I was making a valiant attempt to work through my ever-deepening backlog of email yesterday and I ran across something that reminded me that even though the Nexus 7000 got the lion’s share of the attention in our January DC 3.0 Switching launch, there were also a couple of other hidden gems that should not be overlooked. One of these is the Cisco Catalyst 4900M rack switch. I finally go to an article by Cameron Sturdevant in eWeek that took the switch through its paces and came to the the conclusion that “Cisco’s new switch deserves a spot near the top of your data center equipment evaluation list.”
The Catalyst 4900M was specifically design to for the rack switch space. One of its unique features is that it has a semi-modular design. The switch has 8 wire-speed 10GbE uplinks and two half-slots that can be filled with a combination of GE and/or 10GbE cards. The idea is to give you investment protection as you migrate your servers from GE to 10GbE. A couple of other design features that we included to support its role as a rack switch include 16MB of configurable buffers and killer performance: 250M pps with latency that eWeek tested as ~2.6 microseconds with packets ranging from 64b to 9216b with no RX or TX errors. By turning on the L3 software feature set, the Catalyst 4900M becomes a great way to keep intra-rack traffic out of your agg layer, which is especially helpful in a rack-optimized or blade server environment. Anyway, check out the video data sheet for more info.