Based on Gartner, vendors will ship almost 8.5 billion connected “things” to users and companies in 2017 and that the total spending on these endpoints and services will reach almost $2 trillion. Amidst this digital transformation, your data center infrastructure is the backbone of your business and key ingredient for success. But what if I told you most of the off-the-shelf switches are similar? This is because most data center switches in the market are based on the same Merchant silicon with limited differentiation, and hence, little room for innovation.

Cisco wants to make sure that you are ready for the  digital transformation tsunami. This tsunami is about having the performance and scale combined with intelligence to handle a large scale of applications that will bombard the data center in the form of microservices and containers. To fulfill this promise, Cisco  brings you a new generation of Nexus 9000 data center switches powered by the Cloud-scale ASIC technology. The Clouds-scale ASIC is designed from the ground up by our best engineers, and is deployed across the Cisco Nexus 9200 , Nexus 9300-EX , and Nexus 9500 modular switches.

One  may think, a custom  ASIC doesn’t mean better solution. But I am going to prove to you that “different is better” when it comes to the competitive advantages of Nexus 9000 switches with Cloud-scale ASIC.

These switches deliver :

Greater scale by leveraging your existing infrastructure so you can connect to more servers, run more apps, provide more services, host more tenants with 7x increase in endpoints density.

Direct impact on your bottom line: these switches provide you the highest density in the industry, at  50% lower system cost, and 50% energy savings, offering 25GE/100GE at the price of 10GE/40GE. For example: Delivering cost optimized spine-leaf architectures for the data center with 2.5 times more bandwidth at the same price.

Deliver superior and secure user experience with  exceptional application performance: Cloud-scale ASIC’s smart buffers are proven to solve network congestion problems more efficiently, bringing low latency and secure package delivery regardless of application or traffic type. For example, financial industries are more concerned about latency due to the nature of stock trade transactions, versus health care applications require ability to deliver an user experience to view high resolution X-Ray and MRI images.  Your app developers and DevOps teams will love it! Watch Tom Edsall video here if you want to learn the science of smart buffers. Smart is the new sexy, and Network Test and Miercom prove it.

Network Test: “Let’s cut right to the chase: The Cisco Nexus 9508 is the densest, fastest data center switch we’ve ever tested.”

Miercom: “…our testing results show that the Cisco Nexus 92160YC-X and Nexus 9272Q switches outperformed the Arista 7280SE-72 switch for congestion handling. The Arista 7280SE-72 switch has much deeper buffer than the Cisco switches, but with the built-in intelligent buffer management capabilities, both Cisco switches demonstrated clear advantage in flow completion time for small/medium flows over the Arista 7280SE-72 switch and provided the same or similar performance for large-size flows, which resulted in overall higher application performance.” 

In addition, The Cisco Nexus switches run  NX-OS, the industry’s leading operating system,which  is feature rich, scalable, extensible, robust and self-healing. Its open APIs enable programmability with various 3rd party tools like Puppet, Chef and Ansible for DevOps and IT workflow automation.  This allows customers to deliver technology changes faster, release high quality and reliable software, and do it securely, thus enabling IT teams to be more responsive to the lines of business. Learn more!

As customers look to add  automation and orchestration, they can build on their Nexus 9000 infrastructure and deploy Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Cisco ACI is the industry’s #1 Software Defined Networking (SDN) and data center automation solution with 3100+ customers worldwide. So why are customers excited to use Cisco ACI? Well the simple answer is that they can:

  • Deploy applications faster, from weeks to minutes.
  • Simplify operations, by using consistent application based policy, you can now orchestrate your entire network with few clicks, increase visibility and faster troubleshooting.
  • Top notch built-in security that helps you simplify IT security tasks, ensures PCI Compliance and accelerates application deployments. Thanks to ACI’s APIC SDN Controller, you can push security policies down to the individual tenant, application or workload level. Furthermore, ACI’s whitelist model automatically disallows connectivity between devices until policy specifically allows it.
  • Open architecture that Cisco ACI and Cisco App Center supporting over 65 ecosystem partners to date and enabling customers to build a heterogeneous network integrating 3rd party vendor products. This way, you can innovate while creating synergy and decreasing costs. See more ACI case studies.

But what about security and application performance?  Do you know what apps are running in your data center and how your apps are interacting with each other?

As your data center continues to grow and scale, applications and policies mushroom across not only on-prem data center and also hybrid cloud. How do you think you will manage constant change in applications and their dependencies? Most IT organizations don’t know or aren’t sure. If you do not see, you cannot control and secure your application environment. Truth is, securing your infrastructure will become even more challenging due to the increasing number of endpoints, and applications that span across 100’s of servers in various locations. This is why Cisco Tetration Analytics was invented.

  • Make changes rapidly and with peace of mind: Thanks to Tetration’s fine grain application segmentation, you can continue to update and make changes to your applications and don’t need to worry about application components and dependencies. Tetration will ensure that the application policy stays intact even when the workload moves. This way, you can deploy applications rapidly per LOB.
  • Predict the future and avoid disasters: Tetration provides you advance machine learning, network and security analytics, and network forensics. These powerful tools turn Tetration into a powerful time machine that allows you to inspect every flow, every packet at any time. You can go back to past events to identify anomalies in your system. To predict the future, Tetration provides you policy recommendation and simulation, so before you decide to introduce new features or changes, you know exactly what the results will be.

These are only 2 of the many benefits of Tetration. Learn more here.




Cisco is achieving what off-the-shelf switches never could, and the world is lining up to see what’s next.




Emmeline Wong

Product Marketing Specialist

Data Center Marketing