News Release

BHF-BANK is 2000th Worldwide Customer to Deploy Cisco MDS 9000-based Storage Area Network

Prominent German bank to deploy business continuity solution as part of evolution to Cisco Data Centre Architecture
Sep 26, 2005

GITEX, Dubai, Sept. 26th, 2005: Cisco Systems today announced that BHF-BANK in Germany is the 2000th customer worldwide to deploy a multiprotocol storage area network (SAN) since the introduction of the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Intelligent directors and fabric switches in December, 2002.

The Frankfurt-am-Main based German private bank is deploying the Cisco MDS 9509 director to underpin its business continuity infrastructure between data centres in Frankfurt. BHF-BANK AG and Cisco are working closely with EMC and Computacenter to deliver an integrated solution meeting the bank's disaster recovery requirements.

The Cisco Data Centre architecture is based around a three-pronged approach, consisting of consolidation, virtualization and ultimately automation of customers' data centre infrastructure. Since Cisco's entry into the SAN switching market, many of the industry leading innovations in the Cisco MDS 9000 have been focused on helping customers to implement this architecture in practice.

"At BHF-BANK, we are looking at our data centre infrastructure holistically and need to be sure of interoperability between individual technologies used to store, retrieve and back up transactional information," commented Ruediger Schwitalla, VP of BHF-BANK. "Multi-protocol support for both our mainframe and open systems environments in the Cisco MDS 9000 SAN directors was one of the key factors in our choice, alongside the scalability of the Cisco SAN solution."

With its first products shipped, Cisco introduced Virtual SANs (VSANs), which allow virtual fabrics to be created from physical fabrics. This innovation was expanded with the capability to do Inter-VSAN Routing, which enables the sharing of centralized storage services such as tape libraries and disks across VSANs without merging separate fabrics.

"We deployed a Cisco platform for our data storage solution because of technology innovations like Virtual SANs, Inter-VSAN Routing, and Multiprotocol capability," said Mike Luter, CTO, Cancer Therapy Research Center. "These capabilities helped to lower our total cost of ownership for data storage and provide for future requirements such as storage virtualization."

"In the first quarter of 2005, our market assessment shows that sales of Cisco's MDS 9000 SAN director products reached the number-one market position," said Stephanie Balaouras of Yankee Group. "Cisco's MDS 9000 Director has an extensible architecture that can scale port density and performance while at the same time supporting multiple network protocols including Fibre Channel, FICON, iSCI and FCIP, which our assessments highlight as one of the key reasons for the resonance of the MDS 9000 in the market."

Cisco responded by introducing the industry's first integrated multi-protocol routing solution with the launch of the Cisco MDS 9000 product family to consolidate the once isolated environments of Fibre Channel storage networks, providing support for mainframe environments with Fiber Connector (FICON) as well as providing integrated support for IP storage and server environments with iSCSI.

Faced with a need to comply with industry guidelines such as Basel II and Sarbanes Oxley, many corporations are looking to extend the distance between data centres for business continuity applications. To help customers address these issues, Cisco introduced the first Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) solution for extending SANs securely over long distance IP networks.

"BHF-BANK has recognized the business value of the numerous innovations architected into the Cisco MDS 9000 family of products," commented Buck Gee, Vice President of Business Operations of Cisco's Data Centre Technology Group. "In particular BHF-BANK has seen that Cisco's scalability features such as VSANs are critical to achieve their cost reduction goals. VSANs allow multiple SAN environments to be collapsed into a single consolidated infrastructure enabling reduced capital outlays while dramatically increasing flexibility and lowering operational expense. The need to reduce capital spending while lowering ongoing operational costs was one of the key drivers behind Cisco's innovation in pioneering and driving the standardization of VSAN."

Through feedback from customer advisory boards, many storage end-users expressed the need to manage their storage more efficiently and cost effectively In March of 2005, Cisco introduced the Storage Services Module, which hosts third party intelligent fabric applications based on industry standards such as the Fabric Application Interface Standard (FAIS). Applications that have been developed for this platform address major customer challenges including: storage provisioning, data migration/replication, backup/recovery, disk capacity utilization, reducing storage management costs and storage virtualization.

BHF-BANK is deploying Cisco MDS 9509 SAN directors with 16- and 32-port Fibre Channel modules to support business continuity between two data centres in Frankurt, Germany. The Cisco MDS SAN Directors are used for both open systems fibre channel and a cascaded FICON environment across the two compute centers. This allows the bank to consolidate the different SANs they have onto a common infrastructure. In addition, BHF-BANK's data centre architecture includes Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switches with integrated security and load balancing modules.


BHF-BANK is one of Germany's most prestigious private banks. As an advisory, service and sales & trading bank, BHF-BANK focuses on advisory-intensive services and financing, as well as on trading in the major financial instruments. Its activities are grouped within the divisions Asset Management & Financial Services, Financial Markets & Corporates and Private Banking. The bank has around 1,800 employees. For more information please visit:

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