There are several challenges facing data center customers, bandwidth and scale being two of the primary ones.  Traditional data centers are expanding beyond on-prem and enterprise into an ever-growing hybrid environment. The cloud (private, public, colo/bare metal) and the edge (enterprise, IoT, and 5G) are popular places for storing and generating data. With applications active at all points on the network, the data center is no longer confined to a specific place. Don’t let your data center network or bandwidth be confined either.

Cisco is driving 400 Gigabit Ethernet forward with many innovations, and products within the Nexus Data Center Switching family. On June 16 we announced the next generation of Cloud Scale ASIC, a new line card for the Cisco Nexus 9500 Series, and two new Cisco Nexus 9300 Series switches. These innovations enable customers to scale with their business, address bandwidth challenges, and go where their data is.

Trends Driving 400G

Let’s take a look at some of the trends driving 400G. They include, but aren’t exclusive to, the following:

  • Application storage moving to the cloud
  • Distributed storage moving from iSCSI to Flash (NVMe/RoCE)
  • Server NICs moving to higher speeds 100/200G
  • HPC and machine learning for enterprises
  • IP Fabric for Media

These trends are driving higher-speed endpoints and uplinks, hence the need for higher bandwidth fabrics that can easily scale at 400G full line-rate speeds.

Based on these trends, the following use cases are growing or emerging:

  • Webscalers
  • Enterprise deployments
  • Service Providers
  • Professional media networks

And they are driven by business requirement changes that include:

  • Consumer simplicity
  • Cloud advantage
  • Apps both on-prem and cloud-native
  • IT operational complexity
  • Multicloud hurdles
  • Security and scale

Intent-Based Networking at 400G

To facilitate these, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™) is now 400G-enabled to deliver on the Cisco intent-based networking (IBN) framework. IBN enables agility by capturing higher-level business and user intent in the form of a policy then translates it into the network constructs necessary to dynamically provision the network, security, and infrastructure services. Built on top of the industry-leading Nexus 9000 platform, Cisco ACI enables automation that accelerates infrastructure deployment and governance, simplifies management to easily move workloads across the multicloud framework, and proactively secures against risk. With the Cisco ACI 5.0 release, customers can deploy 400G-capable fabric spine switches and add 400G line cards, thus enabling a complete networking management platform with the speed and scale needed now–and into the future.

400G Virtual Events

Register for the Network Insider Series on-demand webinar: 400G Done Right: Cutting-Edge Nexus Innovation Continues, hosted by VP Data Center Product Management Thomas Scheibe on September 22.

Customers: Register to join us live for a Customer Connection 400G technical briefing on October 13 (Program members only. Learn more and become a member here.)

More Resources

Thank you for reading my blog and for exploring what’s new with Cisco Nexus 400G solutions.

Stay tuned for more blogs and exciting announcements coming soon. Happy Data Center Networking!


Mike Dilio

Sr. Customer Solutions Marketing Manager

Data Center Networking