Last July, Cisco announced the new Nexus 7700 switches (Nexus 7710 and 7718) as part of the Nexus 7000 Series, offering higher 40G and 100G densities and also delivering front to back airflow in a smaller form factor. Along with the new 7700 chassis, we announced the next generation F-Series modules, the F3 40G and 100G modules. From a feature perspective, the F3 modules combine the feature set of the F2 and M2 modules into a single module, making module selection, switching configuration and spare stocking much simpler.

In late January at Cisco Live Milan, we added to that announcement with the introduction of the Nexus 7706 and a 10G F3 module for the Nexus 7700’s.

The Nexus 7706 offers the performance and features of its bigger brothers the 10 and 18 slot chassis, but in a smaller form factor. The 10 and 18 slot chassis work great for large deployments where densities drive the chassis selection, however, talking with customers who have small/medium sized data centers, it was clear that they want the rich feature set of the Nexus 7700, but didn’t need 768 10G ports or 384 40G port densities in a single switch. Sure it gives them room to grow, but it also takes up real estate in their small data centers.

The small form factor Nexus 7706 with 4 module slots provides the ideal capacity for small/medium deployments. With up to 192 10G ports, 96 40G ports or 48 100G ports, the Nexus 7706 delivers more than enough switching capacity for today’s small data centers with ample growth capacity for future growth. We are also seeing customers leverage the Nexus 7706 for Data Center Interconnect (DCI) deployments, where high densities aren’t generally  required. Because of its versatility, we’ve seen significant customer demand for the 7706 since it’s introduction…actually higher than we originally expected.

7706 slide










Speaking about higher than expected demand…the 10G F3 module has become one of the fastest ramping modules since the introduction of the Nexus 7000 in 2008. Even though demand for 40G and 100G is starting to ramp up, for now, 10G still seems to be the connectivity of choice for many Enterprise data centers.

Combining the feature richness of the F3 (see feature chart)  and the 10G sweet spot, it’s no wonder the F3 10G is ramping at an extraordinary pace. The rich features make the 10G F3 module ideal for all places in the data center architecture, from EoR access to aggregation and core to Data Center edge for (DCI). And, it’s not just a single industry that’s adopting the F3 module, we’re seeing orders come in from a broad range of customer ranging from Universities, Financial institutions, Medical, Government and Service Providers.

Here’s a brief video overview on the new Nexus 7700 and the F3 module from Natale Ruello, the Nexus 7700 Product Manager.

As we move into 2014, we are expecting to see a migration from 10G to 40G F3 modules, driven by our recent BiDi optic announcement. The BiDi optic offers the industry’s most cost-effective solution for 40G connectivity, significantly reducing the price differential between 10G and 40G. Not only is it less expensive than exiting optics, but it allows you to transmit full-duplex 40G over a single duplex multi-mode fiber (MMF). This is significant, since you don’t need to upgrade your 10G fiber infrastructure or endure the disruption of the upgrade process in your data center.

If you haven’t already heard of Cisco’s BiDi optic, I encourage you to read up on it or ask your account team about it. It could possibly change your connectivity choice as you upgrade your data centers.

For more details on the complete line of New Nexus 7700 switches and the F3 modules, check out the Nexus 7000 webpage



Dave Dhillon

Product Marketing Manager

Data Center Solutions Team