The Cisco® MDS 9148 Multilayer Fabric Switch (Figure 1) is a high-performance, flexible, cost-effective platform with the industry’s highest port density and lowest power consumption available in a compact one rack-unit (1RU) chassis form factor. It provides 48 line-rate 8-Gbps ports for storage networking deployments in small, medium-sized, and large enterprise environments. The Cisco MDS 9148, based on a purpose-built “switch-on-a-chip” application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), offers outstanding value by providing high-availability, security, and ease of use at a cost-effective price. With the flexibility to expand from 16 to 48 ports in 8-port increments, the Cisco MDS 9148 offers the densities required to scale from an entry-level departmental switch to top-of-the-rack switch to edge switch connectivity into enterprise core SANs. The Cisco MDS 9148 delivers a nonblocking architecture, with all 48 1/2/4/8-Gbps ports operating at line rate concurrently.
The Cisco MDS 9148 supports Zero-Touch installation as well as the Cisco Device Manager Quick Configuration Wizard, which allow it to be deployed quickly and easily in networks of any size. Powered by Cisco MDS 9000 NX‑OS Software, it includes advanced storage networking features and functions and is compatible with Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors and Cisco MDS 9200 and other 9100 Series Multilayer Fabric Switches, providing transparent, end-to-end service delivery in core-edge deployments.Highlights
- High-performance with exceptional flexibility: The Cisco MDS 9148 offers up to 48 autosensing Fibre Channel ports capable of speeds of 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps in a compact 1RU form-factor chassis with 8 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth for each port and an aggregate platform bandwidth of 768 Gbps. The Cisco MDS 9148 comes with three preconfigured models for 16, 32, or 48 ports. The 16- and 32-port models can be upgraded onsite to enable additional ports by adding one or more 8-port Cisco MDS 9148 On-Demand Port Activation licenses.
- Intelligent storage networking services at a cost-effective price: The Cisco MDS 9148, powered by Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS Software, offers intelligent storage networking capabilities such as virtual SANs (VSANs), Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), link aggregation using PortChannels, quality of service (QoS), and security. These features make it easy to design, deploy, provision, and manage the Cisco MDS 9148 either as a standalone departmental SAN switch or as a top-of-the-rack switch or an edge switch in an enterprise core-edge SAN.
- Smart Zoning: When the Smart Zoning feature is enabled, Cisco MDS 9000 Family fabrics provision the hardware access control entries specified by the zone set more efficiently, avoiding the superfluous entries that would allow servers (initiators) to talk to other servers, or allow storage devices (targets) to talk to other storage devices. This feature makes larger zones with multiple initiators and multiple targets feasible without excessive consumption of hardware resources. Thus, smart zones can correspond to applications, application clusters, hypervisor clusters, or other data center entities, saving the time that administrators previously spent creating many small zones, and enabling the automation of zoning tasks.
- Simplified scalable deployment of virtual machine-aware SANs: In a virtual machine environment in which many host operating systems or applications are running on a physical host, the Cisco MDS 9148 uses N‑Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) technology to provide independent management for each virtual machine. Furthermore, the Cisco MDS 9148 provides Cisco N-Port Virtualization (NPV) and fabric-port (F-port) trunking and channeling features to enable SANs to be scaled without reaching Fibre Channel domain ID limits. The Cisco FlexAttach feature enables transparent server deployment and movement without SAN reconfiguration.
- High-availability platform for mission-critical deployments: The Cisco MDS 9148 is designed for environments in which downtime is unacceptable. It offers nondisruptive software upgrades, dual redundant hot-swappable power supplies (with integrated fans), dual redundant hot-swappable fan trays, VSANs for fault isolation, Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR) for sharing resources across VSANs, PortChannels for Inter-Switch Link (ISL) resiliency, and F-port trunking for resiliency on uplinks from a Cisco MDS 9148 operating in NPV mode.
- Comprehensive security framework: The Cisco MDS 9148 supports as standard role-based access control (RBAC) using RADIUS or TACACS+ authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) functions, VSAN fabric isolation, intelligent packet inspection at the port level, Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP) host‑to-switch and switch-to-switch authentication, Secure FTP (SFTP), Secure Shell Version 2 (SSHv2) and Simple Network Management Protocol Version 3 (SNMPv3) implementing Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), control-plane security, hardware-enforced zoning, broadcast zones, and management access. Although rarely needed in most switch fabric installations, an extensive set of even more innovative and powerful security features and functions is available with the optional Cisco MDS 9000 Family Enterprise Package License.
- Simplified storage management: The Cisco MDS 9148 supports SAN plug-and-play capabilities, including new Zero-Touch Installation deployment and provisioning, and offers built-in storage network management, with all features available through a command-line interface (CLI) or the Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for SAN Essentials Edition (formerly Cisco Fabric Manager), a centralized management tool with task-based wizards that simplifies management of a standalone switch or multiple switches and fabrics.
- Sophisticated diagnostics: Industry-leading intelligent diagnostics such as Fibre Channel ping, Fibre Channel traceroute, Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN), Cisco Fabric Analyzer, and an integrated Call Home capability to enhance reliability, facilitate faster problem resolution, and reduce service costs.
- Reduced total cost of ownership (TCO): Common platform architecture and the use of Cisco MDS 9000 NX‑OS Software intelligent storage networking services across all Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches reduce ongoing operating expenses by providing a consistent set of provisioning, management, and diagnostic capabilitiesMain Features and Benefits
Exceptional Flexibility for High-Performance SANs
The Cisco MDS 9148 offers up to 48 autosensing Fibre Channel ports capable of speeds of 8, 4, 2, and 1 Gbps in a compact 1RU form-factor chassis. With 8 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth for each port and aggregate platform bandwidth of 768 Gbps, the Cisco MDS 9148 is designed to meet the performance and scalability requirements of the most demanding environments.
The flexibility of the Cisco MDS 9148 is provided by the Cisco MDS 9148 On-Demand Port Activation license, which allows the addition of eight 8-Gbps ports. Customers have the option of purchasing preconfigured models of 16, 32, or 48 ports and upgrading the 16- and 32-port models onsite all the way to 48 ports by adding these licenses. With advanced storage networking capabilities built into the platform, the Cisco MDS 9148 is an ideal choice either as a standalone departmental SAN switch or as a top-of-the-rack switch or an edge switch in an enterprise core-edge SAN.
The Cisco MDS 9148 supports hot-swappable autosensing Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) and Enhanced SFP (SFP+) optics with interfaces for 8, 4, 2, and 1 Gbps. Individual ports can be configured with either short- or long-wavelength optics for connectivity up to 860 meters (m) and 31 kilometers (km), respectively.VSANs for Virtualization, Segmentation, and Isolation
VSAN, an industry standard for fabric virtualization capabilities, enables more efficient storage network use by creating hardware-based isolated environments within a single physical SAN fabric or switch. Up to 32 VSANs are supported per switch. Each VSAN can be zoned as a typical SAN and maintains its own fabric services and management domains for added scalability and resilience. VSANs allow the cost of SAN infrastructure to be shared among more users while helping ensure segregation of traffic and retaining independent control of configuration on a VSAN-by-VSAN basis.Integrated VSAN Routing (IVR) for Highly Available, Scalable SANs
To deploy efficient, cost-effective, consolidated storage networks, the Cisco MDS 9148 supports IVR functionality. IVR allows selective transfer of data traffic between specific initiators and targets on different VSANs while maintaining isolation of control traffic within each VSAN, thereby maintaining fabric stability and availability. Integrated IVR lowers TCO by eliminating the need for external routing appliances, greatly increasing routing scalability while delivering line-rate performance, simplifying management, and eliminating the challenges associated with maintaining separate systems.