Should you consider migrating from a Brocade SAN to a Cisco MDS SAN?
The short answer is Yes, as there is no disruption in SAN operations or downtime, when you choose to migrate to Cisco MDS directors and switches as described below. And, you will always have dual fabric, dual host path redundancy, and you can work on any single fabric at any time.
Additionally, you simplify your storage network implementation, operations, and administration with industry leading innovation and technology provided by Cisco MDS 9000 Series directors and switches.
- Multi-generation investment protection
- Anticounterfeit security using secure boot
- Deep packet visibility using SAN Analytics
- MDS DIRL software that identifies and prevents SAN congestion
- NVMe/Fibre Channel that delivers better scale, bandwidth, and performance
- 64-Gbps line-rate multi-speed Fibre Channel Switching
- SAN DevOps Tools for IT automation
- And many more
Now let’s look at the three Cisco MDS non-disruptive migration options.
Option 1. Interoperability migration strategy
We connect Brocade and Cisco MDS 9000 series switches using ISL between them. On the Cisco MDS switch, configure ports in any VSAN and put this VSAN in interop mode which will automatically update Cisco MDS switch with the zoning configuration from existing Brocade switches in less than a minute. There are no disruptions to your SAN, and no configuration or other changes needed on the Brocade SAN switch. The only work we have to do, is to move cables from Brocade SAN switches to Cisco MDS SAN switches. Here is a quick view of the process.
Option 2. Remove and Replace migration strategy
This option is much simpler and there are no disruptions to your SAN making this the preferred migration strategy . Simple because it does not involve interoperate mode. Preferred because we can do spring cleaning of our zoning configuration by removing dead zones, old WWNs, and optimize our zoning database. We can also verify our config before the Cisco MDS SAN switch goes into production. Once the Cisco MDS SAN switch is ready with the new configuration, we just have to move storage and server cables from Brocade to the new Cisco MDS SAN switches, during scheduled maintenance window. This is one of the fastest migration strategies today.
Option 3. Cap-N-Grow migration strategy
This option is useful if we are creating a greenfield SAN environment. We connect new Cisco MDS SAN switches to new storage or servers, move our application workloads from older storage arrays / servers to new SAN built using Cisco MDS 9000 series switches, in multiple phases. If we need more storage or servers, we can connect them to the new Cisco MDS 9000 series switches. There are no disruptions to your SAN with this migration strategy because we are decommissioning older storage arrays or servers, moving our workloads to newer storage and server devices during maintenance window. Cisco MDS SAN switches will be able to apply new configuration changes (like zoning / VSAN / port channel, etc.) without disruption. This migration strategy can span multiple maintenance windows as we add new servers or storage devices to our new SAN fabric.
How do we migrate?
All the details and step-by-step instructions that you need to consider for the non-disruptive migration process are included in Cisco’s new SAN migration guide. Click on the link below to get your copy today.
To learn more, visit Cisco Storage Area Networking
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Cisco MDS 9000 series directors and switches simplify implementation, operations, and administration with its ability to non-disruptively upgrade any SAN fabric. Cisco MDS SAN directors and switches help maximize the value of any data center investment for any organization, across any vertical.
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Author: Bhavin Yadav
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