Cisco’s New Beast Mode: Investment Protection
Feb03

Cisco’s New Beast Mode: Investment Protection

Cisco has made a number of storage networking announcements — including a SAN switch code-named “The Beast” — that feature a capability that is seldom offered by Tier one vendors with a stranglehold on their customers — a seamless upgrade path. The typical approach is ‘rip and replace’, selling the latest capabilities at the cost of throwing out the buyer’s existing investment in products (money, services, money, expertise, money, etc.). Known as vendor (or proprietary or customer) lock-in, it is one of the first items on the customer’s checklist when searching for new vendors. The new offerings, that include the 40G Nexus 5672UP-176G and UCS Fabric Interconnect 6300 Series, are what’s commonly referred to as future proof, or providing investment protection. The Beast is a great example, according to Adarsh Viswanathan, Senior Manager, Product Management and Marketing for Storage, Cisco. The  MDS 9718 Multilayer Director is the industry’s first 32G-ready SAN Director that supports native REST API, as well as scaling up to 768 ports of 16G FC. “When you put The Beast in  your datacenter, you’re putting it in for 5-7 years operations,” he told IT Trends & Analysis. According to the company, the programmable 9718 ‘is architected and built to last 10 plus years’ supporting 10G, 16G, 40G speeds today and ‘32G in the near future’, and offers 3x the performance and 200% more ports than the competitors. It’s still early days for 32Gb on the storage side, said Viswanathan. The majority of the market is still doing 8Gb, with 35-40% doing 16Gb, and that segment is growing fast. While Cisco plans to make some 32Gb announcements later this year, he believes it won’t really take off on the storage side until 2017-18. The Beast customers can start off at 16Gb, and when they’re ready to upgrade, they just have to install some software and they’re ready to go (and maybe the odd 3sGb line card or two). According to a canned quote from Deni Connor, founding analyst, Storage/Systems Strategies NOW, storage pros are dealing with storage growth and network infrastructure convergence, as well as having to support cloud and flash storage-based services. “Cisco’s multi-protocol Storage Networking innovations across Cisco MDS, Nexus and UCS product lines will help customers meet organizational growth and more quickly adapt to business priorities.” Key use cases for The Beast include: grow and consolidate; port expansion; and flash deployment, said Viswanathan. Large enterprises and financial services companies love the 9718’s footprint and storage. He also expects the UCS announcement will continue to drive Cisco’s datacenter server sales. “We’re giving them products they can use today plus give them protection down the road,”...

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IBM’s Spectrum Storage: Now a Suite, Not Just a Family

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