If Cisco is to introduce its unified compute system, or California project, on March 16, what will the storage look like? The overall Cisco scheme is that the virtualised network is the platform. A Cisco unified fabric switch, like the Nexus 5000, will be Shelob, the giant spider in Cisco's 'one network to bind them' concept, …
Nexus 5000 does NOT require FCoE arrays
I do not understand why you think servers connected by a Nexus 5000 require Ethernet based storage, or native FCoE arrays.
The Nexus 5000 splits FCoE traffic from the server out of Ethernet and connects to standard Fibre Channel SANs.
So any server using FCoE to attach to a Nexus 5000 can leverage existing FC based storage.
I am wondering why.....
Cicso could not use the FC/FCOE combo cards to have the Nexus front end the storage in the same way a MDS9122i can add iSCSI to an FC only array.
Present FC LUNS to the Nexus and use the Nexus as a presentation manager for the FCOE hosts. This would simplifiy transition for legacy FC only arrays as well providing a fabric upgrade option to large business with existing infrastructure.
FC is here to stay for a while
Nexus will support both FCoE and FC4/8 on the roadmap.
Cisco is hardly going to turn their backs on customers who wish to continue to leverage their intellectual and structural investments in 10 years of fibre-channel
There are better alternatives
We looked at the Nexus architecture. All I can say is wow. It takes cost and management complexity to a new level. Here's what we saw:
1) Top-of-rack switches, 2) Middle-of-row switches, 3) End-of-row switches, 4) Virtual switches (the Nexus 1000), and, to make it all work, 5) Intelligent cards in the servers (CNA's).
That's FIVE layers of management. And five layers of gear and software to buy and support.
Xsigo offers a simpler alternative. The Xsigo I/O Director replaces the top of rack switches, so there are no additional layers. It works with the existing LAN and SAN, so everything stays the same there. And it manages the I/O in the server plus the external hardware from one screen. Xsigo is an integrated approach that removes cost and complexity rather than adding it.
What do you expect? Cisco is a proprietary company that sells complexity as sophistication and has the market share and track record to pull this off.
Xsigo is a solution, but not THE solution. Xsigo has may be half a dozen customers in UK and not that many more in USA. Cisco has 80%+ market share with industry leading companies lining up alongside to move to data center Ethernet (DCE).
FCoE Implies FC SAN part of the network !
I liked your article, except the fact that your speculation about storage is not exactly correct.
“ MDS9000 Fibre Channel fabric switches won't appear in this setup because including Fibre Channel will be the very antithesis of a unified fabric” Not sure what you mean by the above statement.
I would like to remind the readers that FCoE also implies ‘FC SAN present somewhere’, in other words, if no FC no real need for FCoE. The articles seems to imply that MDS is not required any more, and that is not true …atleast for next couple of years.
I have address the FCoE evolution with respect to SAN in my blog - http://url.ie/1a96