Cisco Revamps Networking Nexus

In January of 2008, Cisco launched the Nexus 7000, its first major new switching platform in years. After three years in the market, Cisco is now refreshing the Nexus 7000 with new modules and chassis.

From a scalability perspective, the new Fabric 2 module, enables the deployment of up to 768, 10 GbE ports in a Nexus 7000 chassis. The Fabric 2 module can deliver up to 550 Gbps per slot of performance. The new module also delivers connectivity, for only 9 watts of power per port.

Jeff Raymond, Director of Product Management for the Nexus 7000, noted that the new modules works in all existing Nexus 7000 product chassis, which provides investment protection for customers. He added that the second generation fabric provides a 2x performance improvement over what was currently available for the Nexus 7000.

When the Nexus 7000 was first announced in 2008, the top end chassis was the Nexus 7018 which was specified to have up to 15 terabits of capacity. Raymond noted that to date the shipping versions of the 7018 actually only had 8 terabits of capacity, but with the new fabric, the chassis is able to deliver 17 terabits.

In addition, Cisco is launching a new chassis to the Nexus 7000 family with the 7009 chassis. The Nexus 7009 has 9 slots and is a 14 RU form factor which is half the size of a traditional Nexus 7000 chassis.

“What we’ve been doing is listening to our customers in terms of providing a smaller footprint to deploy the Nexus 7000 series and that’s really the design goal of this chassis,” Raymond said.

While the Nexus 7000 is now getting an overall performance boost, the platform is still all about 10 GbE deployments. Raymond noted that there currently is not a 40 GbE option for the Nexus 7000. That said he added that 40 GbE is something that Cisco is actively working on for the 7000 series.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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