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5 Features To Consider When Buying a Top of Rack Switch

- August 15, 2016 - 4 Comments

I was playing Pokémon GO the other day, and I realized how new technologies and applications are being launched every day, rapidly reshaping how we connect, play, and live. Technologies that were only dreams a few years ago, are now made into reality one after one in incredibly short amount of time, and becoming incredibly viral. I mean, look at Pokémon GO: I bet they had no idea that it would surpass Twitter in daily active users, and it hasn’t even gone global yet! Unfortunately, I went crazy in the first few weeks of playing Pokémon GO due to many server issues and outages.

One major question the makers of Pokemon GO and any tech company should ask is: “Is my network infrastructure in place to make the user experience as seamless as possible for massive amount of users?” And that ultimately comes down to bandwidth and latency, critical ingredients for success.

In the midst of massive technological transformation, the network is ultimately the backbone of all these technologies. Companies need to ensure that their network is ready to deal with the ever-increasing volume of devices, traffic patterns, and data.

To address the need for a flexible network that can handle ever-changing business needs, Cisco introduced the Cisco Nexus 3100V switches – new Top of Rack (ToR) switches that are improved versions of the 3100 series at the SAME COST.

Just a little bit of background:

Since the Cisco Nexus 3000 series started shipping 4.5 years ago,  our customers have purchased over 10 million Nexus 3000 ports. What makes the Nexus 3000 series the industry’s leading merchant silicon switching product line is its best in class support model, open operating system with advanced programmability, and flexibility for changing business needs (“3 Reasons 10 Million Is A Big Number”, Huitema)

You may ask “so what makes Nexus 3100-V unique?” Here is a summary of the most important highlights:

  1. Support of 100G uplinks
  2. Bigger buffer (16MB)
  3. Double System memory (16GB)
  4. Quadruple Ingress ACL: increased from 4,000 to 16,000
  5. VxLAN routing

Watch this video if you’d like to get a brief tour on Cisco campus and watch Houfar Azgomi present the Nexus 3100V.

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The new 3100V switches come in 3 flavors:

  1. Cisco Nexus 3132Q-V: A 32-port 40G switch that can also convert into a 104-port 10G switch with breakout cables
  2. Cisco Nexus 31108PC-V: A 48-port SFP switch with 6 uplink ports that can run at 100G, 40G or 4x10G
  3. Cisco nexus 31108TC-V: A 48-port RJ45 switch with 6 uplink ports that can run at 100G, 40G or 4x10G.

Benefits:

  1. 100G uplinks: Cisco predicts that global data center IP traffic will grow 31% every year in the next 5 years. For this, it is obvious that 100G is the new norm for higher bandwidth, big data, and IP storage workloads.
  2. 16 MB enhanced buffers: Compared to 12MB buffer from previous generation, the Nexus 3100V models offer 16 MB enhanced buffers to absorb bursts of traffic and applications. You won’t have to worry when you need to expand your network in the future, because these deep buffers are designed for highly oversubscribed environments.
  3. 16 GB Increased system memory: In the previous model – Cisco Nexus 3100XL – Cisco already increased the system memory from 4GB to 8GB in order to introduce network programmability features developed in NXOS 7.x. But as networks are becoming more complex, competitive businesses need more memory to store more objects. Hence, Cisco has doubled the capacity again in the Nexus 3100V models from 8GB to 16GB to improve capacity for object-model programming.
  1. Quadrupled ingress ACL table size to 16,000: for more greater security,traffic control, enhanced security, and policy management flexibility
  1. Support full VxLAN routing (layer 3 VxLAN): With this, workloads in different segment IDs can directly communicate, whereas with VxLAN bridging (layer 2 VxLAN), workloads need to be in the same segment ID to interact.

Once again, Cisco continues to bring you true flexibility and scalability through rich architectural options for any size of data center to address increasing business requirements. You can never go wrong with more connectivity options and a diverse set of form factors to meet ever-changing data center needs.

To learn more, visit Cisco Nexus 3000 website.

Last but not least, if you want to catch Pokémons and get good food, go to San Mateo downtown, I go there quite often, so you may find me meandering around. And yes, I am Team Valor. Follow me @EmmelineWong  if you’re also Team Valor!

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4 Comments

    I certainly agree..."bandwidth and latency, critical ingredients for success". Excellent information, very detailed. Thanks for sharing it.

      Thank you Jose! Lei tu biografia, también eres chino crecido en sudamerica? Soy de China, y crecí en Peru =) por un tercio de mi vida.

  1. @Emmeline Wong this was quite informative!:).. Thank you

      Thank you Seira! Feel free to reach out for any questions you may have in the future.

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