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The Cisco UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnect

The Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) is a powerhouse in the world of data center infrastructure. It represents the convergence of computing, networking, storage, and virtualization resources into a cohesive platform designed to enhance efficiency and reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). 

At the heart of the Cisco UCS journey has been the Cisco UCS 6200 series fabric interconnects, notably the 6248 and 6296 models. These stalwarts have served as the backbone of countless data centers, enabling seamless networking and server connectivity. They have witnessed the rapid evolution of technology, the transformative impact of digitalization, and the escalating demands placed on modern data centers. Throughout it all, they have been a symbol of reliability and resilience.

However, as the saying goes, "Change is the only constant in life," and the world of technology is no exception. With each passing day, innovation surges forward, and new possibilities emerge. It's a testament to progress and the indomitable human spirit of exploration and improvement.

As we gather to reflect on this incredible journey, we must also acknowledge the impending transition. The Cisco UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects have served us well, but they are approaching their Last Day of Support (LDoS) on May 29, 2024. It's a poignant moment in our technological odyssey, a time to celebrate the past while embracing the future.

Why Upgrade from the 6200 Series?

Given the success of Cisco's UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects, the question arises: Why should business consider upgrading? The answer lies in the evolution of technology and the ever-increasing demands placed on data center infrastructure. Here are some compelling reasons to upgrade:

  • Stay Supported: Beyond May 29, 2024, the 6200 series FIs will no longer receive official support, potentially leaving data centers vulnerable to issues and disruptions.
  • Performance Enhancement: Newer fabric interconnect models offer superior performance, with increased bandwidth and capabilities to handle modern workloads, including Fibre Channel (FC) storage traffic.
  • Futureproofing: Investing in the latest technology ensures that a data center remains relevant and adaptable to future advancements.

So, what are the options for upgrading from the 6200 series fabric interconnects?

Option 1:  Cisco UCS 6400 Series Fabric Interconnects

Impressive Throughput: The Cisco UCS 6400 series, including the 6454 and 64108 models, provides remarkable throughput for your data center. The 6454 offers up to 3.82 Tbps, while the 64108 delivers a staggering 7.42 Tbps. Both ensure optimal performance for an organization's data center, including FC storage workloads.

Unified Fabric: These interconnects streamline infrastructure, consolidating LAN and SAN traffic to simplify management and enhance efficiency.

LAN and SAN Connectivity: Both the 6454 and 64108 support a range of LAN and SAN traffic types, including FC storage, making them versatile choices for data centers.

Redundancy: Redundant hot-swappable fans and power supplies provide high availability in multiple configurations, ensuring uninterrupted service during maintenance.

Option 2:  Cisco UCS 6500 Series Fabric Interconnects

Exceptional Throughput: The Cisco UCS 6536 Fabric Interconnect leads the way with impressive throughput, boasting a switching capacity of 7.42 Tbps per FI and 14.84 Tbps per unified fabric domain. It ensures optimal performance in the data center, including FC storage workloads.

Diverse Traffic Support: The UCS 6536 Fabric Interconnect supports a wide range of traffic types, including FC SAN, IP Storage (iSCSI, NFS), NVMe over Fabric, and FCoE, making it highly adaptable to various workloads.

I/O Consolidation: I/O consolidation with end-to-end network virtualization, visibility, and QoS guarantees simplifies management, enhances flexibility, and offers cost savings.

Breakout Support: Breakout is supported on all 36 ports, allowing for maximum flexibility and adaptability.

Choosing the Right Upgrade Path

In choosing between these options, a data center's specific needs should be considered as well as workload requirements and long-term goals. Both options represent a leap forward in technology, guaranteeing reliability, adaptability, and support for years to come.

Choosing the right upgrade path, including impressive throughput and support for FC storage, ensures that an organization's data center remains at the forefront of innovation, ready to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.