Cisco Expands SDN, Unveils New Nexus Switch

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The Nexus 6004 is Cisco's highest density 40 Gigabit Layer 2/Layer 3 fixed switch. (Photo: Cisco Systems)

The Nexus 6004 is Cisco’s highest density 40 Gigabit Layer 2/Layer 3 fixed switch. (Photo: Cisco Systems)

Cisco (CSCO) announced a variety of innovations for its Unified Data Center strategy, with a high density 40 Gigabit switch, a hybrid cloud solution, and a new controller.

Cisco unveiled the Nexus 6000, a 96 port line rate 40-gigabit fixed form factor switch with Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).  Operating the Cisco NX-OS the 6000 series is purpose-built for high performance access, leaf/spine architectures for virtual and cloud deployments of converged networks. Two new Nexus 6000 models are being introduced – the 4U Nexus 6004 with 96 ports of line rate 40GE, and the 1U Nexus 6001 with 48 ports of GE/10GE fixed ports.

“As a leading service provider for cloud, managed hosting and colocation, Savvis relies upon technologies such as Cisco’s Data Center Unified Fabric solutions to help us quickly deliver secure, robust, agile infrastructure to our clients,” said Ken Owens, cloud CTO, at Savvis, a CenturyLink company. “Cisco continues to build on its reputation as an industry leader in providing end-to-end cloud-ready architecture through its recent cloud innovations, which enable service providers like Savvis to enhance their cloud capabilities.”

Cisco has also added a Network Analysis Module (NAM) services blade to bring application awareness and performance analytics to the Cisco Nexus 7000. A new Nexus 5500 40GE module provides the option of deploying 40GE uplinks in an existing Nexus 5500 to reduce over-subscription, and the new Nexus 2248PQ switch provides a 10GE top-of-rack fabric extender with 40GE uplinks.

“Like many IT organizations, we are tasked with increasing business agility while lowering the total-cost of ownership,”  said Ansh Kanwar, director, network services, Citrix. “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 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.”

New InterCloud Designs

To address security and complexity issues  in the hybrid cloud Cisco announced the Nexus 1000V InterCloud. This new design provides the foundation for a secure hybrid cloud, bridging the enterprise and cloud providers, and preserving existing networking capabilities and L4-7 services. It is based on Nexus 1000V switches and Cisco NX-OS software. The Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC) InterCloud  offers new capabilities including a single policy point for network services across both enterprise and provider domains; the ability to manage virtual machine lifecycle across multiple hypervisors in hybrid clouds; and the ability to manage multiple provider clouds via APIs.

Building on the Summer 2012 introduction of the Open Network Environment (ONE), Cisco continues to open the fabric with the introduction of a new ONE Software Controller to support a highly available, scalable and extensible architecture. It interfaces with OpenFlow, provides consistent management, troubleshooting and security features, and includes built-in applications that include network slicing functionality for enabling logical partitioning of network resources. Cisco has also expanded platform support for OpenFlow to Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000, ASR 9000 and Catalyst 6500 models.

About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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