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SDN Journal Authors: Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Dinko Eror, Pat Romanski, Peter Silva

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Cisco Unleashes Industry's Fastest, Most Extensible Open Networking "Fabric" for Data Centers, Clouds

New Industry-Leading Innovations Include the Highest-Density 40-Gigabit Layer 2/3 Fixed Switch; Simplest Hybrid Cloud Solution; and Expansion of the Cisco Open Network Environment With the Most Extensible Controller

SAN JOSE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/04/13 -- As Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) continues to deliver on its Unified Data Center strategy to synthesize various networked functions into one "data center fabric" for more agile, automated and efficient business operations, the company is continually addressing emerging industry trends like cloud computing and open networking. Today, the company introduced a wave of product innovation that covers a vast spectrum of needs within data center and cloud environments -- from the Cisco Nexus® 6000 Series Switches, the industry's highest density 40 Gigabit Layer2/Layer 3 fixed switch, to seamless, secure and simple hybrid cloud functionality of Cisco Nexus® 1000V InterCloud for connecting private enterprise and service provider clouds, to the availability of the industry's most extensible network-programmable controller as part of the expanded Cisco® Open Network Environment (ONE) portfolio.

With these innovations, Cisco continues to execute its Unified Data Center strategy to bring more infrastructure agility, operational simplicity and application-awareness for data center and multi-cloud environments. Complementing this, Cisco is also delivering on its Cisco ONE strategy, addressing emerging trends around open networking, programmability and software defined networking (SDN) for all places in the network including data center, campus, cloud, and service provider deployments.

Together, these technology developments are significant in that they help scale, extend, and open the networking fabric of data center, cloud and provider environments as well as bring consistency across physical, virtual and cloud-based deployments. They enable enterprise customers to connect to multi-cloud and hybrid environments that expand the potential for their business operations and communications, and enable service provider customers to offer new monetized services while increasing agility and infrastructure optimization.

Scaling the Fabric
Network speed, latency, and greater network port density in a single unit are key considerations for customers deploying virtualized data centers and moving to a managed cloud environment where microseconds count, and physical data center real estate is limited. To sustain their differentiation, Cisco today unveiled the Cisco Nexus 6000, the world's first 96-port, line rate 40-gigabit fixed form factor switch with Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and 1-microsecond latency across all ports. For example, the Nexus 6000 can transfer the entire content of the Library of Congress in just 210 seconds. Cisco also added rich services modules to its Nexus 7000 Series, and 40-gigabit uplink extensions to its Nexus 5000 and 2000 product lines. With these extensions, Cisco's Unified Fabric portfolio now delivers an unequaled end-to-end 40-gigabit solution providing design flexibility for virtual and cloud deployments of converged networks with 10G and 40G FCoE support, while enabling greater visibility in the network.

  • The Nexus 6000 Series expands Cisco's data center switching portfolio, providing greater deployment flexibility through higher density and scalability. The new Nexus 6000 Series brings the highest 10GE/40GE density in a fixed form factor, and offers unprecedented network visibility and programmability. It runs the industry-leading Cisco NX-OS with robust integrated layer 2 and 3 feature set.
    • The two Nexus 6000 models are the Nexus 6004, industry's highest density switch with up to 96 ports of line rate 40GE (384 ports of line rate 10GE) in a compact 4 RU (rack unit) form factor; and the Nexus 6001, which offers line rate 48 ports of GE/10GE fixed ports with 4 ports of 40GE (or 16 ports of 10GE) uplinks in 1 RU form factor.
    • The Nexus 6000 Series is purpose-built for high performance access, leaf/spine architectures, compact aggregation, or high-density FEX aggregation deployment options for building a scalable Cisco Unified Fabric.

  • The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Network Analysis Module (NAM). Cisco's flagship data center switch continues to evolve into a services-rich platform with the announcement of the first services blade, the Network Analysis Module. The NAM brings application awareness and performance analytics to the Cisco Nexus 7000, empowering IT with unparalleled actionable visibility into the network, improving application performance, optimizing network resources and helping to more effectively manage services delivery in cloud and virtualized deployments.

  • Cisco Nexus 2248PQ fabric extender and the Nexus 5500 Series switch 40 gigabit Ethernet uplink capabilities provide investment protection and choices for an end-to-end 40GE solution. The new Nexus 5500 40GE module provides customer with the option of deploying 40GE uplinks in their existing Nexus 5500 to reduce over-subscription, while the new Nexus 2248PQ switch provides a 10GE top-of-rack fabric extender with 40GE uplinks.

Extending the Fabric
Security concerns regarding provider clouds, deployment complexity and the inability to easily manage both enterprise and provider clouds workloads through a single interface, have held back many businesses from taking advantage of cloud resources. Cisco solved this hybrid cloud challenge by developing unique technology in the Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch that allows enterprise workloads to be placed in service provider clouds, through a single point of management with a high degree of security.

  • The Nexus 1000V InterCloud orchestrates hybrid cloud environments by extending corporate enterprise environments into the provider cloud with simplicity and industry-leading security. The Nexus 1000V InterCloud preserves existing networking capabilities and L4-7 services while bringing manageability of the enterprise into the provider cloud to create a consistent, reliable, predictable environment for physical, virtual and cloud workloads, freeing IT management to run and move applications without compromise. The solution provides choice of provider clouds and operates in a hypervisor-agnostic manner.

  • The Cisco 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.

Opening the Fabric
In June 2012 Cisco introduced Cisco ® Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE), the industry's most comprehensive approach to open networking, programmability and application-awareness. Cisco ONE enables flexible, application-driven customization of network infrastructure to help realize enterprise and service provider customers' business objectives such as increased service velocity, resource optimization, and faster monetization of new services.

  • A new Cisco ONE Software Controller supports a highly available, scalable and extensible architecture; the industry's first multiprotocol interfaces with One Platform Kit (onePK) and OpenFlow; consistent management, troubleshooting and security features; and built-in applications that include network slicing functionality for enabling logical partitioning of network resources. In addition, the ONE Controller will interact with Cisco networking applications such as Custom Forwarding and Network Tapping.

  • Expanded platform support for Cisco onePK developer environment with Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000 and ASR 9000.

  • Solutions for overlay networks including Nexus 1000V support for VXLAN Gateway; Nexus 1000V support for Microsoft Hyper-V and integration with Microsoft System Center VM Manager; virtual Network Analysis Module (vNAM) for network analysis and monitoring of virtualized and cloud workloads

  • Expanded platform support for OpenFlow with Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000, ASR 9000 and Catalyst 6500.

  • Cisco Services for ONE include strategy workshops, proof of concepts, and global technical support. These new Services provide insight into current infrastructure, identify technical challenges and deliver an actionable road map to support successful adoption of Cisco ONE solutions.


"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."

"The Online Service Division of Citrix, known for award-winning collaboration and remote support services including GoToMeeting, GoToAssist and GoToMyPC, relies on large scale, physical and virtualized environments in the Data Centers to meet increasing demands from our customers," said Ansh Kanwar, director, network services, Citrix. "Like many IT organizations, we are tasked with increasing business agility while lowering the total-cost of ownership. 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 a 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."

"We've seen a large return on our investment in Cisco Prime NAM by reducing system downtime and greatly streamlining IT administration," said Ron van Vliet, IT specialist - Datacenter LAN, Wireless and VPN, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. "With thousands of connections to servers, we rely upon NAM to help keep vital network and customer services at maximum performance and availability. As we will be deploying Cisco Nexus 7000 switches in our data centers, we are pleased that NAM will also be available as a services module for that platform."

"Cisco's new hybrid cloud architecture will help Smartronix quickly deploy our customers' mission-critical applications to the cloud, while providing a seamless and secure extension of their data center environment to public cloud providers," said Robert Groat, chief technology officer, Smartronix, Inc. "This will help Smartronix optimize our customers' existing IT resources while being more responsive to changes in their business activity and capacity requirements."

Pricing and Availability

Nexus 40GE Family
The Nexus 6004 24 x 40 GE is scheduled to be available Q1CY2013 and is priced at $90,000; the Nexus 6004 48 x 40 GE is scheduled to be available Q1CY2013 and is priced at $195,000; the Nexus 6004, 12 x 40 GE LEM is scheduled to be available Q1CY2013 and is priced at $40,000; the Nexus 6001 is scheduled to be available in 1HCY2013 and pricing will be announced at a later date; the Nexus 5000 40GE module is scheduled to be available 1HCY13 and pricing will be announced at a later date; the Nexus 2248PQ is available now and is priced at $12,000; the Nexus 7000 NAM is scheduled to be available 1HCY13 and pricing will be announced at a later date.

Nexus 1000V InterCloud and VNMC InterCloud
Both the Nexus 1000V InterCloud and VNMC InterCloud are scheduled to be available in 1HCY13; pricing to be announced at a later date.

Cisco ONE
The following products are scheduled to be available in 1HCY13: The Cisco ONE Controller and application support; CSR 1000V Cloud Services Router; Cisco onePK support on the Nexus 3000 and on ISR G2, and ASR 1K platforms; OpenFlow support on Nexus 3000; Nexus 1000V support for Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft System Center VM Manager and VXLAN Gateway. The following products are scheduled to enter customer trials in 1HCY13: onePK support on Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000 and ASR 9000; Openflow support on Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000, ASR 9000 and Catalyst 6500; and Virtual NAM. Pricing for the Cisco ONE solutions to be announced at a later date.


About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

Availability Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. This products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco, and Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this document.

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