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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Cisco’s Familiar Approach To A Unified Multi-Protocol Storage Network

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July 30th, 2012

Cisco’s multi-protocol storage initiative brings all storage protocols into its unified fabric. Just like the days of multi-protocol routing, IT managers were able to manage the transition to IP networking after routing supported multiple network protocols such as DECnet, AppleTalk, etc. In short applications that relied upon vendor specific protocols were supported and thus the transition to IP was regulated by how fast the application could support IP. The same is true in modern data centers; build a unified fabric that is capable of supporting multi-protocol storage and IT business leaders can transition to a single storage protocol over time and gain simplification, lower life cycle cost and faster application deployment. Rajeev Bhardwaj, Sr. Director of Product Management in the data center group at Cisco Systems is responsible for the MDS, Nexus and load balancing products making him the ideal executive to discuss multi-protocol storage networking and the transition toward a converged or unified data center infrastructure.

Cisco’s Data Center Fabric Vision And Customer Business Outcomes

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July 11th, 2011

Cisco is the only large vertical IT supplier with compute, storage and deep networking capabilities making its data center offering unique. It’s Unified Network Services or UNS, Unified Computing System or UCS, Unified Fabric and policy based management make up the Cisco Data Center Fabric. In this Lippis Report podcast I talk with Shashi Kiran; Director of Market Management for Data Center/Virtualization at Cisco Systems about the vision and strategy of Cisco’s Data Center Fabric and the value its customers are gaining from its use.

Lippis Report 164: Cisco Builds a Modern Network Service Layer for Virtualized and Cloud Infrastructure

January 17th, 2011

nicklippis.jpgAny IT business leader knows that the single most important technology driving data center design change is server virtualization to the point that a virtual machine (VM) is now the data center building block. As server virtualization marches on until nearly every physical server has been virtualized, networking in a virtualized environment is being forced to fundamentally change too. By networking, I mean not only layer 2 and 3 forwarding but network services too, such as application controllers, WAN optimizes, firewalls, etc., which are fundamental for mission critical application performance, cost reduction and high application availability especially where service level agreements are required.

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