Cisco, NetApp and VMware Team for Virtualized FCoE in the Data Center

By Doug Allen Comments
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Cisco, NetApp and VMware have introduced the latest fruits of their long-standing collaboration, claiming bragging rights for the first certified end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) system to support VMware-based virtual environments. Combining virtualization-enabled Cisco data center switches with NetApp’s FCoE storage line, the trio have packaged a solution for data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation as part of the customer migration to the cloud.

The system includes both FCoE initiators such as Converged Network Adaptors and FCoE storage targets, as well as Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and NetApp’s FAS series; all components have been validated through VMware’s Hardware Certification Program testing, and deemed fully compatible. All three companies will provide support.  

FCoE is integral to their vision for the virtualized data center, as the technology can provide a unified data center fabric cost-effectively, by cutting down on adapters, cables and other infrastructure typically required. FCoE can also reduce space, cooling, and power outlays, and at 10gbps rates, has the capacity to support the necessary flexible connectivity and simplified management.

The vendors announced plans to jointly develop virtualized data centers for greater, efficiency, security, and dynamic resource control last January. Since joining forces, the trio have released a number of design architectures and end-to-end systems for FCoE, long distance application mobility, and secure multi-tenancy to enable cloud services. Currently, more than 70 channel partners, systems integrators, and service providers have adopted the Secure Multi-tenancy design architecture to both improve and streamline the data center.

“Vital to our solution is a unique service-oriented infrastructure based on the Cisco, NetApp, and VMware offering, that includes all server, storage, and networking hardware and software to facilitate sharing, reuse, and dynamic resource allocation," said Rob Christ, founder and director of Databasement. “The announcement that VMware has validated Cisco and NetApp end-to-end FC0E in virtual environments will help us consolidate our data center infrastructure so we can achieve greater efficiency, performance, and overall cost savings."

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