Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Data Center

Benchmarking at Ultra-Low Latency

Since we started shipping the Nexus 3548 with AlgoBoost to our customers in the beginning of November, there has been more and more interest in testing and verifying the switch’s latency in different traffic scenarios. What we have found so far is while network engineers might be well experienced in testing the throughput capabilities of a switch, verifying the latency can be challenging, especially when latency is measured in the tens and low hundreds of nanoseconds!
I discussed this topic briefly when doing a hands-on demo for TechWise TV a short time ago.

The goal of this post is to give an overview of the most common latency tests, how the Nexus 3548 performs in those tests, and to detail some subtleties of low latency testing for multicast traffic. This post will also address some confusion we’ve heard some vendors try to emphasize with the two source multicast tests.

Unicast Traffic

The most common test case is to verify throughput and latency when sending unicast traffic. RFC 2544 provides a standard for this test case. The most stressful version of the RFC 2544 test uses 64-byte packets in a full mesh, at 100 percent line rate. Full mesh means that all ports send traffic at the configured rate to all other ports in a full mesh pattern.

Figure 1 – Full Mesh traffic pattern

The following graph shows the Nexus 3548 latency results for Layer 3 RFC 2544 full mesh unicast test, with the Nexus 3548 operating in warp mode.

Figure 2 – Layer 3 RFC 2544 full mesh unicast test

We can see that the Nexus 3548 consistently forwards packets of all sizes under 200 nanoseconds at 50% load, and less than 240 nanoseconds at 100% load.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cisco ONE Webcast Series : An Introduction to OpenStack






Over the past year, Cisco has been  increasingly vocal and active around open source solutions .
One of my favorite blogger, Omar Sultan , spent a lot of time writing on the subject , starting with OpenStack (ie blog :OpenStack cisco ONE and you) – You may want to check all his  blogs here
Cisco also has a blog dedicated to this topic “Open at Cisco
Last June   Cisco Shashi Kiran  announced the Cisco ONE (Open Networking Environment)  on Cisco blog, and last week at Gartner DC , both David Yen , SVP & GM Data Center Group , and John Manville SVP Cisco IT Global Infrastructure talk about what Cisco ONE means in terms of solutions and IT platform for us and our customers .

Lew Tucker ,Cisco VP , Chief Technology Officer for Cloud Computing and Vice Chairman OpenStack foundation is obviously one of the force behind the evolution of the data center . Actually Lew was recently recognized as one of the top ten pioneers in the cloud computing emergence by InformationWeek .
Watch Lew Tucker talking about innovation and open source in this short video

On December 11 webcast , Shashi Kiran will moderate a conversation between Lew Tucker and Raj Patel

Lew Tucker, Chief Technology Officer of Cloud Computing at Cisco, will provide an overview of OpenStack, its origins, benefits, and why Cisco is involved in this community effort.

Raj Patel, Vice President, Cloud Services at Cisco, will discuss the strategic decision—and results to date—of choosing OpenStack as the cloud platform for Cisco WebEx, the market-leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) collaboration solutions.

Topics to be covered include:

  An introduction to OpenStack, and highlights of the latest release of OpenStack (Folsom), including self-service provisioning in multi-tenant networks

  The role of open network programmability in achieving the full potential of the cloud

  The benefits that customers can expect from OpenStack as part of their cloud initiatives

  How WebEx architects significantly accelerated new product releases with OpenStack, and improved both operational efficiency and infrastructure resiliency

  The status of OpenStack standardization and the growing OpenStack development community

  How OpenStack relates to Cisco’s Open Network Environment (or Cisco ONE), the OpenStack Quantum project, Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and OpenFlow

  How Cisco is enabling customers to take an evolutionary approach to OpenStack

To register now for this unique webcast click here 

I hope to see you amongst the attendants.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 1: Facilities and Infrastructure

Yesterday I introduced you to the Cisco Domain TenSM, Cisco Services’ framework for simplifying data center transformation.  This model is applicable to both business  (enterprise), public sector (e.g. government, federal) and service provider (incl telco) organizations.

Today I will summarize some key challenges that you should consider when planning a transition to cloud (as one example of data center transformation), for Domain #1 – Facilities and Infrastructure.

Cisco Domain Ten – Simplifying Data Center Transformation


Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Cloud Computing and Cisco UCS

In my blog last week I introduced a series of conversations in which Mike Spanbauer, Industry analyst at Current Analysis, Cisco Executives, Jim McHugh and Brian Schwarz discussed several topics.  One of the topics they discussed was the adoption of Cloud technologies by Enterprises.

More details on the specific study that Mike alluded to in the video can be found on the Current Analysis website.  Analyst perspectives are always valuable inputs to understand the trends.  At the Gartner ITxpo in Orlando this October, David Cearley, a vice president and Gartner fellow, discussed his vision of the top 10 data center trends of 2012 , and cloud computing was prominent among them. More analyst reports on Cisco Unified Computing System can be downloaded from the Analyst reports page on

If you are interested in another analyst perspective, tune in to a webcast on December 6, at 9:00 am PST , to hear from James Staten of Forrester Research on their findings and analysis of the Cloud computing frontier.

Recognizing that Cloud computing is an important trend, I wanted to see how Cisco and Cisco UCS in particular facilitate a customer’s Journey to the Cloud.  First, I noticed that InformationWeek recognized Cisco CTO Lew Tucker as a pioneer in Cloud computing.  Second, I found a document by Cisco partner GTSI on the Cloud Maturity model which looks like a roadmap.  The Journey included Consolidation, Virtualization and Automation – three things the Cisco UCS excels at.

  1. Consolidation – The converged server and network access architecture of the UCS promotes consolidation of resources.  The notion of server pools and network port channels allows furthers consolidation and better utilization of the resources.  The ability to run a large number of virtual machines on the same server as a result of superior performance enables consolidation of workloads on the same physical infrastructure. Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Introducing Cisco Domain Ten(SM) – Cisco Services’ Blueprint for Simplifying Data Center and Cloud Transformation

This week at the Gartner Data  Center Conference in Las Vegas, Cisco Services is unveiling Cisco Domain Ten(SM) – Cisco’s Framework for Simplifying Data Center and Cloud Transformation.

Cisco Domain Ten can be applied to a diverse range of data center projects – from cloud and desktop virtualization to application migration and is equally applicable whether your data center is in enterprise businesses, public sector organizations or service providers.  The video here describes how we apply the Cisco Domain Ten to the private cloud use case, as one example.  We’ll discuss additional use cases in future blogs and associated collateral that I’ll point you to.

Born from our extensive experience over the past years in helping customers transform their data centers, based upon the many cloud deployments – private and public, enterprise, public sector and service provider – that we’ve enabled over the past few years, we’ve formulated this comprehensive framework to help you transform your data center and guide new initiatives including cloud, virtual desktop, application migration, and data center consolidation.  The Cisco Domain Ten framework covers ten key areas – domains – that – based upon our experience – are critical to consider, plan for and address as part of your data center and cloud transformational journey, and is illustrated in the diagram below.  Relating this framework to other key components of Cisco’s data center strategy, you can  think of the Cisco Unified Data Center as the what of the data center, whereas Cisco Domain Ten complements this by guiding you on the how (to transform).

Cisco Domain Ten - Simplifying Data Center Transformation

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,