Network capacity today is constantly challenged. Ever-expanding data, a proliferation of apps, and increasing user mobility needs flood enterprise data centers.  And, every new app and new user demands more speed, more agility and more efficiency from network infrastructure.

Meeting modern data center network challenges demands high scale and high bandwidth. Large cloud and data center customers require a flexible, reliable solution that efficiently manages, troubleshoots and analyzes their IT infrastructure. They need security, automation, visibility, analytics and assurance.

Cisco is ready to help large cloud and data center customers stay ahead of these demands with its newly announced, complete portfolio of Nexus 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400G) switches. These new switches pave the way for Terabit Ethernet switching to become a mainstream technology, driven by early adopters like webscale data center operators, large Enterprise customers and 5G mobile operators.


Cisco Nexus 400G Portfolio
Cisco Nexus 400G Portfolio

400G Switches: Not just more bandwidth. More features.

Cisco designed the new 400G switches with customers to ensure they’re ready to perform in the most demanding environments. Nexus 400G switches bring more than just a new level of speed to the network; they bring flexible deployment options for different sizes and workloads so you can build large-scale 100G and 400G fabrics without sacrificing cost efficiency.

Cisco’s 400G switching portfolio supports:

  • Superfast policy, segmentation and whitelisting;
  • Real-time visibility into packets, flows and events – beyond just data sampling and system telemetry;
  • Smart buffering for big data or storage and machine learning workloads with dynamic packet prioritization; and
  • Lowest latency, with an ability to prioritize critical traffic on demand.


Cisco’s driving the industry forward on 400G.

Cisco is not in the business of building just bigger, faster networks. Our core mission is to build Intent-Based Networks capable of capturing business intent and activating and assuring it network-wide. We enable our customers to make sure their business intent is actually delivered in the network.

Cisco is working actively with larger industry ecosystem and standards organizations to drive standardization for and interoperability of the 400G technology building blocks.

We listen to our customers and are honored to be their collective voice across industry activities:

  • Along with ecosystem partners, Cisco made a case for using QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor – Double Density) modules as the ideal 400G connectivity option for all next-generation cloud and other hyperscaledata centers. This effort will help drive economy of scale for customers.
  • Cisco is working to take BiDirectional (BiDi) Optical Networking to the 400 Gigabit Ethernet realm. The hallmark of optical bidirectional (BiDi) transceivers is the ability to re-use existing fiber cabling infrastructure when upgrading to higher speed interfaces. It’s the old “do more with the same” principle that has made BiDi technology so popular in the optical networking market today.
  • In September, Cisco demonstrated many of the 400G building blocks coming together at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC). The 100G Lambda multisource agreement (MSA) organized an interoperability demonstration of both 100G and 400G optics all based on 100G/s per wavelength optical technology. Central to the demonstration, the Cisco Nexus 400G switches populated with various modules plugged in passing live traffic.
  • Cisco Nexus 400G switches participated in the Ethernet Alliance’s High-Speed Ethernet Plugfest in August. Members tested their equipment in private against others in order to shake out any issues. Cisco was the only networking vendor to participate with a 400G product, successfully testing against test equipment, optical modules, and copper cables.


From the beginning to today, Cisco’s innovative switches are built to last.

Cisco has always built its switches to meet and exceed customer expectations in even the most demanding environments. Cisco’s 400G Nexus portfolio switches are no exception, featuring leading price per performance, advanced flow data telemetry, and support for automation, deep visibility and assurance. The Nexus switches deliver choice and flexibility for web-scale customers, for ACI leaf and spine architectures, and for SP edge data center deployments. And, they are designed as the next frontier for Cloud Networking – standards-based, with investment protection for both backward and forward compatibility, and delivers 100G today and 400G tomorrow.

That’s 400G done right.

Read more about Nexus 400GbE Switches



Thomas Scheibe

Vice President, Product Management

Cloud Networking