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Field Notice 70545
Jacob Samuel

UCS Basic Questions


I am new to Cisco UCS, I have a little idea about Nexus Series Switches.

I would like to know what exactly are the differentiating factors between -

UCS 6100 Fabric Interconnect

Nexus 5000 Series

MDS 9000 Series switches

All these can support FCoE, 1G / 10G Ports, I know 6100 Fabric Interconnect has built in UCS Manager

where I can place these in a real worl solution.

Second -

Can we make multiple Blades in a chassis, or Multiple Blades in Multiple Chassis conected to a Single / Multiple interconnected 6100 Fabric Interconnect / Nexus / MDS switch, to combine as a Single / One Server.

Appreciate your kind response.

Tahnks & Regards




UCS 6100 FI along with the chassis and the blades make up for the entire UCS B series solution and you can view them as servers. FI runs UCSM and also provides N/W and SAN connectivity to the blades connected to it.

MDS provides FC connectivity only.

Nexus 5000 is again a FC/FCoE and ethernet switch.

So in your setup, place the FI in place of the servers, MDS for FC connectivity and N5K for FC/FCoE connectivity plus ethernet.

You can only connect one chassis to one pair of FI (two FI in a cluster), the FI then in turn can connect to the MDS and the N5K.

Hope this helps!


Keny Perez


I hope the beow information helps clarify present questions and future knowledge you might get in the near future.

All the information is taken form the link that follows:

Cisco Nexus 5000

The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series  ( switches deliver  high performance, standards-based Ethernet and FCoE that enable the  consolidation of LAN, SAN, and cluster network environments onto a  single Unified Fabric. Each switch contains a single unified crossbar  fabric ASIC and multiple unified port controllers to support fixed ports  and expansion modules.

Cisco UCS and UCSM

Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects ( is a family of line-rate, low-latency, lossless, 10-Gbps Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet interconnect switches.

Cisco UCS 5100 Series Blade Server Chassis ( supports up to eight blade servers and up to two fabric extenders in a six rack unit (RU) enclosure.

Cisco MDS 9513

The Cisco MDS 9513 Multilayer Director allows you to deploy  high-performance SANs using a high-performance, protocol-independent  switch fabric. It provides uncompromising high availability, security,  scalability, ease of management, and transparent integration of new  technologies for extremely flexible data center SAN solutions. The Cisco  MDS 9513 is compatible with first-, second-, and third-generation Cisco  MDS 9000 Family switching modules.

For more information, see:

Cisco MDS 9134

The Cisco MDS 9134 Multilayer Fabric Switch is a 1RU chassis that  provides line-rate 4-Gbps and 10-Gbps ports. It expands from 24 to 32  ports in 8-port increments and optionally activates 2 10-Gbps ports. The  Cisco MDS 9134 offers non-blocking architecture, with all 32 4-Gbps  ports and the 2 10-Gbps ports operating at line rate concurrently.

The 10-Gbps ports support a range of optics for connection to the Cisco  MDS 9000 family core using 10-Gbps Inter-Switch Link (ISL) connectivity.  The Cisco MDS 9134 can also be stacked using copper CX4 X2 transceivers  to cost effectively offer up to 64-port densities. The Cisco MDS 9134  supports quick configuration and task wizards that allow it to be  deployed quickly and easily in networks of any size. Powered by Cisco  MDS 9000 NX-OS/SAN-OS Software, it includes advanced storage networking  features and functions and is compatible with Cisco MDS 9500 Series  Multilayer Directors and Cisco MDS 9200 Series Multilayer Fabric  Switches, providing transparent, end-to-end service delivery in  core-edge deployments.

For more information, see:

Cisco MDS 9148

The Cisco MDS 9148 Multilayer Fabric Switch is a one rack unit (1RU)  top-of-rack (ToR) chassis that provides 48 line-rate 8-Gbps ports for  storage networking deployments. It can expand from 16 to 48 ports in  8-port increments. The Cisco MDS 9148 delivers a non-blocking  architecture, with all 48 1/2/4/8-Gbps ports operating at line-rate  concurrently.

The Cisco MDS 9148 supports the Cisco Device Manager Quick Configuration  Wizard, which allows it to be deployed quickly and easily in networks  of any size. Powered by Cisco MDS 9000 NX-OS Software, it includes  advanced storage networking features and functions and is compatible  with Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors and Cisco MDS 9200 and  other 9100 Series Multilayer Fabric Switches, providing transparent,  end-to-end service delivery in core-edge deployments.

For more information, see:

PS:  If you find it helpful, please mark it with a 5 stars grade!


Jacob Samuel

What abt the Storage Device? Cisco does not provide storage boxes, so which one I can use to make the complete solution? Who is the Cisco Partner on this solution, EMC, IBM? If I want to configure the solution how can I do it? Can I do it from Cisco DCT Tool?



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Jacob Samuel

If I have Nexus 5000 series switch with Fiber channel port capable to connect SANSwitch directly, what is the need of MDS 9000 Series switch????



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Sunny, with a NX5K you don't need the MDS.  In addition, you could direct connect the SAN directly to the FI if you wanted to. 

It really depends on how many ports for FC connectivity you will be needing. 

Is there a backup solution that will attach to the SAN fabric now or at a later time?

- Kris

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