NetApp, Cisco, and VMware Step Up Efforts on End-to-End FCoE Solutions

Cisco, NetApp, and VMware have 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, helping more customers to advance efficiency in their dynamic data centers and progress towards cloud computing.

“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,” says Rob Christ, founder and director, Databasement. “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.”

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 vSphere. 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.

“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,” says Mark Hilz, president and chief operating officer, INX. “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.”

FCoE can provide significant savings by reducing the number of adapters, cables, and network infrastructure devices needed in a dynamic data center. 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.

Lossless 10 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, achieve more efficient management, and increase infrastructure agility and performance.

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. The companies continue to innovate 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.

“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,” says Bob Olwig, vice president of Corporate Business Development, World Wide Technology. “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.”

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