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Cisco Employee

N5k or MDS for SAN

Hi All,

I am very new to this and have a general question to help me better understand Cisco SAN design.

My question is how are N5K and MDS related or diffrent in a SAN architecture design, in relation to a SAN array (i.e. Netapp or EMC). Do you need both or woul one provide what you need?

Thanks.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

N5k or MDS for SAN

Nexus 5000/5500s run the same NX-OS FC switching code as MDS. In fact the NX-OS code came in part from the SAN-OS that the MDS started with. An MDS 9148 is very similar to a Nexus 5000/5500. The Nexus 5000/5500 can do a lot more than just FC switching, it is a data center swiss army knife

A Nexus 5548UP can be configured to have 48 8GB FC line rate ports or you could do 8-16 FC ports and use the reset as Ethernet or FCoE.

The MDS 9500 director class has features that N5Ks do not though. These are things like SAN Tap and other specialized SAN modules. The 9500s also have much more FC port density.

If you don't need a lot of FC port density you could use a pair of Nexus 5548s for FC switching, FCoE and Ethernet.

3 REPLIES

N5k or MDS for SAN

Nexus 5000/5500s run the same NX-OS FC switching code as MDS. In fact the NX-OS code came in part from the SAN-OS that the MDS started with. An MDS 9148 is very similar to a Nexus 5000/5500. The Nexus 5000/5500 can do a lot more than just FC switching, it is a data center swiss army knife

A Nexus 5548UP can be configured to have 48 8GB FC line rate ports or you could do 8-16 FC ports and use the reset as Ethernet or FCoE.

The MDS 9500 director class has features that N5Ks do not though. These are things like SAN Tap and other specialized SAN modules. The 9500s also have much more FC port density.

If you don't need a lot of FC port density you could use a pair of Nexus 5548s for FC switching, FCoE and Ethernet.

Cisco Employee

N5k or MDS for SAN

Thanks Jeremy.

So potentially depending on my design architecture and requirements I could get away with a 5K and not need both correct?

N5k or MDS for SAN

Correct, you would need 2 N5ks though

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