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DCSNS - Designing Cisco Storage Networking Solutions


Duration: 5 Days




Delivery Method:

Software Assurance Value:

Microsoft CPE:

Course Information

Course Description

Learning Credits: 35

Designing Cisco Storage Networking Solutions (DCSNS) v4.2 is a five-day hands-on workshop that provides learners with advanced skills in designing Cisco storage networks. Students will learn about the key features of the Cisco MDS 9000 platform and how to leverage these features to build highly available, extensible, intelligent SANs with connectivity to Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches and Cisco Unified Computing System in a unified fabric.

This course includes hands-on labs to familiarize students with basic MDS 9000 configuration procedures and design workshops where students will learn to design multiprotocol enterprise SANs and SAN extension solutions.​

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course, the student will be able to meet these overall objectives:

Select the components, services, and features of the MDS 9000 Series platform that can be used to improve the availability, scalability, performance, and manageability of the SAN and understand how to integrate with the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series and Cisco Unified Computing System components in a unified fabric
Explain how the MDS 9000 Series switches and directors can be used to design scalable, highly available, and secure SAN fabrics; identify host and storage connectivity and performance requirements; and show how MDS 9000 Series switches and directors can be deployed in a variety of redundant and scalable topologies to meet customer requirements
Identify key requirements for business continuity and disaster recovery and design a SAN extension solution between data centers by using appropriate WAN interconnections and then improve performance and availability by using MDS 9000 Series features
Identify security vulnerabilities in a SAN environment and design a SAN that is based upon MDS 9000 Series switches and directors that provide added protection against unauthorized access and that provide protection for data in transit and at rest in a SAN environment​

Course Audience

The primary audience for this course is as follows:



  • Customer systems engineers
  • Partner systems engineers
  • Cisco engineers


Course Outline

​Module 1: Cisco MDS 9000 Series Platform Fundamentals

Lesson 1: Introducing Cisco MDS 9000 Series Platform Components

o Cisco MDS 9000 Series Directors and Switches

o Cisco MDS 9000 Series Line Card Modules

o Cisco MDS 9500 Series Supervisor Modules

o Cisco MDS 9500 Series Crossbar Fabric Modules

Lesson 2: Understanding Cisco MDS 9000 Series System Architecture

o Supervisor and Crossbar Module Architecture

o Cisco MDS 9000 Series Line Card Module Architecture

o Virtual Output Queues

o Port Bandwidth Reservation

o Credits and Buffers

o Line Card Recommended Practices

o Exercise: Selecting the Optimum Line Card

Lesson 3: Describing the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switch

o I/O Consolidation

o Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches

o Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switch Expansion Modules

o Converged Network Adapters

o Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extender

o Cisco Nexus 4000 Series Blade Switch

Lesson 4: Understanding the Cisco Unified Computing System

o Cisco Unified Computing System Development

o Cisco UCS B-Series Components

o Cisco UCS C-Series Components

o Cisco Unified Computing System Deployment

Lesson 5: Using Intelligent Fabric Services

o SAN Scalability Features

o VSAN and Virtual Fabrics

o DPVM Membership

o NPV Mode

o N Port ID Virtualization

o SDV Features

o FlexAttach Configuration Management

o Multiprotocol Support

o High-Availability Features

o Traffic Engineering Features

o MDS 9000 Series Security Features

o Cisco Fabric Services Infrastructure

Lesson 6: Implementing Software Packages and Licensing

o Standard License

o Cisco MDS 9000 Series Optional Licenses

o License-Free Period

Lesson 7: Implementing Integrated Management

o Cisco NX-OS

o Command-Line Interface

o Cisco Fabric Manager

o Cisco Device Manager

o Cisco Fabric Manager Server

o Cisco Performance Manager and Cisco Traffic Analyzer

Lesson 8: Configuring the Initial Switch Setup

o System Memory Areas

o Cisco MDS 9000 Series Boot Sequence

o Initial Setup Process

o Installing Cisco Fabric Manager

Module 2: SAN Design

Lesson 1: Describing the SAN Design Process

o Business Requirements

o Flows and Dependencies

o SAN Major Design Factors

Lesson 2: Designing N-Tier Application Architectures

o Application Tiers

o Presentation Tier Design

o Application Tier Design

o Data Storage Tier Design

Lesson 3: Designing Host Connectivity

o Applications and Latency

o IOPS Measurement

o Host I/O Bottlenecks

o PCI Bus Limitations

o Optimum Port Type Selection

o Virtual Server Overview

o Virtual Server Design Requirements

Lesson 4: Designing Storage Connectivity

o Storage Array Architecture Overview

o Storage Array Bottlenecks

o RAID Overview

o Optimum Port Type Selection

o FCoE-Compliant Storage Devices

o LUN Masking and LUN Mapping

o Single Initiator Zoning

o LUN Zoning

Lesson 5: Building a SAN

o Single-Tier Design

o Multitier Design

o Core-Edge Topology

o Collapsed Core Architecture

o PortChannels

o Switch Port Type Selection

Lesson 6: Designing Redundant Fabrics

o Redundancy and High Availability

o Load-Balancing Methods

o Throughput Calculation

o Restricted Bandwidth

o Virtual Fabrics

o IVR Overview

o Use of IVR for Sharing Resources

Lesson 7: Describing SAN Migration and Interoperability

o SAN Migration Strategies

o Interoperability

o Data Migration Solutions

o Cisco DMM

Lesson 8: Describing Consolidation and Virtualization

o Storage Consolidation and Virtualization Basics

o Network Consolidation and Virtualization

o Server Consolidation and Virtualization

o Storage Consolidation

o Storage Virtualization

o FAIS Overview

o Storage Virtualization Example

Lesson 9: Explaining Traffic Engineering

o Cisco Trunking Feature

o Path Selection

o Fibre Channel QoS

Lesson 10: Describing SAN Design with Unified I/O

o File-Based Protocols

o Block-Based Protocols

o iSCSI Overview

o iSCSI Host Connection via iSCSI Gateway

o Cisco MDS 9000 Series iSCSI Options

o Unified I/O and DCB

o Multiprotocol Host Connection via Unified I/O

o Unified Storage Device Connection

o Performance Comparisons

Module 3: SAN Extension Design

Lesson 1: Describing Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

o RTO and RPO

o Recovery Methods

o Latency and Distance Limitations

o Data Protection

o Array-Based Replication

o Synchronous and Asynchronous Replication

o Appliance-Based Replication

Lesson 2: Designing SAN Extension Connectivity with Optical Networks

o Dark Fiber

o Coarse Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

o CWDM Topologies

o Dense Wavelength-Division Multiplexing

o DWDM Topologies


o Cisco ONS 15454 MSTP

Lesson 3: Designing SAN Extension over FCIP

o FCIP Protocol Overview

o Gigabit Ethernet Port Logical Structure

o FCIP Topologies

o SAN Extension Solutions Comparison

Lesson 4: Improving Performance and Availability

o FCIP Performance Tuning Basics

o FCIP Write Acceleration

o Tape Acceleration

o Tape Read Acceleration

o I/O Accelerator Feature

o TCP Performance Tuning

o Packet Shaping

o FCIP Compression

o Availability Improvement

o WAN Security Improvement

Module 4: SAN Security

Lesson 1: Securing the SAN Fabric

o SAN Security Vulnerabilities

o Management Security

o Role-Based Access Control

o AAA Overview

o Centralized Authentication

Lesson 2: Describing Storage Security Features

o Fibre Channel Zoning Overview

o Read-Only Zoning and LUN Zoning

o Port Security

o Fabric Security

o Fibre Channel Link-Level Encryption

o Encryption of Data at Rest


Lab Outline

Activity 1-1: Selecting the Optimum Line Card

Lab 1-1: Quick Start Switch Configuration

Case Study 2-1: Designing a Fibre Channel SAN

Case Study 2-2: Designing an Enterprise SAN

Lab 3-1: Configuring FCIP High Availability

Lab 3-2: Implementing IVR for SAN Extension

Case Study 3-1: Designing a SAN Extension Solution

Course Prerequisites

The knowledge and skills that a learner must have before attending this course are as follows:


  • Basic understanding of data storage hardware components and protocols, including Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) and Fibre Channel:
  • Recommended: Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) certification training
  • Basic understanding of IP networking concepts:
  • Recommended: Cisco CCNA® certification​


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