News Release

Cisco Unveils Easy to Use SAN Fabric Switch with Enterprise Capabilities at Affordable Price

New Switch Offers "Pay as You Grow" Ports and Quick Configuration Wizard
Nov 20, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 20, 2006 - Cisco® today announced the availability of the Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch, which provides enterprise-class capabilities such as virtual Storage Area Networks (VSANs), advanced security, high availability and flexibility, all powered by the Cisco SAN operating system. The new switch also offers "pay as you grow" on-demand ports and an easy point-and-click wizard that dramatically simplifies SAN setup and management.

HNTB, a multidisciplinary firm well known for its work in architecture, environmental engineering, and urban design and planning, is currently testing the Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch. "I like the GUI interface of the Quick Configuration Wizard- it's very helpful and makes it easy to set up a new SAN," said Wes Owen, manager of infrastructure services at HNTB. "I also liked the feature set of the switch, and the fact that you can add ports easily with an activation license."

The MDS 9124 Fabric Switch offers enterprise-class capabilities and performance at an affordable price with a small footprint, suitable for SMB companies, departmental SANs, or core-edge enterprise SANs. Customers benefit from the advanced capabilities of Cisco SAN OS, including high performance and resiliency of inter-switch links and advanced security features to address compliance and regulatory requirements.

"A switch package that includes modular growth, security and availability features at an entry price that everyone can afford should be welcomed by companies from SMBs to the Fortune 100," said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. "The fact that it can be operational in two clicks means that shops large and small will rejoice."

The Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch provides up to 24 4-Gigabits-per-second Fibre Channel ports in a compact 1 one rack unit form factor with line-rate performance on each port. Customers can select eight, 16 or 24 ports and can add ports as needed, making the MDS 9124 a flexible solution for growing SANs. Ports are added "on demand" through a port-activation license. Feature compatibility with all Cisco MDS Multilayer directors and switches provides investment protection for both new and existing customers.

"Dimension Data has extensive experience in providing data center solutions and recognizes the benefits that the MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch will offer our small to medium clients," said Marc Duvoisin, director of Datacenter Solutions at Dimension Data. "The Quick Configuration Wizard and flexible 'pay as you grow' port capability are ideal for us to help this market segment with easy design and rapid deployment. Our customers who are planning on growth will be especially attracted to the MDS 9124 because it is cost effective and offers the advanced features they need to build flexible and highly secure SANs."

Broad Industry Support

Cisco has garnered broad support from storage vendors that participate in its original storage manufacturer (OSM) and solution technology integrator (STI) partner programs. OSM and STI partners that intend to sell the Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch include Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, HP, IBM, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems and Xiotech.

"The simplified configuration and management, flexible scale and affordability offered by the MDS 9124 are highly appealing for many Dell customers," stated Darren Thomas, vice president and general manager for Dell Storage and Networking. "Dell will be working closely with Cisco to include this new storage switch in our networking portfolio."

"EMC and Cisco share a common vision to deliver cost-effective simple SAN technology for midsize enterprise and SMB customers," said Deirdre Wassell, senior manager, Storage Network Marketing, EMC Corporation. "As a member of the EMC Connectrix family of switches and directors, the MDS 9124 will be an ideal complement to our leading networked storage platforms."

"Hitachi Data Systems continues to work with Cisco to provide solutions that support customer requirements for simplicity and flexibility," said Steve TenBarge, vice president, Global Product Marketing, at Hitachi Data Systems. "We look forward to offering the new cost effective Cisco fabric switch to help our customers manage their storage environments."

"The new Cisco MDS 9124 fabric switch fits well with HP's strategy of providing affordable, flexible connectivity solutions for entry-level SANs so customers can put information to work by simplifying SAN deployment and management while providing investment protection for future IT storage infrastructure needs," said Kyle Fitze, director of SAN marketing, StorageWorks Division, HP.

"We are pleased by the affordability and ease of use that the new Cisco MDS 9124 will allow IBM to deliver to our customers," said Robert Mahoney, IBM business line executive, storage networking. "Together with products in the IBM System Storage portfolio, the new Cisco MDS 9124 will be attractive to SMB customers who want to deploy affordable entry level IBM System Storage simplification solutions which can grow to enterprise core-edge continuity solutions with all of the advanced features customers expect, including Virtual SANs, advanced security, and high availability."

Cisco Data Center Networking Solutions

The Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch is part of Cisco Data Center networking solutions, an integrated set of products, best practices and services that allow IT architects and data center professionals to take a phased approach to building and operating a future-proof network platform for their next-generation data centers.


The Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Fabric Switch is expected to be generally available through Cisco storage partners starting as early as December 2006.