Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cisco Ups its Nexus Data Center Game

Cisco is rolling out its next generation of Nexus data center switches, including a new Nexus 9000 model based on its custom ASIC and a Nexus 3000 model based on Broadcom's Tomahawk silicon.

The refreshed portfolio aims to transition the market from 10G and 40G ports to 25/50/100 Gbps at the same density of interfaces as existing systems. Cisco said it will now be able to deliver 25G at the previous price of 10G, and 100G at the previous price of 40G -- effectively 2.5x bandwidth at the same price.

In terms of network architecture and software programmability, Cisco is supporting three choices: its own, full-bore Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture, running on the APIC controller in its Nexus 7K and flagship 9K switches, a programmable fabric vision that could also be supported on the new Nexus 3000 switches with Broadcom silicon, and a lighter Programmable Network architecture running on any of the Nexus switches and featuring NX-OS enhancements for DevOps, automation and segment routing.

With the new Nexus 9000 switches, Cisco said it will achieve industry-leading performance for 100Gbps, with 25 percent more non-blocking performance, at 50 percent the cost of comparable solutions, plus greater reliability and lower power. The new Nexus 9K switches will support real time network telemetry at 100Gbps wire rate, enabling network security with pervasive NetFlow and fabric wide troubleshooting.  The switches will also scale up to 10 times in IP addresses and end points at cloud scale, and support over a million containers per rack. The new Nexus 9K is also designed to drive unique cloud services with adaptive capacity and congestion control, allowing customers to support lossless traffic for IP storage, hyperconverged and converged infrastructure on a single unified fabric that enables application completion times 50 percent faster than traditional competitive platforms.

In addition, Cisco is announcing a new Cisco Nexus Fabric Manager that automates the complete fabric lifecycle management with a point-and-click web interface, and offers automated configuration snapshots and rollbacks. Nexus Fabric Manager builds and self-manages a VXLAN-based fabric, dynamically configuring switches based on simplified user-based actions. An IT manager can fully deploy a VXLAN-based fabric in just three steps, complete with zero touch provisioning, and can upgrade all fabric switches to a new software release in "only four mouse clicks."

Cisco also announced several new ACI ecosystem pioneers: Infoblox, which automates network configuration and change; N3N, which extends ACI visibility beyond the network to the entire data center; Tufin, which provides visibility, control and security change orchestration across heterogeneous environments; vArmour, which provides application-aware micro-segmentation with advanced security analytics; and Veritas, which collects, protects, analyzes and optimizes customers’ global data.


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