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Nexus 5600 Switches: Flexible, Reliable and widely adopted

- October 15, 2014 - 0 Comments

Recent trends like big data, BYOD, video and Internet of Things are putting more pressure on over all data center design.   Enterprise architects are looking for cost effective and innovative platforms to stay competitive in the market place.  Each application is unique and the network, storage and compute requirements for scaling and growing these applications are also unique.

Cisco Nexus 5600 product portfolio caters to all your data center needs – whether you are planning to converge your data center to reduce cost, are interested in programmability and automation for better operation simplification or need better visibility for ease of trouble shooting.  Designed for the lifecycle of the data center, the Cisco Nexus 5600 Series enables you to add services and capabilities while preserving your investment, avoiding the costs and risks associated with a complete architectural makeover.

Cisco Nexus 5600 features help you to optimize your next gen dynamic and converged data center design.   Listen to this video to learn more about Nexus 5600 Series.

For example take a look at the wide range of  Nexus 5600 buffer capabilities– from 150M in Nexus 5672 to up to 800M in Nexus 5696Q. Unlike merchant silicon based solutions, the buffer size increases linearly with chassis bandwidth. Let us examine some of the scenarios, where large buffers and other related features make Nexus 5600 an ideal choice.

Use case 1:   Converged storage architecture 

LAN /SAN convergence requires a stable lossless layer 2 infrastructure, high band width (10G/40G) connectivity and the ability to extend traffic within and across the data centers seamlessly.   The network should also support varying work load based on application requirements.  ( ex: continuous backup traffic load vs dynamic DB read-write ).

The Nexus 5600 series switches provide right-sized buffers, native FC connectivity and converged IO options over L2 and L3 networks – enabling a smart and flexible data center for these type of environments.

So how do the buffers help?   Data center traffic, especially storage is inherently bursty in nature.  The “right-sized” buffers are required to support bursty packet flow over distance with zero packet loss and high throughput.  As 10G to the server becomes increasingly widespread, the additional buffering on the Nexus 5600 is necessary to accommodate speed mismatches across the network, driven primarily by applications tied to legacy infrastructure operating at lower speeds.

Use Case 2 – iSCSI and over Shared Network

iSCSI traffic is sensitive to latency and  requires a high bandwidth infrastructure. Performance becomes a key issue when iSCSI is running over a  TCP/IP Network.

So how do buffers help iSCSI traffic?  TCP buffer tuning is required to ensure that proper tradeoffs are made between accommodating the bursty nature of iSCSI traffic versus latency penalties that are incurred.  Managed right-sized buffers at TOR/EOR become even more crucial if iSCSI is running over a shared network as TCP will either greedily consume buffers or dropped packets will degrade TCP performance.

Nexus 5600 Series provides an ideal solution with 150M in 5672 to up to 800M in 5696Q (more than 10X compared to merchant silicon) and CoS classification capabilities at the host interfaces enabling best in class buffer management solutions.   Whether you are running iSCSI over a lossless Ethernet fabric or over shared/dedicated network – these design choices continue to be available to the architect when using the Nexus 5600.

Use Case 3 – Cloud based storage deployments

Cloud based storage deployments relies on Layer 3 data center networks with integrated overlay technology. The rise of cloud based virtualization will allow IP storage to become main stream in the datacenter/cloud.

Nexus 5600 features allow for non-linear growth without a corresponding growth in complexity.   In addition to enhanced buffering, the Nexus 5600 with its integrated line rate L3 and minimal 2:1 oversubscription (6 QSFP ports) provides a smart design choice for your cloud based converged infrastructure.

Bridge to SAN. Truly converged.

The road to a truly virtualized converged infrastructure is incomplete without a bridge- a bridge to traditional SANs.  Enterprise grade storage for most parts is FC and will continue to be FC for high performance storage needs.  Compare the benefits of a stacked multi-vendor solution versus the compelling unified fabric solution that the Nexus 5K provides – N5K can act as an Ethernet Switch and Fibre Channel Switch – eliminating the need for multiple switches.   The Nexus 5K provides Unified Ports  (UP), which support native fibre channel connectivity to the existing FC SANs in the data center and enable an evolutionary path to the next gen converged infrastructure.

Tools for automatic diagnostic and troubleshooting. Devices in a network, regardless of the technology, misbehave. Advanced features like slow-drain detection and buffer monitoring, along with the tools to do buffer management, are fast becoming a data center imperative. Advanced analytics tools enabling fast detection and mitigation of these pathological conditions are natively available on the Nexus 5600.  Check out the video to learn how latency monitoring and Span-on-latency enable more visibility and trouble shooting capabilities.

Video 1: Nexus 5600- Latency monitoring   Video 2: Nexus 5600 – Span-on-Latency


The Nexus 5600 series provide right-sized buffers, native FC connectivity and converged IO options over L2 and L3 networks, and enables a smart and flexible design choice for your next generation data center.

Nexus 5600 provides a better buffer management solution (up to 800M buffer space).   Buffers along with the other features (like enhanced QoS, VxLAN, L2/L3 capabilities) makes it an ideal product for your next gen data center needs.

Converging your network requires careful planning and picking the right product to scale and grow without sacrificing performance.  With the Nexus 5600, you can build and deploy a fully converged infrastructure.  The Cisco Nexus 5600 also enables an evolutionary path to a truly converged LAN/SAN infrastructure by providing native FC connectivity to your SAN.

For more info

Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Cisco Nexus 56128P Switch Cisco Nexus 5672UP Switch

Cisco Nexus 5596T Switch

Tony Antony
Sr Marketing Manager



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