Cisco added new storage capabilities for next-generation data centers including built-in telemetry streaming for flash arrays.
Today’s announcement includes three parts. First, Cisco made available a new fibre channel switch that allows customers to scale from eight to 32 ports as storage demand grows. It currently supports flash arrays for fibre channel protocol workloads and will soon add support for nonvolatile memory express (NVMe). NVMe is super-fast flash technology.
As storage needs grow and flash technologies become faster and cheaper, all-flash data centers are becoming increasingly attractive to companies.
“The use case for the new storage fabric switch is around all-flash deployments, small to commercial-scale SANs [storage area networks],” said Adarsh Viswanathan, senior manager, data center product management at Cisco.
Secondly, the company announced SAN telemetry streaming built into its 32 Gb/s line card. This provides telemetry and diagnostics data that are key to troubleshooting and can provide better insights into SAN fabrics.
Built-in sensors provide data plane visibility for troubleshooting and infrastructure capacity planning. Data is streamed in real-time via an open-source universal remote procedure call (RPC) framework. This streamed data can be sent to any analytics application.
“Fibre channel supports mission-critical, tier-one workloads,” Viswanathan said. When these workloads have performance issues, network administrators typically have to add hardware to track network traffic and find the problem, he added.
“Customers said, ‘Hey, Cisco, why don’t you build this functionality into the line card?’ That’s exactly what we did,” Viswanathan said. “Now the solution is part of the SAN DNA.”
The SAN telemetry streaming will be available the first week of November.
And finally, Cisco announced it will offer direct technology integration with Virtual Instruments’ Virtual Wisdom application. This application monitors and analyzes the performance of fibre channel SAN infrastructures. The new integration targets customers in high-performance industries such as finance, enterprises, or large-scale service providers.
Typically, customers would have to install physical TAP and hardware probes to have deep visibility into these environments, Viswanathan said. “With our integration, we provide deep visibility and also provide it at scale in an architecture that can be expanded to all of the SAN fabrics.”
Beta customers will begin using the integrated technology in February 2018.