The Nexus 9516 is the latest addition to the Nexus 9000 family of switches and it is already making headlines everywhere. The crowning moment came two weeks ago, when the Nexus 9516 was selected as Best of Interop 2014 finalists, in the Data Center category. Earlier the Nexus 9516 achieved grander results in an independent study conducted by Miercom Group, and emerged the industry-leader in port-density, low-latency and throughput performance benchmark tests. And in that celebratory vein, today, at Partner Summit, we are proud to introduce the Nexus 9516 and its sibling the Nexus 9504, two new additions that offer broad choices to customers to address business opportunities with cloud, big data, and complex applications and expanding the foundation for Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

Cisco Nexus 9516 Switch - Front View
Cisco Nexus 9516 Switch – Front View

Industry-leading Port-density and performance: I want to take you on a quick tour of the Cisco Nexus 9516 design innovations and the accelerated benefits they bring to Data Center operations. The logical start is to highlight the industry-leading 40GbE port-density, Performance and the BiDi-Optics innovations that are key distinguishing features of the switch. In Miercom benchmark tests, Cisco Nexus 9516 also proved to have very low jitter, consistent low-latency, regardless of frame size and load-conditions based on a fully populated test configuration. The industry-leading 40GbE density and performance of Cisco Nexus 9516 enables data center IT to upgrade aggregation network infrastructures from 10GbE to 40GbE to complement the shift in server networking from 1 GbE to 10GbE.  The BiDi optics, enables customers to use existing 10 Gigabit Ethernet data center cabling to support 40 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in our new switches, resulting in cost savings that can be quantified to 50% on 40G optics and 75% less fibers.

Mid-plane free Chassis Design: Cisco Nexus 9516 is the industry’s one and only mid-plane and backplane free chassis design and offers the industry’s highest energy efficient modular DC switch. Its fabric modules are directly attached to all the line cards through connecting pins, eliminating the airflow obstruction caused by chassis mid-plane. This results in cooling efficiencies upwards of 15%

Industry’s Most Scalable DC Switch and 100G Ready: Cisco Nexus 9516 offers the industry’s most scalable DC switch with support for 1 Million IPv4/V6 end-points, 64000 tenants, 8000 multi-cast groups, 60Tbps throughput, and support for 200,000+ ports for a fully-deployable spine-leaf ACI Fabric. The Nexus 9516 is future proofed for 100G upgrade for aggregation-to-core connectivity using slide-in replacement 100GE uplinks aided by its mid-plane free design and power supply expansion headroom.

Industry’s Best L3 Performance: Cisco Nexus 9516 offers industry’s best L3 performance with advanced features like dynamic load balancing and packet prioritization, congestion management to accelerate traffic flow and reduce fault re-convergence times upon failures, and faster application flow completion time. (See URL, slides 20-22)


The Cisco Nexus 9516, with its impressive throughput of 60Tbps and low-latency numbers, excels for aggregation and core infrastructure applications in traditional, cloud data centers, as well as service provider environments. Cisco Nexus 9516 is also an optimal network infrastructure for high performance cluster computing applications, for example, for large-scale data analytics and low-latency trading applications and provides uniform latency, high bandwidth, full utilization of all paths, and configuration simplicity. Cisco Nexus 9516 with its merchant silicon + Cisco ASIC design approach, brings significant cost savings, thereby making a strong business case as the platform of choice in datacenters. Our tests show 75% less TCO over a 3 year period with Cisco Nexus 9516 compared to network virtualization + merchant silicon switches (average cost/port/month). Read report

Cisco Nexus 9504 Switch
Cisco Nexus 9504 Switch

Cisco Nexus 9504 provides enterprise-class modular switch features in a small form factor, and helps easy migration from access-aggregation-core to a spine-leaf architecture at low cost. Like its big brothers, Nexus 9516 and 9508, the Cisco Nexus 9504 also offers an energy-efficient mid-plane free chassis, and uses merchant plus custom ASIC design approach, which results in 70% fewer components per line-card,that enhances the port-density by 20% and scalability.

In closing I want to leave some important references for you to gain additional insights on the Nexus 9000 family industry endorsements.

Best of Interop Awards: Cisco APIC and Nexus 9516 Switch Selected as Finalists

Cisco Nexus 9508 switch shines for 40GbE Aggregation in switch performance Tests

Independent Report Validates that Cisco Nexus 9000 Offers the Most Comprehensive, Open Programming Environment

Apparently these stellar traits of  Cisco Nexus 9516 weren’t lost on the Best of Interop judges as it made it to Finalist status.  We sincerely hope this bad boy brings home the prize too.  Cisco’s Nexus 9516 and APIC in an open ACI Fabric – stay tuned for more excitement to come.



Ravi Balakrishnan

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Datacenter Solutions