The evolution of the applications environment is creating new demands on IT and in the data center. Broad adoption of scale-out application architectures (i.e. big data), workload virtualization and cloud deployments are demanding greater scalability across the fabric. The increase in east/west (i.e. server-to-server) traffic along with the higher adoption of 10GbE in the server access layer is driving higher bandwidth requirements in the upstream links.

Following up on the introduction of 40GE/100GE on the Nexus 7000 Series, today we unveil the new Nexus 6000 Series, expanding Cisco’s Unified Fabric data center switching portfolio in order to provide greater deployment flexibility through higher density and scalability in an energy efficient form factor.  

The Cisco Nexus 6000 Series is industry’s highest density full-featured Layer 2 / Layer 3 40 Gigabit data center fixed switch with Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) – an industry first!In addition to high scalability, Nexus 6000 Series offers operational efficiency, superior visibility and agility 


Some say “Nexus 6000 Series is a red carpet platform that will turn heads”. We agree! It’s because of …


The Nexus 6000 Series represents a breakthrough innovation in scale – by delivering industry-leading 10GE / 40GE port density in a fixed form factor with Layer 2/Layer 3 and consistently low latency –1 microsecond across all ports.

 Two Nexus 6000 models are:

  • Nexus 6004 – Up to 96 line rate 40GE ports or 384 10GE line rate ports in an energy-efficient 4 Rack Unit form factor
  • Nexus 6001 – Line rate 48 1G/10G fixed ports with 4 10G/40G uplinks in a 1 Rack Unit form factor

But delivering the scale you need to evolve as your business grows is more than just port density. The Nexus 6000 supports Cisco FEX technology and FabricPath. If we combine a Nexus 6004 with the new Nexus 2248PQ Fabric Extender, which supports 48 ports of 10 Gig with four 40 Gig uplinks, we can effectively build a solution that supports more than 1500 one Gigabit or 10 Gigabit server ports, all managed from one switch. And it can support over 75,000 virtual machines on a single Nexus 6004 switch with VM-level granular switching (1500 FEX ports * 50 VMs per server). 


The Nexus 6000 Series is efficient – To help lower operating costs, in addition to space and power efficiency, Nexus 6000 simplifies deployments with power-on auto-provisioning with intelligence to support device-aware provisioning and configuration. 

The Nexus 6000 provides superior visibility – with its analytical framework: 

  • Microburst monitoring for ingress and egress ports helps identify application performance during peak activity such as volatile stock market activity to avoid congestion
  • Switch and network latency monitoring with IEEE 1588 helps IT accurately monitor traffic and fine tune the network to optimize application performance
  • SPAN on drop enables further analysis when a packet gets dropped due to congestion

Nexus 6000 provides Smart Buffering such as shared buffering for making efficient usage of the buffer for burst absorption. Nexus 6000 also provides Intelligent Flow Management such as Sampled Netflow for traffic engineering, capacity planning or Priority Flow Control for point-to-point flow control of Ethernet traffic based on IEEE 802.1p CoS. With a flow-control mechanism in place, congestion does not result in drops, transforming Ethernet into a reliable medium. Explicit congestion notification also allows an end-to-end notification of network congestion without dropping packets.


And, the Nexus 6000 Series is agile – to enable customers to accelerate innovation –Python and TCL scripting functionality with future support for onePK enables our customers to achieve automation within their data center environment. 10GE and 40GE FCoE support provides architectural flexibility for deploying converged networks while 4 expansion slots in the Nexus 6004 enable growth.


We do all of this with our custom silicon – ASICs. Our design philosophy is to innovate to enable customers to accomplish their long term business objectives years faster than they could with a competitive infrastructure. A few months ago, we demonstrated our unique ability to deliver innovations thru custom switching silicon with the introduction of the Nexus 3548 switch with AlgoBoost technology, which set a new industry standard for high feature ultra-low latency switches. This same custom silicon strategy is allowing Cisco to set yet another industry standard with the Nexus 6000 Series Switches for feature richness and the highest 40 GE port density in fixed form factor.


The scale of the Nexus 6000 along with the automation, wire-once Unified Fabric, traffic monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities together position this platform as an optimized solution for high performance access, leaf/spine architectures or high-density FEX aggregation for enterprise and cloud Data Centers deployments.


Continuing along Cisco’s strategy to provide deployment options, consistency across platforms and deliver investment protection, Cisco is introducing 40GE extensions for the Nexus 5500 and Nexus 2000 Series. A new Nexus 5500 40GE GEM provides customers the option of deploying 40GE uplinks in their existing Nexus 5500 and a new Nexus 2248PQ switch provides customers a 1/10GE Top Of Rack switch with 40GE uplinks.

The Cisco Unified Fabric delivers a high performance end-to-end 40GE solution with design flexibility, enabling customers to quickly adapt to rapidly changing traffic models.

We are also announcing an extension to the highly successful B22 FEX technology with the B22 FEX blade offering to Dell blade servers. The adoption of FEX technology by 3rd party vendors such as HP, Dell and Fujitsu validates the extensive benefits offered by the FEX architecture and enables network policies and network solutions such as adapter FEX and VM FEX to be deployed consistently across a heterogeneous vendor server deployment and managed from a single switch, significantly simplifying operations in a complex environment.


Please join our panel of experts in an online event tomorrow February 5th  as they discuss what’s needed in the data center to embrace a world of many clouds – scalability, extensibility, and openness.  They will also introduce the new Nexus 6000, Nexus 1000V Intercloud and new Cisco ONE controller. Featured speakers include:

  Andre Kindness, Forrester Research,  Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Cisco,  David Yen, Senior Vice President, Data Center Business Group, Cisco,  Ayman Sayed, Vice President, Software Engineering, Cisco,  Shashi Kiran, Senior Director, Data Center Marketing, Cisco

Also our customers will share best practices during the panel discussion.

Register here.


Our customers have unique requirements based on their business needs. They select Cisco as their partner and Cisco Unified FabricNexus and MDS portfolios as their network in their journey to delivering IT as a Service. And there is a reason for that! Unlike other vendors in the industry, Cisco continues to empower you with its Unified Fabric, delivering architectural flexibility,  enabling your data center to be a more agile, cost effective and efficient environment, freeing up your IT staff to concentrate on taking care of initiatives that really matter to the business and increasing your bottom line!

Nexus 6000 Series is the latest proof point of just that.

Stay tuned… In my next blog, I will introduce our first services module on Nexus 7000 Network Analysis Module (NAM) to help you succeed in the World of Many Clouds.



Berna Devrim

Former Senior Manager of Marketing

No Longer at Cisco