Apparently skating toward where the puck is headed, Cisco has added 40-Gbit capabilities to its Nexus 6-series switches plus the Nexus 550 series, beefing up some of its older products in the process. Cisco’s strategy has been to unify the data center, bringing the various aspects of the data center fabric under one virtual roof. In keeping with that, the company has issued a number of updates, including:
  • Unveiling the Cisco Nexus 6000, the world’s first 96-port, line rate 40-gigabit fixed form factor switch with Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and 1-microsecond latency across all ports;
  • 40-gigabit uplink extensions to the Nexus 5000 and 2000 product lines, specifically the Nexus 5500 Series switch;
  • Adding a Network Analysis Module services blade to the Cisco Nexus 7000, tacking on application awareness and performance analytics;
  • A new 10 GbE Nexus 2248PQ fabric extender with 40 GbE uplinks;
  • Launching the Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch for hybrid cloud environments;
  • Adding new capabilities, including a single policy point; plus the ability to manage multiple hypervisors across multiple clouds, to Cisco Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC) InterCloud;
  • A new Cisco ONE software controller;
  • Expanded platform support for OpenFlow with the Cisco Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000, ASR 9000 and Catalyst 6500.
As Del’Oro revealed last November, companies really aren’t asking for 40 GbE products, although that hasn’t stopped Cisco from supplying them in anticipation of customer needs down the road. The key appears to be locking in customers such as Citrix for the long term. “Like many IT organizations, we are tasked with increasing business agility while lowering the total-cost of ownership,” Ansh Kanwar, director of network services at Citrix, wrote in a statement. “We have standardized on FEX architecture which gives us a choice for deploying different server environments with operational simplicity. The Cisco Nexus 6004 along with the new Nexus 2248PQ offers a solution to manage a large pool of 10G servers. Introduction of 40G technology on these platforms allows us to build a robust DC fabric that can scale significantly to meet our DC growth in the coming years.” The Nexus 6000 series will initially be available in two models: the Nexus 6004, with up to 96 ports of line rate 40GbE (384 ports of line rate 10GbE) in a 4 RU form factor; and the Nexus 6001, which offers line rate 48 ports of GbE/10GbE fixed ports with 4 ports of 40GE (or 16 ports of 10GE) uplinks in 1 RU form factor. Cisco said that the Nexus 6004 24 x 40 GbE switch will be priced at $90,000; the Nexus 6004 48 x 40 GbE for $195,000; and the Nexus 6004, 12 x 40 GbE LEM will be priced at $40,000. All three will be available this quarter. Cisco also announced the Nexus 1000V, which attempts to fuse several clouds together into a single manageable solution. Although the 100V will ship within the first half of 2013, pricing will be announced at a later date. “While previous Unified Fabric innovation has focused on physical/virtual consistency of the [data center] fabric, this announcement brings that consistency to the cloud,” Gary Kinghorn, a solution marketing manager for Cisco, explained in a blog post. “This new technology from Cisco extends the existing networking capabilities, L4-7 services and manageability of your enterprise into public and provider clouds to create a single consistent, reliable, predictable environment for all your physical, virtual and cloud workloads.” Cisco evidently hopes that customers buy into its data-center version, and adopt its solutions for the long haul.   Image: Kirill_M/