Scaling the Nexus 7000 with New 2nd Generation Supervisors
Earlier this year I wrote a blog titled “Feeling the need for speed”, which highlighted the ongoing performance and port speed evolution on the Nexus 7000 platform. These and other performance enhancements on the Nexus 7000 focused on the data plane, essentially making packet switching faster. Over the last four years, we’ve increased the per slot switching capacity from 80G to 550G with the introduction of new fabric and I/O modules. If you do the math, the Nexus 7000 data plane can now support up to 17.6Tbps, that’s a lot of bits flowing through the switch.
So, to keep up with this dramatic increase in the data plane speed, we’re introducing two new supervisors, the Sup2E and the Sup2 to boost the Nexus 7000 control plane performance and scale.
In the Nexus 7000, the Supervisor is essentially the control plane. It handles all the control plane and management functions such as Layer 2 and 3 services, redundancy capabilities, configuration management, status monitoring, power and environmental management, and much more.
To handle all these functions and be able to scale to meet the growing demands of data centers, the new supervisors are built with significantly faster CPUs and increased memory. They also offer two key new features, FCoE enablement on the F2 Series modules and VDC CPU shares, which lets you set CPU priority on a VDC basis.
The Sup2E is designed for the broadest network deployments and the highest investment protection. With daul quad-core processers and 32GB of memory, it delivers the highest performance and scale. From a pure CPU performance perspective, the Sup2E delivers 4 times the performance of the current Sup1. This increase enables faster routing and STP convergence times and increased VDC and FEX scale. With the current software release, you can configure up to 8 VDCs, plus 1 admin VDC and connect up to 48 Nexus 2000 Switches (10GE version) per Nexus 7000.
With a quad-core processer and 12GB of memory, the Sup2 is ideal for small and medium sized deployments. Even though it’s double the CPU performance compared to a Sup1, it delivers similar feature scale. However, it offers faster control plane performance and added features for the same price point as the Sup1.
Here’s a table that provides a high-level summary of the three Nexus 7000 supervisors.
So, with the introduction of the new supervisors, you’re no longer limited to a one-size fits all Supervisor selection. You can now choose the right supervisor based on the size of your network deployment and the place in the network.
For more detail on the new Supervisors, I encourage you to check out the Sup 2/2E datasheet posted on the Nexus 7000 page.