NetApp has announced that it is one of the first storage vendors to support director-class multihop Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) with Cisco data centre switches, allowing customers to create larger data centre network fabrics and drive measurable value with speed and efficiency by connecting multiple cost-effective FCoE switches.

With director-class multihop, customers now have the IT flexibility to deploy FCoE in the core of large data centres, giving them the ability to reduce cost and improve efficiency on even greater scales.
Cisco solutions are also part of the new NetApp Ethernet Advantage Program, which vastly expands NetApp’s ecosystem of technology partners and portfolio of tested, validated, and supported solutions for FCoE configurations.
With NetApp Ethernet Advantage, customers can quickly find and deploy the right solution for their specific data centre and business needs, knowing it is fully supported and delivered by NetApp’s robust network of innovative technology partners.
Together, support for FCoE multihop and the NetApp Ethernet Advantage Program give NetApp customers even greater choice and flexibility when migrating to FCoE infrastructures, by allowing them to leverage their relationships with trusted vendors through NetApp’s extensive ecosystem of technology partners.
New support for director-class FCoE allows customers to build highly available, highly scalable, multiprotocol storage networks. Multihop FCoE support also gives customers the ability to expand their network into the core of data centres more cost effectively than with traditional methods.
NetApp Ethernet Advantage includes solutions from key NetApp solution partners like Broadcom, Cisco, Chelsio and Intel, giving customers more flexibility in how they migrate their data centres and prepare for the future.
NetApp Ethernet Advantage, a program with more than 200 configurations, provides technology partners with standards by which they may qualify new and updated solutions. This approach allows customers to quickly identify and deploy the right solution for their data centre.
NetApp will resell the Cisco Nexus 5548 PU Switch and will support multihop with the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series, the Nexus 7000 Series and MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors, with the addition of an FCoE module.
The Cisco Nexus 5548P is currently available worldwide and the Nexus 7000 Series Switch and MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors with an FCoE module are scheduled to be supported worldwide in May 2011.
NetApp supports end-to-end FCoE solutions with Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL)–certified converged network adapters.
“A core component of our strategy to help customers build shared IT infrastructures and how we provide complete solutions is how closely we work with our solutions partners. Together, we give our customers the flexibility they need to efficiently move to converged FCoE infrastructures at the pace their business dictates," says Chris Cummings, VP of product and solutions marketing, NetApp.
"And with FCoE multihop support and the NetApp Ethernet Advantage Program, we’re expanding how quickly and effectively customers can make that transition.”
“Cisco is advancing 10-Gigabit Ethernet in the data centre with director-class FCoE multihop, and we’re proud to work with other industry leaders like NetApp," says Umesh Mahajan, VP and GM for Data Centre Switching Technology Group at Cisco.
"With innovative solutions and strong relationships with other industry solutions leaders, we’re helping our customers reduce costs and simplify their data centres by consolidating around flexible FCoE solutions.”