Cisco MDS 9396T 32-Gbps 96-Port 2-rack unit Fibre Channel Switch provides high-speed Fibre Channel connectivity in the SAN. This switch offers state-of-art analytics and telemetry capability built into its next-generation Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) platform. The Non-Volatile Memory express (NVMe)-ready switch allows seamless transition to Fibre Channel Non-Volatile Memory Express (FC-NVMe) workloads whenever available without any hardware upgrade in the SAN. This high-density, highly reliable and scalable, enterprise class switch is ideal for medium to large departmental SANs.

For standalone SANs, this switch can serve dense hyperscale server environments that spawn thousands of virtual Host Bus Adapters (vHBAs) serving several virtual machine instances, providing each of them with predictable throughput, consistent latency and highly available paths by distributing the physical SAN connectivity across six different port groups of 16 ports each. Autozone allows these standalone deployments to benefit from automatic zoning of host and storage ports without requiring any manual zoning configuration. These smaller port groups enable a design with smaller failure domains rather than one large failure domain consisting of all switch ports.

The number of hosts can be expanded further by connecting this switch as an N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) core switch to any existing top-of-rack switch in N-Port Virtualization (NPV) mode. Large-scale departmental SANs can deploy this switch as end-of-row, middle-of-row, or even top-of-rack in either forward or reverse airflow directions, connecting to existing MDS directors in the SAN core.

cisco mds license
Cisco MDS 9300 License

Main Features

The main features of the MDS 9396T 32-Gbps 96-Port Fibre Channel Switch include:

  • High density and scale: Ninety-six 32-Gbps line rate Enhanced Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP+) ports provide an aggregate bandwidth of 3-Tbps per switch for highly scalable designs for hyperscale environments that drive several thousands of virtual machine instances within the rack. This switch provides at least 6 ports that can be configured with up to 8270 Buffer-To-Buffer (B2B) credits that can be connected to remote data centers as far as 612 km (380 miles) using native Fibre Channel connectivity at 32-Gbps speeds. These distances become even greater at lower speeds.
  • Fully integrated SAN analytics: This feature-rich switch also offers state-of-the-art SAN analytics and telemetry capabilities that have been built into this-next generation hardware platform. This new state-of-the-art technology couples the next-generation port ASIC with a fully dedicated Network Processing Unit designed to complete analytics calculations in real time on the 32-Gbps line card. The telemetry data extracted from the inspection of the frame headers are calculated on board (within the switch) and, using an industry-leading open format, can be streamed to any analytics-visualization platform.
  • High performance: The Cisco MDS 9300 License architecture, with centralized nonblocking arbitration, provides consistent 32-Gbps low-latency performance across all traffic conditions for every Fibre Channel port on the switch.
  • Capital Expenditure (CapEx) savings: The 32-Gbps ports allow users to deploy them on existing 16- or 8-Gbps transceivers, reducing initial CapEx and investment protection with an option to upgrade to 32-Gbps transceivers and adapters whenever needed.
  • High availability: MDS 9396T switches continue to provide the same outstanding availability and reliability as the previous generation of Cisco MDS 9000 Series Switches by providing redundancy on all major components such as the power supply and fan. Dual power supplies also facilitate redundant power grids. Port-channel link members can be stitched across the six 16-port port groups, thus providing higher availability compared to traditional fixed switches with a single ASIC or port group.
  • Grow in-small increments: The MDS 9396T Fibre Channel Switch provides an option to deploy as few as 48 32-Gbps Fibre Channel ports in the entry-level variant, and then grow in increments of 16 ports to up to 96 ports. This allows four possible configurations of 48, 64, 80, and 96 ports.
  • Next-generation ASIC: The MDS 9396T Fibre Channel Switch is powered by the same high-performance 32-Gbps Cisco ASIC with an integrated network processor that powers the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 32-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module. Among all the advanced features that this ASIC enables, one of the most notable is inspection of Fibre Channel and Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) headers from every storage workload without the need for any external taps or appliances. The recorded flows can be analyzed on the switch and also exported using a dedicated 1/10G SFP+ port for telemetry and analytics purposes.
  • Intelligent network services: Slow-drain detection and isolation, Virtual SAN (VSAN) identifier, Access Control Lists (ACLs) for hardware-based intelligent frame processing, smart zoning, and fabricwide Quality of Service (QoS) enable migration from SAN islands to enterprisewide storage networks. Traffic encryption is optionally available to meet stringent security requirements.
  • Sophisticated diagnostics: The MDS 9396T provides intelligent diagnostics tools such as Inter-Switch Link (ISL) diagnostics, HBA diagnostics with leading HBA vendors, read diagnostic parameters, protocol decoding, network analysis tools, and integrated Cisco Call Home capability for greater reliability, faster problem resolution, and reduced service costs.
  • Virtual machine awareness: The MDS 9396T provides visibility into all virtual machines accessing the storage LUNs in the fabric. This feature is available through HBAs capable of priority tagging the Virtual Machine Identifier (VMID) on every Fibre Channel frame. Virtual-machine awareness can be extended to intelligent fabric services such as analytics1 to visualize performance of every flow originating from each virtual machine in the fabric.
  • Programmable fabric: The MDS 9396T provides powerful Representational State Transfer (REST) and Cisco NX-OS Software API capabilities to enable flexible and rapid programming of utilities for the SAN.
  • Single-pane management: Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), which currently manages the entire suite of Cisco data center products, can be used to provision, manage, monitor, and troubleshoot the MDS 9396T.
  • Secure-boot and anti-counterfeiting technology: The MDS 9396T uses onboard hardware that protects the entire system from malicious attacks by securing access to critical components, such as the bootloader, system image loader, and Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) interface.

SAN Architectural Benefits

The new 32-Gbps fabric switches address the requirement for a highly scalable, virtualized, intelligent SAN infrastructure in current-generation data center environments. The industry is already poised to transition to 32-Gbps fixed switches with the availability of 32-Gbps HBAs and storage arrays from vendors. Additionally, as low-latency flash arrays and extremely dense virtualization deployments become more pervasive, fixed switches are expected to provide 32-Gbps connectivity to the SAN core.

This solution offers several important benefits:

  • Server port consolidation: The demand for 32-Gbps fabric switches will increase as hyperscale virtualization doubles the virtual machine density per rack, increasing the need for higher bandwidth HBA ports per rack of blade or standalone servers. Soon, 32-Gbps HBA ports will consolidate the current 16-Gbps HBA installed base, accompanied by the need to increase the server capacity in the same rack. Hence, the MDS 9396T, with its high port density of 96 ports, provides an excellent solution for both top-of-rack and end-of-row deployments, depending on the density within the rack. The flexibility to increase the port density from a 48-port base to up to 96 ports is an added advantage.
  • Simplification: Through consolidation, the SAN administrator can reduce complexity and simplify management. As an NPIV core, the MDS 9396T 32-Gbps 96-Port Fibre Channel Switch in network virtualization mode can scale out top-of-rack switches in N-Port Virtualization (NPV) mode, in a very cost-efficient manner with time without adding the burden of managing the NPV switches.
  • Multiprotocol convergence: 32-Gbps links benefit from lower latency than lower bandwidth links, bringing better performing storage workloads to your storage array. Greater bandwidth also helps ensure less ISL congestion for the newer storage protocols that are expected to be available on externally attached storage arrays; for instance, NVMe over Fibre channel can share a link with existing SCSI workloads.
  • Scale and performance: This Fixed Form-factor switch supports the performance and scale required to deploy a dedicated, standalone Fibre Channel SAN connecting both initiators and targets without requiring any other switching infrastructure.

For more information, Cisco MDS 9300 License
  • Cisco Hardware License
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