Cisco MDS Switch

Cisco Multilayer Director Switch offers safe migration path from other vendor SAN switches.

The Cisco Multilayer Director Switches provides better scalability, higher performance, and virtual SAN (VSAN) capabilities and offer up to 224 Fibre Channel ports on a single chassis. With VSANs, Cisco could support multiple SANs from a single switch, eventually making the physical location of hosts and storage irrelevant.

To ensure business continuity in the event of hardware, software, or network failure, the Cisco IT group designed the SAN with complete redundancy.

The Cisco MDS switches is available in multiple series which have flexible scalability options for any businesses. The First member of this family is the Cisco MDS 9100 series which is suitable for small-to-medium size businesses. The MDS 9200 switches is next-gen of these devices which has 2RU rack mountable form factor. The MDS 9300 is next model Available in a 48-port or 96-port with 2/4/8/10/16-Gbps speed. The last and high-performance member of this family is the MDS 9700 which provide industry’s unique multi-protocol and multi-speed architecture using 32Gb Fibre Channel module.

Cisco Switch Licenses

High Availability

The two Cisco MDS multilayer director switches provide high availability as a result of redundant supervisor engines, fully stateful supervisor engine failover, redundant crossbars, hitless software upgrades, individual process restart ability, and process isolation within VSANs. The ClearCase host experienced no service interruption during migration, and no application outages since then have been attributable to the Cisco MDS switches Series.


Presently, all hosts and storage in the Cisco engineering SAN reside on the same VSAN, and Cisco is not yet taking full advantage of VSAN capabilities. If administrative traffic volume begins to affect performance, Cisco can solve the problem by creating multiple VSANs on the same switch, each with its own broadcast domain.

Cisco MDS Switch License 

Cisco MDS licenses are available in both traditional and smart license models, although, Cisco devices are migrating to Cisco’s smart licensing solution providing central management over various licenses for each product.  

Cisco MDS Switch Smart License 

For Cisco MDS smart license on these devices, specific licenses should be purchased first and by using a smart account on the Cisco smart software management website. After that, each product instances could be registered by connecting to the CSSM over the Internet or by using a proxy. 

9100 Series
9100 Series
Cisco MDS 9100 License
9200 Series
9200 Series
Cisco MDS 9200 License
9300 Series
9300 Series
Cisco MDS 9300 License
9700 Series
9700 Series
Cisco MDS 9700 License
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