News Release

Cisco Propels Cloud-Ready Switching Portfolio Into Next Frontier of Networking Speed and Simplicity

Cisco Leads Switching Market Innovation with 100 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet Capabilities for Nexus Switches and 40 GE Innovations for Catalyst Switches; Enhances Network Virtualization with Simplicity and Scale
Feb 01, 2012

CiscoLive! London, U.K. – February 1, 2012 – According to the Cisco® Cloud Index, more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will  be cloud-based by 2014, and global cloud traffic will grow more than 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year — the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on Earth.  Based on these trends, Cisco announced it has updated its switching portfolio with 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and 40 GE capabilities, the next speed limits for networking.  These new capabilities provide a holistic architectural approach across campus, data center and service provider environments, and give customers a significant advantage while addressing emerging trends like cloud, video, mobility, and the proliferation of 10 GE.

With this announcement, Cisco, which already offers the industry's broadest switching portfolio, becomes the most extensive provider of 1/10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet and converged networking switching solutions.  Supporting the transition to higher networking speeds, in addition to Cisco's recently announced CloudVerse solution, is a key element of Cisco's strategy to help its customers meet the demands of emerging cloud computing trends and the resulting data deluge.

Cisco is delivering investment protection with 40 GE performance options to its Catalyst 6500 switching line, and 40 GE and 100 GE capabilities in its Nexus 7000  portfolio for interconnecting data centers to service providers.  To expand its campus aggregation and data center top of rack switching, Cisco also announced two new fixed-configuration platforms that provide high-density 10 GE switching.  Making it easy to use this capacity, Cisco announced simpler network virtualization functionality for its Catalyst 6500, 4500 and Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 product lines with a new technology called Easy Virtual Network, as well as scalable virtual services with a new Nexus 1010-X appliance for the data center.   Together, these enhancements will help businesses scale their networks, simplify operations, and protect their existing Cisco switching investments – many of which have been deployed for a decade or longer. 

Today's announcement underscores Cisco's continued leadership in switching.   Cisco recently reached switching milestones of 10 million deployed 10 GE switched ports since 2002, and 23,000 NX-OS customers, the operating system that supports Cisco's entire data center portfolio. 


Data Center Switching

  • 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet capabilities for the Cisco Nexus 7000 data center switch.  Data intensive applications such as cloud, "big data," video, virtual desktop solutions and virtualization are accelerating the adoption of 10 GE at the server level and network access/aggregation layers, introducing bandwidth bottlenecks in the core interconnects connecting the data center to the campus to the service provider.  To alleviate these bottlenecks, Cisco offers two versions of the new M2-Series modules for the Nexus 7000.

o   Nexus 7000 M2-Series 2-port, 100 GbE Module with XL Option delivers up to 32 high- density, non-blocking  100 GE ports for the Nexus 7000.

o   Nexus 7000 M2-Series 6-port 40 GbE Module with XL Option provides 96 non-blocking 40 GE ports for the Nexus 7000.

The new modules provide broad customer choice and ability to align investments with applications.  For example, a corporation evaluating a disaster recovery solution may deploy the 100 GE M2 module as a more cost effective solution for interconnecting data centers, while a university customer may select the same module to shatter geographical boundaries that hinder scientific collaboration in research networks.

  • Nexus 3064-X Switchis a high-performance, high-density, ultra-low-latency Ethernet switch that is part of the new Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Switches. The product is ideal for financial services environments, which require low-latency processing.  The Cisco Nexus 3064 supports a wide variety of 1/10/40 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options.
  • Virtual Extensible LAN or VXLANs are now supported on Nexus 1000V,  radically scaling the number of LAN segments that can be created over cloud networks to logically separate tenants and applications in the cloud.Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) is extended to protect applications on VXLAN-based cloud networks.  To meet cloud's growing scale requirements, Nexus 1000V will be scaling to more than 10 thousand ports in the future.  Cisco Nexus 1010-X Virtual Services Appliance offers a dedicated hardware platform for scalable deployment of services critical to virtualization infrastructure.

Campus Switching

Cisco also expanded its Catalyst family of campus network switches to give network managers a wider array of options to address expanding networking needs such as video, virtualized desktops and cloud computing.

  • Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series 40 Gigabit Ethernet Interface Module offers future investment protection to the Catalyst 6500 Series lineup, helpingcustomers prepare their networks for transitions to 40 GE connectivity as their businesses expand. Significantly, each slot on the module can be converted to four ports of 10 GE with a FourX adapter. This enables customers to deploy 10 GE to meet current needs and be ready to transition to 40 GE without disruption.
  • Cisco Catalyst 6500 E Series chassis are now validated to support full 160 gigabits per slot throughput in active / active mode, which will support higher bandwidth and port densities, while allowing for easy future upgrades.
  • Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switch is a fixed aggregation 1RU switch targeted at space-constrained campus networks that delivers best-in-class scalability, simplified network virtualization, and integrated network services.

Operational Efficiencies

Inaddition to faster switches, Cisco introduced solutions to help simplify network virtualization and enhance network monitoring, troubleshooting, and management.

  • Cisco Easy Virtual Network (EVN) simplifies network virtualization on the Catalyst 6500, Catalyst 4500, and ASR1000 Series platforms. EVN simplifies the creation of separate logical networks on a single physical infrastructure, and is fully compatible with VRF-lite and interoperable with MPLS-VRFs and other technologies.
  • Cisco NX-OS Software provides a robust and comprehensive feature set for Cisco Nexus switching platforms that deliver exceptional operational flexibility and efficiency. Cisco is adding new capabilities in NX-OS to enable programmability and automation in Data Center workflows.  Several new features in NX-OS software, including PowerOn Auto-Provisioning and Python scripting to customize network behavior based on events as they happen, simplify configuration, and harness network intelligence. These features are now available on Cisco Nexus 3000 Series platforms, with support on Nexus 2000 and 5000 Series platforms to follow.
  • Cisco Catalyst SmartOperations is a comprehensive set of tools integrated in Cisco Catalyst switching platforms that automate deployment, deliver rich monitoring capabilities, and simplify troubleshooting.  According to a Forrester-developed TCO calculator available on, customers can lower TCO up to $400,000 for 5,000 users over five years with Cisco Catalyst SmartOperations.
  • Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) simplifies Unified Fabric management and provides a converged LAN and Storage operational dashboard, bringing visibility and advanced diagnostic capabilities into the virtualized data center or cloud, resulting in reduced total cost of ownership.   DCNM can now be hosted as a virtual service blade on Nexus 1010 virtual services appliances.


"As we continue to scale our data centers, deploying 40G/100G Ethernet is of strategic importance. The availability of 40GE and 100GE interfaces on the Cisco Nexus 7000 offered the highest performance and density in a mature platform required for Tencent to continue scaling our data center network to meet the growth needs of our leading Internet services. "

"Cisco's Nexus switching portfolio provides Tencent an Open Platform strategy and the network foundation to support very high server density and scalability at a dramatically reduced complexity. Deployment of Nexus products has enabled our IT team to increase the scale and agility of virtualizing our data center applications. Cisco's Nexus 2000 Fabric Extender architecture along with Nexus 5500 and 7000 delivers the stringent high availability and application performance benchmark requirements for Tencent's service offerings to its end users."

- Henry Hou, Deputy General Manager of Network Infrastructure Dept., Tencent

"Warwick is already one of the UK's leading research-led universities with the goal of enhancing its already strong research profile as a globally connected university.   To support our ambitious research growth, we are deploying 100GE and 40GE connectivity on the Cisco Nexus 7000 switches in our campus and data center core to ensure the network doesn't become a barrier for cutting-edge research and collaboration with global research partners."

- Malcolm Days, head of Infrastructure Services, Warwick University

"We like the Catalyst 6500 platform because it's a true workhorse with a wide range of features. With a tight budget and little advance notice of new requirements from our researchers or our administration, we prefer a flexible solution to increase performance. The new 40 Gigabit module for the Catalyst 6500 with Sup 2T supports both 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Ethernet and provides a seamless upgrade from 10 Gigabit today to future 40 Gigabit to meet the growing bandwidth demands, without any network
disruption and forklift infrastructure change – true to the investment protection capability 6500 is so well known for."

- Jeroen van Ingen, ICT Service Centre, University of Twente

"Network virtualization is becoming more important as enterprises seek to address security and regulatory concerns without the expense of overlay networks. There are a number of available solutions, with varying degrees of scalability and complexity. We found Easy Virtual Network to be the right solution for us. It is simple, easy to replicate between sites, and is fully compatible with the solution we have been using, so we didn't have to redo the work we've already done."

- Dominique Massoni, Network Engineering Operations Manager, EDF Group

"A strong network foundation is central to today's evolving corporate IT strategies, and this period of rapid change is an exciting time to be in the enterprise network and data center switching business.   Today's industry-leading performance and services innovations demonstrate Cisco's leadership, as we transition our customers to cloud, video, mobility, big data and virtualized infrastructures."  

- Rob Soderbery, senior vice president for Cisco's Enterprise Networking Group



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