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Cisco enters storage, hyperconvergence market with data center splash

Jim Duffy | March 2, 2016
Deal with SpringPath yields HyperFlex line; new Nexus switches support 25/50G.

HyperFlex systems can be managed by existing UCS management and automation tools, and data services are managed through hypervisor tools like VMware’s vCenter. Cisco says this helps facilitate the transition to a DevOps IT model.

HX Data and HyperFlex systems are also extensible to support a range of hypervisors, bare metal and containerized environments in the future, Cisco says. HyperFlex will also be included in Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure SDN, and hybrid cloud and multi-cloud orchestration. Future support for ACI will result in an SDN that provides automated, policy-based network deployment that provides microsegmentation and multitenancy, Cisco says.

An HX Data starter bundle starts at $59,000. It will ship later this month.

In data center switching, Cisco rolled out the new Nexus 9200, a system based on Cisco ASIC technology that enables customers to transition from 10/40G Ethernet switching to 10/25/40/50/100G at the price of 10/40G. Cisco says this is possible due to the use of 16nm technology that enables 36 ports of line rate 100G on a single chip, and scales from 100Mbps to 100G on the same port.

The switches, which are targeted at multiple, large-scale cloud networks needing hyperconverged fabrics, are also designed to provide pervasive visibility into flow tables at both the leaf and spine; 140K micro segments per rack for security, and support for over a million containers per rack; and adaptive capacity and congestion control for dynamic load balancing and lossless operation.

The Nexus 9200 and 9300EX are fixed configuration top-of-rack switches that can both run in standalone NX-OS mode, while the 9300EX can also run in ACI fabric mode. Cisco also rolled out a line card for the modular Nexus 9500 chassis that supports 32 40/100G ports using the new custom ASIC, and can run in either NX-OS or ACI mode.

The Nexus 9200 and 9300EX switches are list priced at $20,000 and $22,500, respectively. The 9200 is shipping now, while the 9300EX will ship in the second quarter.

Cisco also expanded its Nexus 3000 line of merchant silicon-based fixed configuration switches with platforms based on Broadcom’s Tomahawk 25/50/100G chip, and Trident 2+ ASIC. Cisco also unveiled a 32-port 40/100G line card for the Nexus 9500 chassis based on the Broadcom Tomahawk ASIC.

The new Nexus 3000s are shipping now.

Lastly, Cisco expanded its ACI and NX-OS data center switching software to include ACI APIC controller and fabric support for older Nexus 7000 switches and ASR 9000 routers; and hyperconvergence, DevOps automation, segment routing and in-service software upgrade support in NX-OS. Cisco also unveiled Nexus Fabric Manager, software for automating the configuration and management of VXLAN-based fabrics through zero touch provisioning and a handful of mouse clicks.

APIC on Nexus 7000 and ASR 9000 will be available in the third quarter. Nexus Fabric Manager and the enhanced NX-OS are shipping now.


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