Although Hyper converged solution are often found at customers, FC SAN Switches are still alive and renewed every time !
Cisco got now 2 new san switches which are capable of handling 32 Gbps FC traffic.
The MDS 9148T model got 48 ports non oversubscribed ports and you can start with licesesing 24 ports and expand if needed with 8 ports until all 48 ports are enabled.
The MDS 9396T model can scale up to 96 ports. You can start with 48 licensed ports and expand by adding the 16 port module with licenses.
Top Feature 1 : 8270 Buffer-to-Buffer credits on a port.
8300 buffer credits are available for a group of 16 ports. Default each port got 500 Buffer credits. In a group you can give 1 single port maximum 8270 buffer credits. With this amount of buffers, you can easily reach 612 km at the speed of 32 Gpbs FC. If you’re using lower speeds, the distance can be way longer.
Top Feature 1 : Diagnostics
The new MDS switches are capable of doing some awesome diagnostics. There are tools like Inter-Switch Link diagnostics, protocol decoding, HBA diagnostics.
Top Feature 1 : Programmable
For automation a programmable devices is a success. A lot of Cisco devices got API capabilities and so does this MDS switch. I really like the REST interface.
Top Feature 1 : Security
Security is very important. A lot of attacks are happening on every device. Not just password guessing, but also hacking device with the Join Test Action Group (JTAG) device. The MDS got Secure boot and anti counterfeiting technology onboard ! This protects it from attacks on the mainboard such as the bootloader and the JTAG interface.
Top Feature 1 : FC-NVMe
NVMe will be the future and this switch is already capable of doing FC-NVMe, so you don’t have to upgrade the SAN switch hardware in the future is you stepping from FC to FC-NVMe.
Of course the MDS got way more features. It’s scalable, it got a high density of ports in a 2U device. You still can use the 8 and 16 Gbps optics, so you don’t have to buy instantly new optics.
It has a new ASIC, which is the same as used in the MDS 9700 32 Gpbs FC Module.
Slow drain detection and isolation, smart zoning etc etc. It’s way to much to sum it here.
Datasheets of the Cisco MDS 9148T :
Datasheet of the Cisco MDS 9396T :