Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cisco Expands Data Center 3.0 Strategy with FabricPath Routing

Cisco expanded its Data Center 3.0 strategy for transforming information delivery in physical and virtualized environments.
Cisco's data center and virtualization vision combines unified fabric and unified computing in the data center. The key innovation in its 3.0 architecture is a new Cisco "FabricPath" technology that increases network scalability, resource agility, asset efficiency, and performance in the data center. The company is also rolling out enhancements for its Nexus and Catalyst data center switching platforms, Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) extensions, and new Cisco services.

The announcement was made at the Cisco Live! conference in Las Vegas. Webcast materials are online.

Cisco FabricPath, which is based on the emerging Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) standard, is a Cisco NX-OS feature designed to bring the stability and performance of routing to Layer 2 in the data center. Cisco said its FabricPath approach resolves the shortcomings of Ethernet in large data centers, such as complications from using Spanning Tree Protocol. The fundamental difference between FabricPath and classical Ethernet is that with FabricPath, the frame is always forwarded in the core using a known destination address. Each frame traversing the core is encapsulated with a FabricPath header, which consists of routable source and destination addresses. Upon reaching the remote switch, the frame is deencapsulated and delivered in its original Ethernet format.

Cisco will deliver its FabricPath Switching System as integrated, validated hardware + software to build massively scalable domains. It is based on the FabricPath feature of NX-OS and FabricPath-capable hardware, such as new Nexus 7000 with F-Series I/O modules. This new module for the Nexus 7000 will offer 32 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with supports for Data Center Bridging and TRILL standards. Support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) will be enabled in the near future through a software upgrade.

Other data center announcements from Cisco include:

  • Cisco WAAS -- WAN acceleration can now be deployed in the branch office as an on-demand service direct from select models of the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2.

  • New Cisco Catalyst 4948E switch -- featuring microburst protection for predictable latency, plus automation and visibility. The switch also supports wire-speed IPv6, in addition to auto-provisioning and smart call-home features.

  • New Cisco Cloud Enablement services: including strategy, planning, design, and implementation, help customers successfully transition the data center to a cloud infrastructure to quickly realize the benefits of a cloud operational model.

  • Cisco Intelligent Automation Solutions: Cisco is also introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for IT Services, including new versions of the Tidal Enterprise Scheduler and Tidal Enterprise Orchestrator products that provide real-time IT process orchestration and batch automation to simplify data center management and increase operational efficiency and performance.

  • Cisco Validated Design guides: Cisco validated design guides serve as blueprints for ready-to-deploy IT across a variety of domains, including Cisco Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Center (VMDC) solutions for private cloud design.

See also