Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro are joined by Brent Salisbury for a discussion with Cisco’s Nexus-geek-at-large Ron Fuller about a whole lot of things happening in the Cisco data center product line in this sponsored edition of the Packet Pushers Podcast.
First up, we review the announcement from the previous Cisco Live (London 2013) about the Nexus 6K products. The 6001 & 6004 are non-blocking L3 10GbE & 40GbE switches designed to cram a lot of forwarding into a small form factor. That was sort of old news, but we thought it was worth bringing up for those that maybe hadn’t noticed. After that, we got into a discussion of the new Cisco Nexus 7700 product line, hitting a rack near you in two form-factors: the 7710 (10-slot) or 7718 (18-slot). The 7700 features true front-to-back airflow and up to 1.3Tb per slot. That bandwidth is coming from new fabric cards that double-up the “Sacramento” fabric chips inside.
We next talk through the new Nexus 7000 & 7700 F3 line cards coming in 40GbE and 100GbE flavors. The F3’s offer a new ASIC that can do several different encapsulation types right on the chip, and will be priced somewhere between the current F2 and M series line cards. Does that mean the M series cards will go away? Listen to find out.
Nexus Validation Testing (NVT) might be the biggest news of Cisco Live US 2013, as far as we’re concerned. NVT is a new software testing methodology where Cisco builds the sorts of topologies customers build, and then tests the sorts of configurations customers deploy. The idea is to put new NX-OS code through real-world scenarios. NVT failures will prevent NX-OS from shipping. We also talk about what NVT means for the Safe Harbor program.
NX-OS 6.2 is the first code release to be put through NVT, and we get the details on a number of new features that are being included. Lots of good stuff here – listen to find out the details and availability date.
Finally, we have a chinwag about the Network Analysis Module available for the Nexus 7K, the NAM-NX1. While you might expect panning and derision for taking up valuable chassis real-estate in a data center class switch with a services module, that doesn’t seem to be the prevailing opinion. And not just because we’re being nice. There’s a clear use-case for the NAM-NX1.