Lippis Report 197: Cisco’s Unified Fabric for Physical, Virtual and Cloud Environments

August 14th, 2012

Over the past several years, the term “fabric” has been used to describe a weave of computing, storage and networking that make up the foundation of data center infrastructure. Many networking firms use the term “fabric” to describe converged networking and storage. But today’s data centers are built with a combination of physical, virtual and cloud networking elements that need to interoperate and span multiple data centers. A modern fabric needs to incorporate all of these forms of networking consistently to deliver flexibility through a wide range of design options. Cisco Systems has one of the most expansive fabric definitions that is backed up by over 36,000 customers who deployed NX-OS. Cisco modifies the term “fabric” with the word “unified” to describe a functionally-rich fabric, yet control is simplified through integrated management. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review Cisco’s Unified Fabric from business driver, architectural structure and outcome point of views.

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