The Nexus is no Lexus

Lexus has a reputation as a high quality, high performance, high reliability automobile. How does the recently announced Cisco Nexus 7000 stack up to its near-namesake?

High quality right? The Nexus is a new technology for the core data center, with new hardware and a new unproven OS (they call it release 4.0, but this isn’t very convincing).

At 15 Tb/s capacity, isn’t Nexus all about performance? Look again. One slot has a max I/O of 230 Gb/s and with 10 slots per shelf, my math says 2.3 Tbps is the real capacity. And it’s an energy hog in spite of Cisco’s claims to the contrary (based on what?): our high-end switches have 185-320% greater energy efficiency on a per port basis. So read the fine print.

Ok, so is it ultra-reliable for data center applications? Wrong again. It takes the Nexus 7000 4-5 seconds to recover from network failures (it doesn’t even support the much touted VSS capability). And because it has no intelligent services virtualization and limited module options, building real data centers has just got more complicated.

So if the Nexus is no Lexus, with questionable quality, performance and reliability, then what exactly is it? It’s touted as a unifying data center platform but doesn’t even support Fibre Channel? Or does it mark the beginning of the end for the Catalyst 6500?

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3 Comments

It appears your message is incorrect.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/25037?ts0hb=&story=ht

Tony replies:
Bill, too sweeping a comment. Cisco did not respond to two of my comments:
1) In November, Cisco announced VSS, touted for non-stop communications and bandwidth scalability; now it tells us that it won’t be supported on Nexus (in contrast to Nortel’s proven end-to-end architecture based on MultiLink Trunking; end to end means wiring closet to aggregation to core).
2) Energy efficiency will be the subject of lots of marketing claims and misinformation. Third party validation is key for enterprises to make the right decisions.

When has Cisco EVER announced a product launch and delivered a truly viable product in the timelines they originally laid out?

G'day there guys,

It isn't a Lexus, but who wants one of those anyway? A Toyota dressed up to go out to the ball is what they are.

Whilst staying with the real world (most companies buy Cisco) the Nexus is a little "troubled" right now. The best choice for large network data centres are a pair of 6500 VSS switches.

Why do you ask? More interface options, more robust OS, lower power consumption and lower effective costs...

The Nexus may be cheaper than two 6500 VSS Cores, but the 6500 wins out as it offers 24/48 port SFP line cards!! Optical Gigabit connections to my server switches (and we have many) is cheaper and the bandwidth they provide will outlive the life-cycle of many applications.

I reckon Cisco's marketing arm jumped in a little too early with this one and is making a hash of it.

So what is a Nexus then? It's more of a Ford GT-40. It's blisteringly fast and looks very good, but you can't drive it to the shops, nor fit the golf clubs in the boot. The GT-40 goes around corners and drinks like a Nexus too...smile

Give it a few years - At least it isn't a Microsoft product....

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