The Cisco Nexus Switch product line provides a series of solutions that attempt to make it easier to connect and manage disparate data center resources with software-defined networking (SDN). Leveraging the Cisco Unified Fabric, which unifies storage, data and networking (Ethernet/IP) services, the Nexus Switches create an open, programmable network foundation built to support a virtualized data center environment.
First announced in January 2008, the Cisco Unified Fabric of the Nexus Switches was designed to provide all servers with access to all network and storage resources, while eliminating the need for parallel storage and computational networks. The objective was to simplify deployments and ensure consistent networking across physical, virtual, and cloud environments to deliver:
- Business and IT Agility: flexible, highly available fabric that supports dynamic resource allocation, changing traffic patterns, complex workloads, and scalability within and across data centers.
- Simplified Operations: consistent policies and services that are built directly into the fabric and aware of the virtualized environment simplify the delivery and management of network functions in converged, virtualized and cloud environments.
- Efficiencies: consolidated, multi-protocol solutions, with a single point of management for the LANs and SANs, minimizes disruptions to existing infrastructure and operations.
All switches in the Nexus range run the modular NX-OS firmware and operating system. Building on Cisco’s IOS, NX-OS combines the company’s storage area network (SAN) OS from its SAN switching lines with its IOS routing code. This modular design allows for fault containment and automatic recovery, so processes can be started, stopped, and upgraded, even without human intervention.
Nexus Switches provide a quick and dependable switching infrastructure aimed at giving users the high performance needed for the virtualized environment in next-generation data centers. They offer continuous system operations and transport freedom, I/O consolidation, as well as the delivery of advanced networking capabilities, such as high availability, hitless In-Service Software Upgrades (ISSU), etc.
Design and Architecture of Next-Generation Data Center with the Cisco Nexus Switch
Cisco Nexus Switch Series At-a-Glance
The Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Switch is advertised to deliver a comprehensive SDN solution, including support for OpenFlow and Cisco OnePK. The Nexus 3000 is a foundational component of Cisco’s Open Network Environment (ONE) designed to help networks become more open, programmable and application-aware. It offers flexibility, high density, and performance for top-of-rack deployments, supporting mobility and tenant isolation with VXLAN. ONE is being folded into Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) strategy.
The newest in the line of Nexus Switch is the 9000 Series. It was introduced to provide the switching foundation for Cisco ACI. The ACI architecture is designed to “allow applications to guide networking behavior, using predefined application policies that automate the provisioning of the network, application services, security policies, tenant subnets and workload placement.”
Below is a quick look at the different Cisco Nexus Switch Series and their optimal use case:
Evolution of the Cisco Nexus Switch