Cisco Teamed Up With NetApp to Introduce End-to-End FCoE Solution Along With VMware for the Dynamic Data Center

Long-standing Collaboration Highlights Continued Momentum With Industry’s First End-to-End Fibre Channel Over Ethernet Offering for VMware-virtualized Environments.

As part of their ongoing collaboration, Cisco, NetApp, and VMware today announced the industry’s first certified end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) solution for VMware-virtual environments. This combined solution supports FCoE end-to-end to reduce the number of devices and cables needed and to drive data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation. Cisco data center switches and NetApp storage FCoE solutions are now validated by VMware to support VMware-based virtualized environments, marking a significant milestone for the progression of the FCoE protocol to help more customers achieve efficiency in their dynamic data centers and progress on their journey to cloud computing.

Cisco, NetApp, and VMware are currently the only networking, storage, and virtualization vendors to combine data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation in a jointly certified end-to-end FCoE solution that includes both FCoE initiators (such as Converged Network Adaptors) and FCoE storage targets. VMware validated Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and NetApp FAS series unified storage support FCoE protocol in virtual environments running VMware vSphereTM. The solution has completed the VMware Hardware Certification Program testing criteria for use with VMware software and is now listed on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide, with support offered by all three companies.


Fibre Channel over Ethernet for Virtual Environments:

  • FCoE Savings: Representing the next progression of Fibre Channel networking and storage, FCoE is a key protocol in delivering a unified data center fabric and can provide significant savings by reducing the number of adapters, cables, and network infrastructure devices needed in a dynamic data center.
  • FCoE Offers More Efficiency: FCoE also helps customers achieve greater efficiencies by reducing space, cooling, and power, as well as offers greater, higher performing utilization of the data center networks.
  • FCoE for Virtualized Environments: This validation of FCoE in virtual environments further illustrates how lossless 10 Gigabit (Gb) Ethernet has become the foundational building block for a unified data center infrastructure. By supporting FCoE, network attached storage (NAS) and iSCSI on a single unified network with lossless 10 Gb Ethernet, this end-to-end solution for virtualized environments helps customers consolidate their data center infrastructure for greater capital and operational expense savings, achieve more efficient management, and increase infrastructure agility and performance.

Cisco, NetApp, and VMware Collaboration:

  • Expanded Collaboration: In January, Cisco, NetApp, and VMware announced the expansion of their long-standing collaboration to help customers evolve virtualized data centers to be more efficient, dynamic, and secure.
  • Jointly Designed Architectures and Solutions: The companies continue to innovate to deliver jointly tested, best-of-breed solutions to the market, and have already released several design architectures and end-to-end solutions for FCoE, long distance application mobility, and secure multi-tenancy. Today, more than 70 channel partners, systems integrators, and service providers and more than 30 organizations have embraced the Secure Multi-tenancy design architecture to help build a complete, virtualized data center that helps streamline their operations and improve their business resilience.
  • Open Partner Ecosystem for Design Architectures: As more enterprises move toward a dynamic data center, the three companies continue to collaborate with their solution provider partners, systems integrators, and service providers to help customers along their journey toward a virtualized dynamic data center and cloud computing.


Rob Christ, founder and director, Databasement: "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. The announcement that VMware has validated Cisco and NetApp end-to-end FCoE in virtual environments will help us consolidate our data center infrastructure so we can achieve greater efficiency, performance, and overall cost savings."

Bob Olwig, vice president of Corporate Business Development, World Wide Technology: "VMware’s certification of Cisco networking with the NetApp Storage FCoE solution is significant for our customers who are demanding an end to the complexity and headaches associated with a myriad of cables, multiple interface cards, and switches. World Wide Technology is laser-focused in helping customers integrate disparate technologies in complex physical and virtualized environments. We are very pleased to be working with Cisco, NetApp, and VMware, which have delivered the industry’s first FCoE solution that squarely addresses data center customer requirements."

Mark Hilz, president and chief operating officer, INX: "A validated end-to-end FCoE solution from virtualized server through the network to the storage arrays will help our customers drive a level of consolidation, virtualization, and automation that up until now was not possible. The collaboration among Cisco, NetApp, and VMware continues to yield technology advancements that accelerate business agility and delivers on the promise of enabling a dynamic virtualized data center."



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