News Release

Cisco Delivers Data Center Architectural Flexibility to Support Virtualization and Cloud-Based Environments

Innovations Include FabricPath Technology for Data Center Scalability, WAN Optimization Solutions, and new Cloud Services
Jun 30, 2010

LAS VEGAS - CiscoLive! - June 30, 2010 - Cisco today announced new technology that supports its Data Center 3.0 strategy to help customers increase the flexibility of their data centers as they become more virtualized and cloud-based. The new technology advances Cisco's underlying unified fabric capabilities that help customers enhance the efficiency of information delivery in physical and virtualized data center environments, and manage public and private cloud resources more effectively.

Announced today is Cisco FabricPath®, networking technology that dramatically increases network scalability, resource agility, asset efficiency, and performance in the data center.  Cisco also announced new enhancements for Cisco Nexus® and Catalyst® data center switching platforms, Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) extensions, and new Cisco services. Comprising the richest set of networked data center solutions in the industry, Cisco's data center and virtualization vision combines unified fabric and unified computing to provide a foundation for reliable, efficient, agile, and highly secure data centers.

Key Highlights

Data Center Scalability, Resource Allocation and Performance 

  • Cisco FabricPath:  A feature of Cisco's data center operating system, NX-OS, Cisco FabricPath addresses emerging data center and cloud computing challenges posed by sophisticated virtualization requirements, dynamic workload mobility needs, and clustered application environments found in high-performance computing.  Based on Cisco's efforts in support of the emerging Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) standard, FabricPath provides ground-breaking data center-wide scalability, resiliency and performance. 
  • Cisco Nexus 7000 F-series I/O module: A new module for the Cisco Nexus 7000 data center switch provides next-generation performance with 32 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with low latency, reduced power, and improved return on investment.  Designed for access and aggregation layer applications, the I/O module delivers up to 320 gigabits per second of switching capacity and supports both Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, providing an easy migration path while protecting existing technology investments.  It supports the Data Center Bridging and TRILL standards with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to be enabled in the near future through a software upgrade.
  • Cisco FabricPath Switching System (FSS): The FabricPath Switching System is an integrated, validated, hardware and software system that delivers the FabricPath functionality to build massively scalable domains. It is based on the FabricPath feature of NX-OS and FabricPath-capable hardware, such as the Nexus 7000 with F-Series I/O modules.

Application Performance Optimization

Cisco WAAS accelerates application traffic over the wide area network, enabling enterprises to consolidate applications into data centers and utilize cloud computing, while ensuring performance and productivity for users in remote sites or on the go.

  • WAAS as an on-demand service for the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2:  Cisco WAAS can now be deployed in the branch office as an on-demand service direct from select models of the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2, providing increased business agility and greater operational simplicity.
  • Web and software-as-a-service (SaaS): A new version of Cisco WAAS, version 4.2, offers performance optimization for Web applications deployed in the data center, or hosted in the cloud and delivered as a service (SaaS).
  • Windows-server-on-WAAS (WoW): Cisco WAAS 4.2 provides better support for Windows-server-on-WAAS (WoW), with fast access to data center and cloud applications, and locally hosted Windows services, on a single platform.
  • WAAS Mobile for the Cloud: WAAS Mobile 3.5 for the cloud can now be easily deployed in a public cloud infrastructure for faster application performance for mobile users.

Higher Performance Data Center Switching

  • Cisco Catalyst 4948E Switch: Building upon the success of the Cisco Catalyst 4900 Series Switches with more than 10 million ports sold, Cisco introduces the 4948E Switch with increased capacity, superior performance, microburst protection for predictable latency, plus automation and visibility. The switch also supports wire-speed IPv6, in addition to auto-provisioning and smart call-home features.

New Cisco Services for Data Center Deployment 

  • New Cisco Cloud Enablement services:  Backed by a broad ecosystem of industry-leading partners, Cisco today launched a set of services to help customers transform the data center. Cloud Enablement Services, including strategy, planning, design, and implementation, help customers successfully transition the data center to a cloud infrastructure to quickly realize the benefits of a cloud operational model. 
  • Cisco Intelligent Automation Solutions: Cisco is also introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for IT Services, including new versions of the Tidal Enterprise Scheduler and Tidal Enterprise Orchestrator products that provide real-time IT process orchestration and batch automation to simplify data center management and increase operational efficiency and performance.
  • Cisco Validated Design guides: Cisco validated design guides serve as blueprints for ready-to-deploy IT across a variety of domains, including Cisco Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Center (VMDC) solutions for private cloud design.

Supporting Quotes:

  • "NASA's Nebula cloud computing project based at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., is using Cisco's FabricPath Switching System to develop a method to connect local virtualized servers to other cloud networks. NASA also uses the system to interconnect local cloud development and research networks through the Ames Internet eXchange (AIX)."
  • - Ray Obrien, Nebula project manager at NASA Ames

  • "The FabricPath capability within Cisco's NX-OS offers dramatic increases in network scalability and resiliency for our service delivery data center.  FabricPath extends the benefits of the Nexus 7000 in our network, allowing us to take advantage of a common platform, simplify operations, and reduce operational costs.
  • - Klaus Schmid, head of DC network & operating, T-Systems International GmbH

  • "The F-Series modules on the Cisco Nexus 7000 series are currently deployed in LLNL's high performance computing infrastructure, offering us a high density 10GE and low latency networking solution.  This technology has enabled LLNL to build large storage network fabrics to support the world class supercomputing systems vital to the laboratory's national security research and development missions."
  • - Matt Leininger, deputy for advanced technology projects at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Price and Availability

  • The Cisco Nexus 7000 F-Series I/O module entry-level pricing is $35,000.  Cisco's Enhanced Layer 2 License for FabricPath is priced at $25,000.  Both products are scheduled to be available in the third quarter of 2010.  Cisco WAAS Release 4.2 software for the ISR G2 starts at $2,500 and is available now.   The Cisco Catalyst 4948E is available now and is priced from $10,995.  

Supporting Resources:

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Cisco Unified Computing, Unified Fabric, Cisco Nexus data center switches, Cisco WAAS, WAN Optimization, Data Center Consolidation, Data Center, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Intelligent automation, Catalyst switching, Services