Today, Data Center Networking customers look for the latest innovations in both hardware and software, wanting flexibility to consume them at their own pace.  The combination of Cisco’s CloudScale ASIC technology and NX-OS is the right choice for the majority of customers. Cisco is committed to offering flexible consumption models for both hardware and software solutions.

Cisco is working closely with web scale and service provider customers to help them rapidly deploy open source technology and third party silicon to best meet their needs.

One recent example is the Nexus 34180YC switch based on the P4-programmable Barefoot Tofino ASIC, available with both NX-OS and the SONiC operating system.  Offered in a 1RU form-factor with 48p 10/25Gbps and 6p 100Gbps, the Nexus 34180YC brings another dimension of programmability to Cisco’s broad portfolio.

Web Scale Deployments

In collaboration with ecosystem partners, Cisco extended support of the SONiC operating system to the Nexus 3000 series switches, giving customers an open source software option for this platform.  This is a natural extension of last year’s efforts that offered a CloudScale Switch Abstraction Layer (SAI), enabling SONiC to run on Cisco Nexus 9300 switches.

Tencent, one of the leading Internet service providers in the world, has worked closely with Cisco and will adopt the Nexus 34180YC with the SONiC operating system in their data centers.  “This close collaboration with Cisco has given us the flexibility to adopt new innovation quickly and choose the hardware and software we need,” said Wade Shao, Director, Network Architecture Center, Tencent.

Service Provider Use Cases

The programmable pipeline of the Nexus 34180YC switch makes the device ideal for service node type use cases to be added at the edge of the network. A few examples:

  • High performance NAT and load balancing as provider edge service.
  • Flexible translation of IPv4 to IPv6 traffic to facilitate provider network core upgrades to IPv6 without the need to also upgrade customer devices.
  • Obfuscation of actual traffic patterns on links to protect against 3rdparty snooping activity.
  • Frame-aware channel switch over in professional media IP multicast video networks to minimize user visible disruption.

Cisco will be discussing a range of the Nexus 34180YC deployment scenarios and customer engagement models in more detail at the P4 2018 China Summit in Beijing, China later this week. Learn more about the flexible solutions offered to meet a variety of customer needs.


Thomas Scheibe

Vice President, Product Management

Cloud Networking