[c-nsp] Nexus 5000?

Jay Ford jay-ford at uiowa.edu
Wed May 6 13:28:30 EDT 2009

On Wed, 6 May 2009, ChrisSerafin wrote:
> I have a client that Cisoc is recommending the Nexus line of switches for 
> their data center. They will be using IBM blade switches and I'm guessing 
> these would be the 'core'.
> They are looking at (2) Nexus 5010's and (2) Nexus 2000's.....totaling 60K.
> I'm wondering why this would be recommended, since the only added feature of 
> the Nexus line from Cisco.com's video is that they have 10GB ports.....and 
> really nothing else.
> I'm almost ready to recommend my favorites....3750G's for this scenario.
> Anyone have real world experience wirking with these devices and can share 
> comments? good or bad, and why you went with them?

We don't have any yet, but we're looking at them.

Nexus 5000 pros (+) & cons (-):
    +  front-to-back air flow
    +  redundant power supplies & fans
    +  high throughput (1.04 Tbps in 5020, 520 Gbps in 5010)
    +  interface flexibility (due to SFP+ ports)
    -  have to buy an SFP/SFP+ module/cable for every port you want to light
    -  no 10/100; copper Ether is 1G only
    -  only first few ports (16 in 5020, 8 in 5010) can do 1G;
       the rest are 10G only

The Nexus 2000 fabric extender also seems limited to 1G only; no 10/100. 
Note that it isn't a normal switch, with port-to-port switching;  all inbound 
edge-port traffic is sent to the uplinks for switching by the host 5000 box. 
This isn't necessarily a problem, but it is different.

It's a tough choice right now between established top-of-rack switches (3750, 
4948, 4900m) & the Nexus boxes.

Jay Ford, Network Engineering Group, Information Technology Services
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242
email: jay-ford at uiowa.edu, phone: 319-335-5555, fax: 319-335-2951

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