Cisco Nexus License

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  • Last updated on: 03 Jan 2020


Cisco Nexus Series switches are modular and fixed port network switches designed for the data center. Cisco Systems introduced the Nexus Series of switches on January 28, 2008. The first chassis in the Nexus 7000 family is a 10-slot chassis with two supervisor engine slots and eight I/O module slots at the front, as well as five crossbar switch fabric modules at the rear. Beside the Nexus 7000 there are also other models in the Nexus range.

All switches in the Nexus range run the modular NX-OS firmware/operating system on the fabric. NX-OS has some high-availability features compared to the well-known Cisco IOS. This platform is optimized for high-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Nexus Series

Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches

Build the next-generation automated data center

The Cisco Nexus 9000 Series delivers proven high performance and density, low latency, and exceptional power efficiency in a broad range of compact form factors. They operate in Cisco NX-OS Software mode or in Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) mode. They are ideal for either traditional or fully automated data center deployments.

Architectural flexibility

You can deploy these switches in an energy-efficient three-tier or leaf-spine architecture. They also support scalable virtual extensible LAN (VXLAN) multitenancy. The Nexus Fabric Manager automates fabric configuration and management.


Use an open-object API model to provision Layer 2 and 3 features. A Route Processor Module application package, Linux containers, and Broadcom and Linux shell access provide extensibility. Infrastructure management can be simplified with DevOps automation tools.

Real-time visibility and telemetry

Built-in sensors support Cisco Tetration Analytics for rich traffic flow telemetry and line-rate data collection. Cisco Nexus Data Broker monitors and analyzes network traffic. Real-time buffer use per port and per queue helps you keep track of application traffic patterns.


These switches deliver up to 172.8 Tbps of nonblocking performance with less than 5-microsecond latency. They offer wire-speed gateway, bridging, routing, and the Cisco Border Gateway Protocol Control Plane for VXLAN. Segment routing facilitates scalability and virtualization.

High availability

The In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) and patching are provided without operation interruption for the Nexus 9500 and 9300. Switches have fully redundant and hot-swappable components. A mix of third-party and Cisco ASICs improves reliability and performance.

Investment protection

An existing 10 GE cabling plant can be reused for 40 GE with a 40-Gbps bidirectional transceiver. Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders can be deployed in both NX-OS and ACI modes. FCoE support provides fabric convergence for LAN and SAN, lowering TCO.



Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches

Build a next-generation network

Create the network foundation for a next-generation Unified Fabric data center. The modular Cisco Nexus 7000 and 7700 switches deliver a comprehensive Cisco NX-OS feature set and open-source programmable tools for software-defined networking (SDN) deployments. They offer high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet with application awareness and performance analytics.

Nexus 7000 switches

  • 4, 9, 10, and 18 slots
  • 550 Gbps bandwidth per slot
  • Up to 192 40 GE ports and 32 100 GE ports
  • Redundant supervisors

Nexus 7700 switches

  • 6, 10, and 18 slots
  • 1.3 Tbps bandwidth per slot
  • Up to 348 40 GE ports and 192 100 GE ports
  • Redundant supervisors

High performance

The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches run on Cisco NX-OS Software. It was specifically developed for mission-critical enterprise and service provider deployments. The switches offer a full feature set in a highly resilient modular platform.

Infrastructure scalability

Virtualization, efficient power and cooling, cloud scale with automation, high density, and performance all support efficient data center growth.

Operational continuity

The design integrates hardware, NX-OS Software features, and management to support zero-downtime environments.

Transport flexibility

Networking technologies can be incrementally and cost-effectively adopted. These include the Cisco Remote Integrated Services Engine (RISE), Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA), and Cisco Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV).

Programmability with open NX-OS

The 7000 Series offers programmable and automation tools for zero-day to day-N configuration and management. Standard, open, and programmable API interfaces are available for provisioning control and data planes. Visit the DevNet community for resources.



Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches

Gain a Fabric-Extensible, Innovative Platform

Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches are designed to deliver high-density top-of-rack (ToR) Layer 2 and Layer 3, 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet with unified ports in compact one-, two-, and four-rack-unit form factors. The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series includes the Cisco Nexus 5500 and 5600 platforms as part of the Cisco Unified Fabric portfolio.

The comprehensive Cisco NX-OS feature set and 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet scalability of the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series deliver high performance, operational efficiency, and design flexibility.

Features and Capabilities of the Nexus 5600

The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform offers broad connectivity support, low latency, and virtual extensible LAN (VXLAN) technology. These capabilities make the switches ideal for ToR and end-of-rack (EoR) access and Cisco Fabric Extender (FEX) aggregation in traditional, converged, virtualized, and cloud deployments.


The Cisco 5600 platform is designed to meet the scaling demands of virtualized and cloud deployments. These switches:

  • Support up to 2304 ports in a single management domain with Cisco FEX architecture
  • Support large buffers for congestion management
  • Provide a hardware-based VXLAN (Layer 2, Layer 3, and gateway) and are capable of network virtualization generic routing encapsulation (NVGRE)
  • Deliver integrated Layer 3 services with large table sizes and buffers with 1-microsecond latency

Operational Efficiency

The Cisco 5600 switches simplify operations in the following ways:

  • The Cisco FEX architecture provides a single point of management.
  • An advanced analytics toolkit makes it easy to monitor latency and buffering.
  • Programmers can use Python, Tool Command Language (Tcl), the Cisco ONE Platform Kit (onePK), and OpenFlow.

Architectural Flexibility

The Cisco 5600 switches provide deployment flexibility for varying customer needs:

  • Broad connectivity support includes Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 40 Gigabit Ethernet, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet; native Fibre Channel; and Fibre Channel over Ethernet.
  • Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) is supported for simplified virtualized and cloud deployments.
  • Cisco FabricPath is supported for scalable Layer 2 networks.

Features and Capabilities of the Nexus 5500

The Cisco Nexus 5500 Switches simplify convergence through broad connectivity support. This makes them ideal top-of-rack access switches for traditional and converged deployments.


The Cisco 5500 switches are designed to meet the scalability demands of today’s data centers. They offer:

  • Up to 1152 ports in a single management domain using Cisco FEX architecture
  • Up to 96 unified ports

Operational Efficiency

Operations are simplified with:

Flexible Architecture

The Cisco 5500 switches deliver deployment flexibility to meet varying customer needs:

  • Broad connectivity support includes Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, 10-BASE-T, 40 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks, native Fibre Channel, and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).
  • Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) is supported for simplified virtualized and cloud deployments.
  • Cisco FabricPath is supported for scalable Layer 2 networks.



Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Switches

Get Flexible, Top-of-Rack, Layer 2 and 3 Switching

Simplify management, enhance network visibility, and improve monitoring. Cisco Nexus 3000 Series offers low-latency, high programmability, and high-density switches in a fixed compact form factor. They’re ideal for general purpose deployments, high performance computing (HPC), high-frequency trading (HFT), Massively Scalable Date Center (MSDC), and cloud networks.

Features and Capabilities

Designed for data center top-of-rack deployments, the Cisco Nexus 3000 Series provides 24 to 128 ports offering flexible connectivity, high performance, and a comprehensive feature set to meet various data center requirements.

Choice of Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Platforms

Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Switches

Get 100 M, 1, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) wire-speed Layer 2 and 3 switching for general purpose data center top-of-rack (ToR) deployments.

Cisco Nexus 3100 Switches

These are highly programmable switches for 1,10, and 40 GE connectivity. They’re ideal for deployments where a range of 1,10, or 40 Gb densities at line-rate speeds is required.

Cisco Nexus 3100-V Switches

This innovation offers 1/10/40/100-Gbps connectivity,high performance and scalability, VXLAN routing, and enhanced 16 MB buffer space. They are ideal for enterprise applications, service provider hosting, high-performance computing (HPC), and cloud computing environments.
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Cisco Nexus 3200 Switches

These highly programmable switches offer comprehensive feature sets and are coupled with low latency, large buffers, and table sizes for 10, 25,40,50, and 100 GE connectivity. They are well-suited for high performance, high-density, low-latency environments with changing application needs, such as big data, cloud, and virtualization.

Cisco Nexus 3500 Series

This series offers 1,10, and 40 GE ports and a comprehensive feature set, including Cisco Algo Boost technology with the lowest latency in the industry. Cisco Nexus 3500 works well for high-frequency trading and high-performance compute deployments.

Simplified Operations

  • Cisco Embedded Event Manager and Python scripting
  • PowerOn Auto Provisioning (POAP) and PreBoot eXecution Environment (PXE) for touchless bootup and switch configuration
  • Cisco Nexus Data Broker support for enhanced visibility and monitoring
  • Integration with the Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager and XML management tools
  • Advanced reboot capabilities that include hot and cold patching and fast-reboot capabilities

Open Programmability

  • Built-in DevOps automation tools like Puppet, Chef, and Ansible
  • NX-API support for a common programmatic approach across Cisco Nexus switches
  • Support for customer applications through Python scripting, Bash shell, and Linux containers
  • OpenStack and OpenFlow support for software-defined networking (SDN) deployments

Visit DevNet Community for Programmability Resources

Scalability and High Performance

  • Multi-tenant scalability with VXLAN support
  • Cisco bidirectional support for simplified migration to 40 GE
  • Algoboost and Warp mode on Cisco Nexus 3500 Series Switches with the lowest latency in the industry

High Availability and Efficiency

  • Modular operating software – NX-OS for fault isolation
  • Redundant and hot-swappable power supply and fan modules
  • Shared buffer architecture to allow for microbursts, regular data traffic flow, and jitter with increased network efficiency



Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders

Agility, flexibility, and simplicity at scale

Agility, flexibility, and simplicity at scale Simplify your data center operations with Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders. As part of the Cisco Data Center Networking portfolio, they integrate into existing network infrastructures as well as Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI). These fabric extenders offer a flexible solution to add access port connectivity to your data center network.

Benefit from third-generation technology

Benefit from third-generation technology Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders provide connectivity for rack and blade servers and for converged fabric deployments. As the third generation in the Cisco fabric extender portfolio, the Cisco Nexus 2300 Series provides a wide range of benefits.

Deliver innovation to the data center

Simplify migration to 10 Gbps at the server access layer. Support cost-effective migration to 40 Gigabit Ethernet with Cisco BiDi optics. Deploy larger buffers and additional TCAM.

Reduce total cost of ownership

Top-of-rack designs offer flexibility and simplified cabling. End-of-row designs offer simplified management and efficient utilization.

Gain architectural flexibility

Integrate with various architectures. Redeploy as your needs change. Unified ports support both LAN and SAN deployment. Parent switch support spans Cisco Nexus 5000, 6000, 7000, and 9000Series Switchesand Cisco UCS fabric interconnects.


Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch

Simplify and Scale Virtual Networking

Get highly secure, multitenant services by adding virtualization intelligence to your data center network with the Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for VMware vSphere. This switch:

  • Extends the network edge to the hypervisor and virtual machines
  • Is built to scale for cloud networks

Get the Cisco Nexus 1000V Essential Edition at no cost.

Statement of Direction for Cisco Nexus 1000V Platform (PDF – 218 KB)Adobe PDF file

The Cisco Nexus 1000V will continue to be supported on the VMware hypervisor beyond VMware vSphere Release 6.0 as well as on other major hypervisors. Customers should upgrade their Cisco Nexus 1000V software to the latest version as they upgrade their VMware or other hypervisor environments.

Features and Capabilities

Important differentiators for the Cisco Nexus 1000V for VMware vSphere include:

  • Extensive virtual network services built on Cisco advanced service insertion and routing technology
  • Support for vCloud Director and vSphere hypervisor
  • Feature and management consistency for easy integration with the physical infrastructure
  • Exceptional policy and control features for comprehensive networking functionality
  • Policy management and control by the networking team instead of the server virtualization team (separation of duties)

Use Virtual Networking Services

The Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch optimizes the use of Layer 4 – 7 virtual networking services in virtual machine and cloud environments through Cisco vPath architecture services.

Cisco vPath 2.0 supports service chaining so you can use multiple virtual network services as part of a single traffic flow. For example, you can simply specify the network policy, and vPath 2.0 can direct traffic:

In addition, Cisco vPath works on VXLAN to support movement between servers in different Layer 2 domains. Together, these features promote highly secure policy, application, and service delivery in the cloud.

Expand these offerings by building highly secure hybrid clouds with Cisco InterCloud.

Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for VMware vSphere Editions

Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for VMware vSphere is available in two separate editions. The Essential Edition is available at no cost and includes all the basic switching features. Advanced Edition adds advanced security capabilities and Cisco Virtual Security Gateway for Nexus 1000V Switch to the base functionality of Essential Edition. Buying Cisco TAC support is optional for Essential Edition and highly recommended.

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Cisco Nexus License

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