Deploy Storage Services

Features and Capabilities


  • SAN consolidation and convergence with integrated multiprotocol support for Fibre Channel (FC), FC over Ethernet (FCoE), FCIP, iSCSI, and FICON
  • Optimized for performance, power, and space, with 40 line-rate 16-Gbps FC ports and 10 10-Gbps Ethernet ports
  • Remote SAN extension with high-performance FC over IP (FCIP) for remote replication and other disaster-recovery services
  • Intelligent fabric services, such as I/O Accelerator (IOA) and Data Mobility Manager (DMM)
  • Flexibility for future growth and capacity expansion


  • Hardware-based virtual fabric isolation with virtual SANs (VSANs) and FC routing with Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR)
  • Enterprise-class availability features for departmental SANs
  • Intelligent network services and advanced traffic management capabilities
  • Industry-leading SAN security to support compliance and regulatory requirements
  • Common Cisco NX-OS and management platform (Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager) across Cisco MDS and Nexus product families

Specifications at a Glance

Minimum Software Requirements

Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS Software Release 6.2, supporting Cisco MDS 9250i and Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for SAN

Performance and Port Configuration

Port speed:

  • 16, 8, 4, and 2 Gbps auto-sensing with 16 Gbps of dedicated bandwidth per Fibre Channel port
  • 10 Gbps per FCoE and FCIP port

Buffer credits:

  • 64 per port (shared-mode ports) and up to 256 on an individual port (dedicated-mode ports with optional Cisco MDS 9000 enterprise package license activated)

Ports per chassis:

  • Up to 50 fixed ports, including 40 16-Gbps Fibre Channel, eight 10-Gbps FCoE, and two 10-Gbps FCIP and iSCSI ports
  • Base configuration with 30 ports; includes 20 16-Gbps Fibre Channel, eight 10-Gbps FCoE, and two 10-Gbps FCIP and iSCSI ports
  • Port activation license to upgrade license remaining 20 16-Gbps Fibre Channel ports

Intelligent Services

  • SAN extension built in
  • Cisco IOA and Cisco DMM activated by separate licenses

Advanced Functions

  • Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  • IVR
  • Port channel with multipath load balancing
  • Flow-based and zone-based QoS
  • FCIP tape read-and-write acceleration and FCIP compression
  • FICON over FCIP tape read-and-write acceleration (pipelining)


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