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  Product Catalog: Cisco: Servers - Unified Computing: UCS Fabric Interconnects and Fabric Extenders  
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Cisco UCS Fabric Extenders for UCS Blade Server Chassis (Cisco)

The Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™) is a next-generation data center platform that unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources into a cohesive system designed to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase business agility. The system integrates a low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified network fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. The system is an integrated, scalable, multichassis platform in which all resources participate in a unified management domain


Product Overview

Cisco UCS 2200 Series Fabric Extenders bring the unified fabric into the blade server enclosure, providing multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections between blade servers and the fabric interconnect, simplifying diagnostics, cabling, and management. It is a second-generation I/O module (IOM) that shares the same form factor with the first-generation Cisco UCS 2100 Series Fabric Extenders IOM and is backward-compatible with the shipping Cisco UCS 5108 Blade Server Chassis.

The Cisco UCS 2200 Series extends the I/O fabric between the Cisco UCS 6100 and 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects and the Cisco UCS 5100 Series Blade Server Chassis, enabling a lossless and deterministic Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) fabric to connect all blades and chassis together. Since the fabric extender is similar to a distributed line card, it does not perform any switching and is managed as an extension of the fabric interconnects. This approach removes switching from the chassis, reducing overall infrastructure complexity and enabling Cisco UCS to scale to many chassis without multiplying the number of switches needed, reducing TCO and allowing all chassis to be managed as a single, highly available management domain.

The Cisco UCS 2200 Series also manages the chassis environment (the power supply and fans as well as the blades) in conjunction with the fabric interconnect. Therefore, separate chassis management modules are not required.

Cisco UCS 2200 Series Fabric Extenders fit into the back of the Cisco UCS 5100 Series chassis. Each Cisco UCS 5100 Series chassis can support up to two fabric extenders, allowing increased capacity and redundancy

Features and Benefits

Feature

Benefit

Management by Cisco UCS Manager

  • Reduces TCO by removing management modules from the chassis, making the chassis stateless
  • Provides a single, highly available management domain for all system chassis, reducing administrative tasks

Autoconfiguration

Simplifies operation by automatically synchronizing firmware levels between the fabric extenders and the interconnects

Unified fabric

  • Decreases TCO by reducing the number of network interface cards (NICs), host bus adapters (HBAs), switches, and cables needed
  • Transparently encapsulates Fibre Channel packets into Ethernet

Automatic failover

Increases availability with an active-active data plane

Scalable bandwidth

Reduces TCO by optimizing overall system capacity to match actual workload demands

Environmental monitoring

Removes the need for chassis management modules

Lossless fabric

Provides a reliable, robust foundation for unifying LAN and SAN traffic on a single transport

Priority flow control (PFC)

  • Simplifies management of multiple traffic flows over a single network link
  • Supports different classes of service, allowing both lossless and classic Ethernet on the same fabric

Systemwide bandwidth management

Helps enable consistent and coherent quality-of-service (QoS) management throughout the system

Cisco Data Center Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) technology

  • Helps enable a consistent operational model between virtual and physical environments
  • Provides the same level of network visibility for virtualized and nonvirtualized environments
  • Improves diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities in a virtual environment
  • Simplifies network and security policy enforcement when migrating virtual machines from one host to another

SFP+ ports

  • Increases flexibility with a range of interconnect solutions, including copper Twinax cable for short runs and fiber for long runs
  • Consumes less power per port than traditional solutions
  • Helps enable cost-effective connections on fabric extenders with Cisco Fabric Extender Transceiver (FET) optics

Fabric PortChannel

  • Provides flexibility to bundle fabric ports in a PortChannel

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