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When used with Cisco MDS 9000 Family IP Storage Services in Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors and Cisco MDS 9200 Series Multilayer Fabric Switches, the Cisco MDS 9000 Family SAN Extension Over IP package provides an integrated, cost-effective, and reliable business continuance solution that uses existing IP infrastructure.
Integrated support for Fiber Channel Interface Protocol (FCIP)-FCIP can be used to connect Fiber Channel storage area networks (SANs) across a distance using IP networks. Each Cisco MDS 9000 Family Gigabit Ethernet port is capable of managing up to three FCIP tunnels. Each 8-port IP Storage Services Module supports 24 simultaneous FCIP tunnels (12 simultaneous tunnels per 4-port module). Without the SAN Extension Over IP package, these capabilities would require multiple systems from different vendors.
The Cisco FCIP implementation is completely integrated with value-added features on the Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches. The Cisco virtual SAN (VSAN) function is supported across FCIP links between SANs. FCIP can be used in conjunction with the Cisco MDS 9000 Enterprise package features such as Quality of Service (QoS) over a WAN. Use of Virtual Routing Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) increases IP network availability for FCIP connections by allowing failover of connections from one Gigabit Ethernet port to another. Load balancing using PortChannels can also be performed over FCIP links.