News Release

Cisco Broadens Storage Networking Portfolio to Address Massive Data Growth across Small to Cloud-Scale Storage Networks

Cisco MDS 9148S is Industry's Most Affordable 16G Fabric Switch; Cisco MDS 9706 Storage Director Delivers Enterprise-Class Features in a Compact Size; Cisco MDS 9700 FCoE Module Enables Multi-Protocol Networking Fabrics
Jul 31, 2014

SAN JOSE, Calif. –July 31, 2014–Addressing the ever-increasing demand for storage in today’s IT environments, driven by explosive data growth from video applications, the Internet of Everything (IoE) and Big Data, Cisco today announced next-generation storage area networking (SAN) additions for its Data Center portfolio.  According to the EMC Digital Universe Study with research and analysis by IDC, April 2014, data produced will grow 10 times by 2020, from 4.4ZB today to 44ZB; 32 billion Internet of Things devices will be connected to the Internet; 40 percent of data will be touched by cloud; and enterprises will have liability and responsibility for 85 percent of all data.  To better manage the resulting performance, scale, and operational management challenges, Cisco continues to innovate multi-protocol storage networking solutions for its unified data center portfolio that merge data center networking and compute functions into one data center fabric, for more efficient business operations and end-to-end management.

Cisco has made a strong investment in its SAN product portfolio to meet performance, reliability, scalability, and flexibility requirements for the decade ahead. With more than 125,000 storage networking switches installed at over 20,000 customer sites, the Cisco MDS portfolio offers the highest investment protection and reliability for customer data storage networks.  

Cisco introduced the first two members of its 16G fibre channel family- Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director and MDS 9250i MultiServices Switch‑ in 2013. With today’s announcement of the Cisco MDS 9148S Multilayer Fabric Switch, Cisco MDS 9706 Director, and the Cisco MDS 9700 FCoE module, Cisco has a complete 16G portfolio from top-of-rack small SAN switches to the largest SAN products.   Furthermore, Cisco  provides a complete end-to-end unified data center fabric  that is powered by the same NX-OS operating system across its award-winning product line–Cisco Nexus® for data center Ethernet networking, Cisco MDS for storage networking, and Cisco UCS® for compute.


New Cisco MDS 9148S

The Cisco MDS 9148S Multilayer Fabric Switch is a highly affordable, versatile, easy-to-manage storage networking switch for entry-level and departmental SANs.

  • The Cisco MDS 9148S, based on the Cisco “switch on a chip” Storage Networking ASIC, delivers 16 Gbps dedicated Fibre Channel bandwidth per port.
  • The Cisco MDS 9148S is available in a base configuration of 12-ports with on-demand “pay as you grow” 12-port activation license to scale up to 48-ports.  A fully configured 48-port configuration is also available for ease of ordering. 
  • A Quick Configuration Wizard is available for simple out-of-the-box configuration
  • Enterprise-class capabilities such as non-disruptive upgrades, Virtual SANs (VSANs), Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), QOS, Port Channels, N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) are available
  • Hot-swappable redundant power supplies and fans provide high availability.

New Cisco MDS 9706 Director

Cisco is extending the industry-leading MDS 9700 Director-class family with the addition of a smaller-footprint MDS 9706 switch for space-constrained deployments, offering high performance, high availability with fully redundant components, and multi-protocol flexibility. 

  • The Cisco MDS 9706 Director is housed in a compact 9 rack-unit (RU) form factor to make optimal use of valuable data center floor space. 
  • The Cisco MDS 9706 Director offers unmatched flexibility with support for a variety of protocols, including the industry’s leading port densities of up to 192 16-Gbps line-rate Fibre Channel ports, or 10-Gbps line-rate Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) ports, or in the future FICON, on the same 9RU form factor modular chassis. 
  • The Cisco MDS 9706 Director offers the industry’s highest performance with 1.5 Tbps per slot switching capability and up to 12-Tbps front-panel switching capacity – thereby providing investment protection for future deployment of next-generation Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet protocols.
  • The Cisco MDS 9706 Director offers the industry’s highest reliability with N+1 fabric redundancy, hot-swappable redundant supervisors, power supplies, and fans. True front-to-back air flow enables hot-cold aisle deployments

New Cisco MDS 9700 FCoE linecard

With the Cisco MDS 9700 48-Port 10-Gbps Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Module, the Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Director platforms now offer multiprotocol flexibility for SANs.

  • Through deployment of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), enterprises can converge Ethernet LAN and Fibre Channel SAN – thereby saving money, simplifying management, reducing power and cooling requirements, and improving flexibility; while maintaining the low-latency, deterministic, and network management attributes of Fibre Channel.  
  • The Cisco MDS 9700 FCoE Module extends the benefits of FCoE beyond the access layer by bridging converged multi-hop FCoE SANs to FC SANs.
  • The Cisco MDS 9700 FCoE Module, the industry’s highest-density FCoE module available in a Fibre Channel Director, is designed to enable seamless interoperability between Cisco MDS 9700 and Cisco Nexus or Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect switches

New Enhancements for Cloud-Scale Deployments

The Cisco MDS and Nexus portfolios enable industry-leading cloud-scale Fibre Channel (FC) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) infrastructures. 

  • The number of ports and physical/virtual devices supported in the network, which were already industry-leading values, have been more than doubled on Cisco MDS 9700 and Nexus 7700 product portfolios with the increase in number of zones and fabric logins supported
  • Dynamic FCoE over FabricPath capability enables network convergence of LAN and SAN traffic over the massively scalable and highly available FabricPath Spine-Leaf Ethernet fabric. Dynamic FCoE establishes the link between leaf FCF switches dynamically, creates a logical SAN A/B separation within the Fabric through VSANs and creates a highly resilient SAN fabric. 
  • Increased Performance, Scale and SLA compliance for MDS Data Mobility Manager:  MDS  Data Mobility Manager on MDS 9250i  can now support heterogeneous array migration with  data migration throughput of 3.7 TB/hour, in addition to increased scale. Customers can now recover and resume migration operations from recoverable WAN link failure, further strengthening their commitment to meet service level agreement. 

New Enhancements to Simplify SAN Management and Reduce Operational Cost  

  • Hardware-based congestion detection and avoidance   - Dedicated hardware based fibre channel congestion detection and recovery logic on MDS 9700 not only offloads the software but also provides much more precise and faster detections. Furthermore it also enables automatic real-time recovery if the customer so configures.
  • Fabric Automation – Cisco is simplifying SAN management through automated provisioning of Cisco MDS 9148S and 9148 configuration on switch power up to enable rapid error-free deployments. Cisco is opening MDS management by supporting automated zoning integration with Cisco UCS Cloud Director, EMC ViPR, Microsoft System Center VMM, and IBM PowerVC to enable pooling of heterogeneous storage assets and centralization of storage management.
  • Extensive monitoring and visibility- Cisco is introducing three new key features to enhance SAN monitoring to help IT administrators avoid outages and reduce risk during change management windows. Switch Health Score combines all of the impactful switch alerts on a switch to come up with a single health score so that storage administrators can track health of switches over time and proactively restore a switch in the event of an issue. End-to-end visibility into compute, network and storage domains allows for resource planning and problem analysis.  Automated path redundancy analysis automatically analyzes, every 24 hours and on demand, whether the redundant paths in SAN Fabric A and in Fabric B are maintaining best practices, thereby signaling any issues proactively.


The mission of the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families is to ensure that families with children are a prominent and valued segment of San Francisco's social fabric by supporting programs and activities in every San Francisco neighborhood.  “The variety of programs, the number of families we serve, and our grant processes require us to have a storage area network, in which we house 27 terabytes of data, and manage over 400 contracts daily,” said Shawn Ewing, IT Manager.   “As a small department within San Francisco City government, our requirements were to start small, have room to grow without replacing equipment, and have a cost-effective solution.  With an attractive price and scalability from 12 to 48 ports, Cisco’s MDS 9148S is the ideal fit for our needs, and installation was easy with proven policy-based methodology.”

Crawford & Company is the world’s largest independent provider of claims-management solutions.  “The Cisco MDS 9000 Series has been an extremely stable and consistent product line over 10 years,” said John Praet, principal storage architect, Crawford & Company.  “We’re confident that the MDS 9700 series switch will deliver similar longevity and return on investment, with a lot of flexibility.”

The Banco Nacional de Costa Rica is the largest bank in Costa Rica and Central America.  Its network supports 170 offices and more than 400 ATMs across the country.  “We deployed the Cisco MDS Series Multilayer Directors to move from a physical infrastructure to a virtualized environment for greater flexibility and scalability, and the ability to easily segment our SAN environment for higher availability,” said Christian Campos Chinchilla, storage architect for Banco Nacional de Costa Rica.  “We look forward to Cisco’s latest MDS offerings, which will offer industry-leading high performance, investment protection and multi-protocol support for cloud deployments.”

SUPPORTING RESOURCES:  Original Storage Manufacturers

Cisco sells its MDS product line through its approved network of Original Storage Manufacturers (OSMs).    Pricing and availability for the new Cisco MDS products will be set by the OSMs.

Supporting Technology Partners



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Availability Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. This products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco, and Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this document.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements, which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, among others, statements regarding Cisco’s delivery of Application Centric Infrastructure, new professional services and an open partner ecosystem and the expected benefits for customers, Cisco’s expansion of its Nexus switching portfolio, and Cisco’s intention to acquire the remaining interest in Insieme Networks. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements are only predictions and may differ materially from actual future events or results due to a variety of factors, including, among other things, the ability of Cisco to successfully introduce and to achieve the expected benefits of its application centric infrastructure and related services and partner ecosystem, the potential impact on the business of Insieme Networks due to the uncertainty about the acquisition, the retention of employees of Insieme Networks, the ability of Cisco to successfully integrate Insieme Networks and to achieve expected benefits, business and economic conditions and growth trends in the networking industry, customer markets and various geographic regions, global economic conditions and uncertainties in the geopolitical environment, overall information technology spending, the growth and evolution of the Internet and levels of capital spending on Internet-based systems, dependence on the introduction and market acceptance of new product offerings and standards; increased competition in Cisco’s product and service markets, including the data center, and other risk factors set forth in Cisco's most recent reports on Form 10-K filed on September 10, 2013. Any forward-looking statements in this release are based on limited information currently available to Cisco, which is subject to change, and Cisco will not necessarily update the information.


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