The Virtual Machine Aware SAN

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Executive Summary

Virtualization of the data center, which includes servers, storage, and networks, has addressed some of the challenges related to consolidation, space constraints, demand for high power, and cooling requirements. End-to-end virtualization helps increase efficiency and reduces overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Virtual machines make it possible to run multiple applications and operating systems in a single machine. However, the proliferation of virtual machines introduces new challenges for the SAN, including challenges related to loss of visibility, security, traffic isolation for applications, Quality of Service (QoS), performance monitoring, and management complexity. This paper describes the innovative approach introduced by the Cisco MDS 9000 Family to support an end-to-end virtualized SAN environment that is flexible, secure, scalable, and mobile.

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