Cisco Nexus 5500 Overview, More Models, Features and Comparison

In the last article, we talked about the Cisco Nexus 5500 as a viable core switch for the midsized enterprise, more details and design considerations were mentioned to help enterprises make a smarter decision. What does the Nexus 5500 contain? What kind of network environment does it fit for?  In this article, we will discuss the main models, features, reviews and tips about the Nexus 5500 switch. There are four sections: Nexus 5596UP Switch, Cisco Nexus 5596T, Cisco Nexus 5548UP and 5548P switches.

Firstly, let’s have an overview on each of them.

Cisco Nexus 5596UP Switch

The Cisco Nexus 5596UP Switch is a 2RU 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and FCoE switch offering up to 1920 Gbps of throughput and up to 96 ports. The switch has 48 unified ports and three expansion slots.

Cisco Nexus 5596UP Switch Configured with Three 16-Port Expansion Modules

Cisco Nexus 5596UP Switch Configured with Three 16-Port Expansion Modules

Cisco Nexus 5596T Switch

The Cisco Nexus 5596T Switch is a 2RU form factor, with 32 fixed ports of 10G BASE-T and 16 fixed ports of SFP+. The switch also supports up to three expansion slots. The switch supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet (fiber and copper), Fibre Channel, and FCoE, offering up to 1920 Gbps of throughput and up to 96 ports. The switch supports unified ports on all SFP+ ports. The 10G BASE-T ports support FCoE up to 30m distance with Category 6a and Category 7 cables.

Nexus 5596T Switch Configured with three 12-Port 10G BASE-T Expansion Modules

Cisco Nexus 5596T Switch Configured with three 12-Port 10G BASE-T Expansion Modules

Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch

The Cisco Nexus 5548UP is a 1RU 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and FCoE switch offering up to 960 Gbps of throughput and up to 48 ports. The switch has 32 unified ports and one expansion slot.

Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch

 

Cisco Nexus 5548P Switch

The Cisco Nexus 5548P Switch is the first of the Cisco Nexus 5500 platform switches. It is a one-rack-unit (1RU) 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE switch offering up to 960-Gbps throughput and up to 48 ports. The switch has 32 1/10-Gbps fixed SFP+ Ethernet and FCoE ports and one expansion slot.

Cisco Nexus 5548P Switch

There are also more about Expansion Module Options, and Layer 3 Daughter Card and Expansion Module Options for Cisco Nexus 5548P, 5548UP, 5596UP, and 5596T Switches.

Expansion Module Options for the Cisco Nexus 5548P, 5548UP, 5596UP, and 5596T Switches

The Cisco Nexus 5500 platform is equipped with expansion modules that can be used to increase the number of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 40 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE ports or to connect to Fibre Channel SANs with 8/4/2/1-Gbps Fibre Channel switch ports, or both.

The Cisco Nexus 5548P and 5548UP supports two expansion module, and the Cisco Nexus 5596UP and 5596T support four expansion modules from the following offerings:

  • Ethernet module that provides sixteen 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE ports using the SFP+ interface.
  • Fibre Channel plus Ethernet module that provides eight 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE ports using the SFP+ interface, and eight ports of 8/4/2/1-Gbps native Fibre Channel connectivity using the SFP+/SFP interface.
  • Unified port module that provides up to sixteen 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE ports using the SFP+ interface or up to sixteen ports of 8/4/2/1-Gbps native Fibre Channel connectivity using the SFP+ and SFP interfaces; the use of 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet or 8/4/2/1-Gbps Fibre Channel on a port is mutually exclusive but can be selected for any of the 16 physical ports per module.
  • Four port QSFP Ethernet module that provides 4 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports using QSFP interface. Each QSFP 40GE port can only work in 4x10G mode and supports DCB and FCoE.

From Left to Right: 16-Port 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE Module, 8-Port Fibre Channel Plus 8-Port 1 and 10Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE Module, 16-Port Unified Port Module and 4 port QSFP module.

Expansion Module Options for the Cisco Nexus 5548P, 5548UP, 5596UP, and 5596T Switches

The Cisco Nexus 5596T also supports another expansion module:

● Ethernet module that provides twelve 10G BASE-T ports; The 10G BASE-T ports support FCoE up to 30m distance with Category 6a and Category 7 cables.

12-Port 10G BASE-T Expansion Module (Front View and Side View)

12-Port 10G BASE-T Expansion Module

Layer 3 Daughter Card and Expansion Module Options for Cisco Nexus 5548P, 5548UP, 5596UP, and 5596T Switches

  • In addition to these expansion modules, the Cisco Nexus 5548P and 5548UP support a Layer 3 daughter card that can be ordered with the system or as a spare (field upgradable). This daughter card provides up to 160 Gbps of Layer 3 forwarding capability (240 million packets per second [mpps]) that can be shared by all 48 ports in the chassis. As shown in Figure 7, the Layer 3 daughter card does not take up one of the expansion slots on the rear of the chassis, but instead is installed by replacing the Layer 2 I/O module (N55‑DL2) that is located on the front of the chassis.

Layer 3 Daughter Card on the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch

Layer 3 Daughter Card on the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch

  • In addition to these expansion modules, the Cisco Nexus 5596UP and 5596T support a Layer 3 module that provides up to 160 Gbps of Layer 3 forwarding capability (240 mpps) that can be shared by all the I/O ports in the chassis.

Layer 3 Module (Front View and Side View)

Layer 3 Module

  • Version 2 of Layer 3 daughter cards and expansion modules have enhanced capabilities that increase the host table size from 8000 to 16,000 entries, or multicast routes from 4000 to 8000 starting from software release Cisco NX-OS Software Release 5.2(1)N1(1b) and later.
  • Requires free of charge a base LAN license (N55-BAS1k9=) to be installed. This is included in the hardware purchase; however the license would need to be manually installed.

 

More Comparison: Cisco Nexus 5596UP vs. Cisco Nexus 5596T

Cisco Nexus 5596UP Cisco Nexus 5596T
Rack Unit (RU) 2 2
Switching Capacity 1.92 Tbps 1.92 Tbps
Expansion Slots 3 3
Unified Ports Yes Yes
Fixed, built-in ports 48 (10 GE) 48 (10 GE)
1/10 GE, 10- Gbps FCoE port density Up to 96 Up to 96
1/10G BASE-T N Up to 68
40 GE uplinks Up to 4 (through expansion module) Up to 4 (through expansion module)
100 GE Ports N N
Fibre Channel port density (8/4/2/1 Gbps) Up to 96 Up to 64
160-Gbps Layer 3 routing engine Expansion module Expansion module
Fabric extender support Yes, up to 24 Yes, up to 24
Hot-swappable power supplies and fan trays Yes Yes
Air flow Front-back (port side exhaust) and back-front(Port side inlet) Front-back (port side exhaust) and back-front(Port side inlet)
VXLAN No No
DFA Support Yes ( No segment ID, L2 only; no workload automation) Yes ( No segment ID, L2 only; no workload automation)
Programmability Python scripting, TCL scripting, the Cisco One Platform Kit, OnePK and Openflow Python scripting, TCL scripting, the Cisco One Platform Kit, OnePK and Openflow

If you want to read more information about Cisco nexus 5500 series, you can refer to the Cisco’s page http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/nexus-5000-series-switches/data_sheet_c78-618603.pdf, the more details about the Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders, Efficient Transceiver and Cabling Options for Cisco nexus 5500, Nexus 5500 Architecture, NX-OS Software for Nexus 5000 Series, etc.

 

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Cisco 9500 Nexus Switch Overview-Model Comparison

Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches Overview

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