At the beginning of March 2016, Cisco made a couple of significant networking announcements in the data center. One of these announcements is introducing the new data center switches: the Nexus 9300 Switches & Nexus 9200 Switches.
The data center technology innovations get into three key areas: networking, hyperconverged infrastructure, and hybrid cloud orchestration.
Cisco continues to lead data center innovation with SDN-ready Nexus switches that deliver cloud scale 10/25/40/50/100Gpbs, with up to 10 times performance improvement at industry leading price points.
The new switching platforms provide the scale, telemetry, security, and performance needed for distributed containers and microservices, as well as the lossless traffic needed for IP storage and hyperconverged infrastructure. The new switches give Cisco customers a two-year innovation advantage over competitive technology.
In data center switching, Cisco rolled out the new Nexus 9200, a system based on Cisco ASIC technology that enables customers to transition from 10/40G Ethernet switching to 10/25/40/50/100G at the price of 10/40G. Cisco says this is possible due to the use of 16nm technology that enables 36 ports of line rate 100G on a single chip, and scales from 100Mbps to 100G on the same port.
Cisco Nexus 9200 Switches
The Cisco Nexus 9200 platform is the latest addition to the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series.
This platform consists of industry-leading ultra-high-density fixed-configuration data center switches with line-rate Layer 2 and 3 features that support enterprise applications, service provider hosting, and cloud computing environments. The Cisco Nexus 9200 platform operates only as a standalone system with the widely deployed industry-leading Cisco NX-OS Software operating system.
The switches, which are targeted at multiple, large-scale cloud networks needing hyperconverged fabrics, are also designed to provide pervasive visibility into flow tables at both the leaf and spine; 140K micro segments per rack for security, and support for over a million containers per rack; and adaptive capacity and congestion control for dynamic load balancing and lossless operation.
The Nexus 9200 and 9300EX are fixed configuration top-of-rack switches that can both run in standalone NX-OS mode, while the 9300EX can also run in ACI fabric mode. Cisco also rolled out a line card for the modular Nexus 9500 chassis that supports 32 40/100G ports using the new custom ASIC, and can run in either NX-OS or ACI mode.
Cisco Nexus 9300 Switches
The Cisco Nexus 9300 platform offers a compact and powerful set of switches that can be used at the top of the rack, in the middle of the row, and at the end of the row in both traditional three-tier and spine-and-leaf architectures. The platform includes fixed-configuration 1-rack-unit (1RU), 2RU, and 3RU access switches and the Cisco Nexus 9336PQ ACI Spine Switch; offering flexible 1/10/25/40/50/100-Gbps connectivity options and nonblocking functionality.
The Nexus 9200 and 9300EX switches are list priced at $20,000 and $22,500, respectively. The 9200 is shipping now, while the 9300EX will ship in the second quarter.
Cisco also expanded its Nexus 3000 line of merchant silicon-based fixed configuration switches with platforms based on Broadcom’s Tomahawk 25/50/100G chip, and Trident 2+ ASIC. Cisco also unveiled a 32-port 40/100G line card for the Nexus 9500 chassis based on the Broadcom Tomahawk ASIC.
Lastly, Cisco expanded its ACI and NX-OS data center switching software to include ACI APIC controller and fabric support for older Nexus 7000 switches and ASR 9000 routers; and hyperconvergence, DevOps automation, segment routing and in-service software upgrade support in NX-OS. Cisco also unveiled Nexus Fabric Manager, software for automating the configuration and management of VXLAN-based fabrics through zero touch provisioning and a handful of mouse clicks.
APIC on Nexus 7000 and ASR 9000 will be available in the third quarter. Nexus Fabric Manager and the enhanced NX-OS are shipping now.