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Cable Technology Feature Article

July 30, 2010

Cisco, VMware and NetApp Debut certified FCoE Solution for VMware Environments

By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor

Cisco (News - Alert), VMware and NetApp announced a certified end-to-end Fiber Channel over Ethernet or FCoE solution for VMware environments.

It is expected that this combined solution will support FCoE end-to-end to reduce the number of devices and cables required and to improve data center consolidation, virtualization, and automation.

According to company officials, Cisco data center switches and NetApp storage FCoE solutions are now validated by VMware to support VMware-based virtualized environments. This enables the smooth progression of the FCoE protocol to help more customers achieve efficiency in their dynamic data centers and also advance towards cloud computing.

Also Cisco, NetApp, and VMware are 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 like Converged Network Adaptors and FCoE storage targets.

Company officials also said the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and NetApp FAS series unified storage, support FCoE protocol in virtual environments running VMware vSphere.

The solution has been tested for compatibility through the VMware Hardware Certification Program testing criteria for using it with VMware software.  The solution is now listed on the VMware Hardware Compatibility Guide along with support from all three companies.

The Fiber Channel over Ethernet for Virtual Environments offers FCoE savings which represent the progression of Fiber Channel networking and storage. FCoE delivers unified data center fabric and can also reduce the number of adapters, cables, and network infrastructure devices needed in a dynamic data center.

FCoE also helps reduce space, cooling, and power requirements besides enabling optimized  utilization of the data center networks. The FCoE validation for virtual environments proves the capability of lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet or Gb as a building block for a unified data center infrastructure.

This end-to-end solution for virtualized environments helps customers consolidate their data center infrastructure for greater capital and operational expense savings, achieve more efficient management, and increase infrastructure agility and performance.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi