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Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects

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Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects

Posted on 31st May 2010 @ 4:55 PM

Cisco Unified Computing System Overview

The Cisco Unified Computing System™ is a next-generation data center platform that unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization into a cohesive system designed to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase business agility. The system integrates a low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified network fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. The system is an integrated, scalable, multichassis platform in which all resources participate in a unified management domain (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The Cisco Unified Computing System Is a Highly Available Cohesive Architecture

Product Overview

The Cisco® UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects are a core part of the Cisco Unified Computing System, providing both network connectivity and management capabilities for the system (Figure 2). The Cisco UCS 6100 Series offers line-rate, low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) functions.

The Cisco UCS 6100 Series provides the management and communication backbone for the Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers and UCS 5100 Series Blade Server Chassis. All chassis, and therefore all blades, attached to the Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects become part of a single, highly available management domain. In addition, by supporting unified fabric, the Cisco UCS 6100 Series provides both the LAN and SAN connectivity for all blades within its domain.

From a networking perspective, the Cisco UCS 6100 Series uses a cut-through architecture, supporting deterministic, low-latency, line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet on all ports, independent of packet size and enabled services. The product family supports Cisco low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified network fabric capabilities, which increase the reliability, efficiency, and scalability of Ethernet networks. The fabric interconnect supports multiple traffic classes over a lossless Ethernet fabric from the blade through the interconnect. Significant TCO savings come from an FCoE-optimized server design in which network interface cards (NICs), host bus adapters (HBAs), cables, and switches can be consolidated.

Figure 2. Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects

Unified Fabric with FCoE: I/O Consolidation

The Cisco UCS 6100 Series is built to consolidate LAN and SAN traffic onto a single unified fabric, saving the capital and operating expenses associated with multiple parallel networks, different types of adapter cards, switching infrastructure, and cabling within racks. Fibre Channel expansion modules in the interconnect support direct connections from the Cisco Unified Computing System to existing native Fibre Channel SANs. The capability to connect FCoE to native Fibre Channel protects existing storage system investments while dramatically simplifying in-rack cabling.

Cisco UCS Manager

The Cisco 6100 Series hosts and runs the Cisco UCS Manager in a highly available configuration, enabling the fabric interconnects to fully manage all Cisco Unified Computing System elements. Connectivity to the Cisco UCS 5100 Series blade chassis is maintained through the Cisco UCS 2100 Series Fabric Extenders in each blade chassis. The Cisco 6100 Series interconnects support out-of-band management through a dedicated 10/100/1000-Mbps Ethernet management port as well as in-band management. Cisco UCS Manager typically is deployed in a clustered active-passive configuration on redundant fabric interconnects connected through dual 10/100/1000 Ethernet clustering ports.

Optimization for Virtualization

For virtualized environments, the Cisco 6100 Series supports Cisco VN-Link architecture. Cisco VN-Link architecture allows the interconnects to provide policy-based virtual machine connectivity, mobility of network properties with the virtual machine, and a consistent operational model for both physical and virtual environments.

Cisco UCS 6120XP 20-Port and UCS 6140XP 40-Port Fabric Interconnects

The Cisco UCS 6100 Series interconnects are compared in Table 1 and shown in Figure 3.

Table 1. Comparison of Cisco UCS 6120XP and UCS 6140XP Fabric Interconnects


Cisco UCS 6120XP

Cisco UCS 6140XP


20-port fabric interconnect

40-port fabric interconnect

Form factor

1 rack unit (RU)


Number of fixed 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+) ports




520 Gbps

1.04 terabits per second (Tbps)

Expansion slots



Fan modules



Figure 3. Cisco UCS 6120XP 20-Port Fabric Interconnect (Top) and Cisco UCS 6140XP 40-Port Fabric Interconnect (Bottom)

Expansion Module Options for Cisco UCS 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects

The Cisco UCS 6100 Series is equipped to support a number of expansion module options (Figure 4).

• Ethernet module that provides 6 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet using the SFP+ interface

• Fibre Channel plus Ethernet module that provides 4 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet using the SFP+ interface; and 4 ports of 1/2/4-Gbps native Fibre Channel connectivity using the SFP interface

• Fibre Channel module that provides 8 ports of 1/2/4-Gbps native Fibre Channel using the SFP interface for transparent connectivity with existing Fibre Channel networks

• Fibre Channel module that provides 6 ports of 1/2/4/8-Gbps native Fibre Channel using the SFP or SFP+1 interface for transparent connectivity with existing Fibre Channel networks

Figure 4. From Left to Right: 8-Port 1/2/4-Gbps Native Fibre Channel Expansion Module; 4-Port Fibre Channel plus 4-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module; 6-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet Module; and 6-Port 1/2/4/8-Gbps Native Fibre Channel Expansion Module

Features and Benefits

Table 2 summarizes the features and benefits of the Cisco UCS 6100 Series.

Table 2. Features and Benefits



Management by Cisco UCS Manager

• Enables all elements connected to the interconnects to participate in a single, highly available management domain

Unified fabric

• Decreases TCO by reducing the number of NICs, HBAs, switches, and cables needed
• Transparently encapsulates Fibre Channel packets into Ethernet

Fabric extender architecture

• Scales to 40 chassis without adding complexity by eliminating the need for dedicated chassis management and blade switches and by reducing the number of cables needed
• Provides deterministic latency for optimized application performance


• Provides high-speed, low-latency connectivity to the chassis

Lossless fabric

• Provides a reliable, robust foundation for unifying LAN and SAN traffic on a single transport

Priority flow control (PFC)

• Simplifies management of multiple traffic flows over a single network link
• Supports different classes of service, enabling both lossless and classic Ethernet on the same fabric

Systemwide bandwidth management

• Enables consistent and coherent quality of service (QoS) throughout the system.

Cisco VN-Link technology

• Enables a consistent operational model between virtual and physical environments
• Provides the same level of network visibility for virtualized and nonvirtualized environments
• Improves diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities in a virtual environment
• Simplifies network and security policy enforcement when migrating virtual machines from one host to another

Rear ports

• Helps keep cable lengths short and efficient

Redundant hot-swappable fans and power supplies

• Enables high availability in multiple configurations
• Increases serviceability
• Provides uninterrupted service during maintenance

Front-to-back cooling

• Supports efficient data center hot- and cold-aisle designs

SFP+ ports

• Increases flexibility with a range of interconnect solutions, including copper Twinax cable for short runs and fiber for long runs
• Consumes less power per port than traditional solutions

Port-based licensing options

• Enables a pay-as-you-go model, enabling customers to add additional capacity as the networking needs of an individual system increase.

Product Specifications


Table 3 provides cabling specifications for the Cisco UCS 6100 Series.

Table 3. Cabling Specifications

Connector (Media)



Power (Each Side)

Transceiver Latency (Link)


SFP+ copper (CU)


1, 3, and 5m

Approximately 0.1 watt (W)

Approximately 0.1 microsecond

SFF 8431

SFP+ short reach (SR) and multimode fiber (MMF)






Approximately 0 microseconds

IEEE 802.3ae

SFP+ long reach (LR)


300m over SMF


Approximately 0 microseconds

IEEE 802.3ae


• Cisco UCS 6120XP: Layer 2 hardware forwarding at 520 Gbps or 386.9 million packets per second (mpps)

• Cisco UCS 6140XP: Layer 2 hardware forwarding at 1.04 Tbps or 773.8 mpps

• MAC address table entries: 16,000

• Low-latency cut-through design provides predictable, consistent traffic latency regardless of packet size, traffic pattern, or enabled features

Layer 2

• Layer 2 interconnect ports and VLAN trunks

• IEEE 802.1Q VLAN encapsulation

• Support for up to 256 VLANs and virtual SANs (VSANs) per interconnect

• Rapid Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVRST+)

• Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) Versions 1, 2, and 3 snooping

• Cisco EtherChannel technology

• Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP): IEEE 802.3ad

• Advanced EtherChannel hashing based on Layer 2, 3, and 4 information

• Jumbo frames on all ports (up to 9216 bytes)

• Pause frames (IEEE 802.3x)


• Layer 2 IEEE 802.1p (class of service [CoS])

• Eight hardware queues per port

• Per-port QoS configuration

• CoS trust

• Per-port virtual output queuing

• CoS-based egress queuing

• Egress strict-priority queuing

• Egress port-based scheduling: Weighted Round-Robin (WRR)

High Availability

• Hot-swappable field-replaceable power supplies, fan modules, and expansion modules

• 1+1 power redundancy

• N+1 fan module redundancy


• Interconnect management using redundant 10/100/1000-Mbps management or console ports

• All management provided through Cisco UCS Manager; please refer to the Cisco UCS Manager data sheet for more information about management interfaces

Low-Latency, Lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet Unified Network Fabric

• PFC (per-priority pause frame support)

• Data Center Bridging Exchange (DCBX) Protocol

• IEEE 802.1Qaz: Bandwidth management

• Layer 2 multipathing (future)

Industry Standards

• IEEE 802.1p: CoS prioritization

• IEEE 802.1Q: VLAN tagging

• IEEE 802.1s: Multiple VLAN instances of Spanning Tree Protocol

• IEEE 802.1w: Rapid reconfiguration of Spanning Tree Protocol

• IEEE 802.3: Ethernet

• IEEE 802.3ad: LACP

• IEEE 802.3ae: 10 Gigabit Ethernet

• SFP+ support


Physical Specifications

SFP+ Optics

Cisco Unified Computing System products support 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ copper Twinax cables for short distances and SFP+ optics for longer distances. SFP+ has several advantages compared to other 10-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options:

• Small 10 Gigabit Ethernet form-factor

• Optical interoperability with XENPAK, X2, and 10 Gigabit Small Form-Factor Pluggable (XFP) interface types

• Low power consumption

• Hot-swappable device

Power Supply

Table 4 summarizes the power supply properties.

Table 4. AC Power Supply


Cisco UCS 6120XP

Cisco UCS 6140XP

Typical operating power



Maximum power



Input voltage

100 to 240 VAC

100 to 240 VAC


50 to 60 Hz

50 to 60 Hz


88 to 90%

82 to 88%

RoHS compliance






Heat dissipation

1536 BTU/hr

2561 BTU/hr

Cisco UCS 6100 Series Physical and Environmental Specifications

Table 5 summarizes the physical and environmental specifications for the Cisco UCS 6100 Series.

Table 5. Physical and Environmental Specifications


Cisco UCS 6120XP

Cisco UCS 6140XP

(height x width x depth)

1.72 x 17.3 x 30.0 in.
(4.4 x 43.9 x 76.2 cm)

3.47 x 17.3 x 30.0 in.
(8.8 x 43.9 x 76.2 cm)

Operating temperature

32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)

32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)

Nonoperating temperature

-40 to 158°F (-40 to 70°C)

-40 to 158°F (-40 to 70°C)


5 to 95% (noncondensing)

5 to 95% (noncondensing)


0 to 10,000 ft (0 to 300m)

0 to 10,000 ft (0 to 300m)


Table 6 summarizes presents the weights for the Cisco UCS 6100 Series.

Table 6. Weight



Cisco UCS 6120XP with two power supplies, one expansion module, and two fan modules

35 lb (15.88 kg)

Cisco UCS 6140XP with two power supplies, two expansion modules, and five fan modules

50 lb (22.68 kg)

Regulatory Standards Compliance: Safety and EMC

Table 7 summarizes Cisco UCS 6100 Series regulatory compliance.

Table 7. Regulatory Standards Compliance



Regulatory compliance

Products should comply with CE Markings according to directives 2004/108/EC and 2006/95/EC


• UL 60950-1
• CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60950-1
• EN 60950-1
• IEC 60950-1
• AS/NZS 60950-1
• GB4943

EMC: Emissions

• 47CFR Part 15 (CFR 47) Class A
• AS/NZS CISPR22 Class A
• CISPR22 Class A
• EN55022 Class A
• ICES003 Class A
• VCCI Class A
• EN61000-3-2
• EN61000-3-3
• KN22 Class A
• CNS13438 Class A

EMC: Immunity

• EN50082-1
• EN61000-6-1
• EN55024
• EN300386
• KN 61000-4 series


The product is RoHS 5-compliant with exceptions for leaded ball grid array (BGA) balls and lead press-fit connectors

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