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Community Manager

Ask the Expert: Cisco Nexus Architecture Designs

Welcome to the Cisco Support Community Ask the Expert conversation. This conversation is an opportunity to learn and ask questions about Cisco Nexus architecture designs with subject-matter expert Ahmad Manzoor of AGCN Pakistan.

This discussion will center on Cisco Nexus architecture for data center, and it is an opportunity for you to ask questions about designing a data center based on Cisco Nexus architecture, including Cisco Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000, and Nexus 2000.

Ahmad Manzoor is a Senior Pre-Sales Engineer at AGCN, Pakistan. He has more than 10 years of experience in first-rate management, commercial and technical skills in the field of data communication and services lifecycle—from solution design through sales pitch, designing RFPs, architecture, and solution—all with the goal toward winning projects (creating win/win situations) of obsolete solutions.  Ahmad also has vast experience in designing end-to-end data centers, from building infrastructure design to data communication and network Infrastructure design. He has worked for several large companies in Pakistan and United Arab Emirates markets; for example, National Engineer, WATEEN Telecom, Emircom, Infotech, Global Solutions, NETS International, Al-Aberah, and AGCN, also known as Getronics, Pakistan.

Remember to use the rating system to let Ahmad know if he has given you an adequate response. 

Because of the volume expected during this event, Ahmad might not be able to answer every question. Remember that you can continue the conversation in the Solutions and Architectures, under sub-community, Data Center and Virtualization , shortly after the event. This event lasts through June 6, 2014. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other Cisco Support Community members.

16 REPLIES 16
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Enthusiast

I feel it is not very clear from the documentation, therefore i ask it here: do the first 32 ports of the new N5K-5672UP switch support FCOE ? So they can connect to an FCOE enabled B22HP fex blade switch ?

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Hi,

Yes you are right, if go through the following link a “Cisco Nexus B22HP Design & Deployment Guide”

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/nexus-b22-blade-fabric-extender/guide_c07-686089.html

In FEX scenario (either that is a simple FEX switch or FEX blade Switch) N5K and N7K are working as a parent switch, like a brain of FEX devices or you can say a controller of these fabric extenders.

Also the Cisco Fabric Extender for HP BladeSystem (Model B22HP) provides an extension of the Cisco Nexus switch fabric to the HP server edge. Logically, it behaves like a remote line card to a parent Cisco Nexus 5000 series switch, with the Fabric Extender and the parent Nexus together forming a distributed modular system. The Cisco Fabric Extender for HP BladeSystem forwards traffic to the parent Cisco Nexus switch over eight 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Low-cost uplink connections up to 10 meters can be made with copper Twin-ax cable, and longer connections up to 100 meters can use optional Fabric Extender Transceivers. Standard 10Gb SFP+ optics are also supported. Downlinks to each server are auto-negotiating and work with all HP Ethernet and converged network adaptor modules allowing a choice of Ethernet, FCoE or iSCSI connections. Passing all traffic seamlessly to the Nexus 5000 allows traffic to be shaped according to policies established by the Nexus 5000 Series Switch with a single point of management.

Best regards,

Ahmad Manzoor

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Beginner

Hello Ahmad,

 

From your experience what is one of the better management systems that provides visibility of FEX 2ks.  We currently have CiscoWorks but can only establish visibility of the parent 5K switch but not beyond.  Do you have any suggestions?

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Hi,

The question of your answer is Cisco Prime DataCenter, In my suggestion you need to upgrade your management system on this new NMS tool called Cisco Prime / DCNM.

Cisco Prime DCNM is designed to help customers efficiently implement and manage next-generation virtualized data centers. It provides timely management support for data center hardware platforms and Cisco NX-OS features.

Cisco Prime DCNM supports a variety of Cisco hardware platforms, including:

  • Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors and Cisco MDS 9200 and 9100 Series Multilayer Switches
  • Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches; Cisco Nexus 1010 Virtual Services Appliance; Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders; Cisco Nexus 3000, 4000, 5000, and 7000 Series Switches
  • Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches
  • Cisco UCS 6100 and 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects
  • Cisco FWSM - FireWall Service Module

Also kindly review the following link:

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/cloud-systems-management/prime-data-center-network-manager/data_sheet_c78-639737.html

Best regards,

Ahmad Manzoor

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Thanks Ahmad!

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Hello Ahmad,

Can you please tell me - why is Cisco standardizing the technologies included in its fabric extender architecture? 

Thank you,

Irina

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Dear Irina,

As part of long-standing practice, Cisco is working with many industry partners and the relevant standards bodies to standardize the technologies embedded in its fabric extender architecture to enhance its interoperability and to increase the range of supporting products available for customers. Cisco Fabric Extender Technology (FEX Technology) has been widely deployed among Cisco customers and is supported by top vendors including Broadcom, Emulex, and QLogic.

Best regards,

Ahmad Manzoor

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Beginner

Hi Ahmad,

What is the Cisco Nexus 5500 platform? And, where can it be deployed? I would like to better understand.

Thank you,

Daniel

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Dear Daniel,

Lets divide your question into two parts:

1. What is the Cisco 5500 platform?

The Cisco Nexus 5500 Platform is the next-generation platform of the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches, helping enable the industry’s highest density and performance purpose-built fixed form-factor switch on a multilayer, multiprotocol, and multipurpose Ethernet-based fabric.

2. Where can it be deployed?

The Cisco Nexus 5500 Platform is well suited for deployments in enterprise data center access layers and small‑scale, midmarket data center aggregation environments.

Best regards,

Ahmad Manzoor

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Beginner

Hello Ahmad,

Just curious, what is the architecture of Cisco Nexus 5548P?

John

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Dear John,

 

The Cisco Nexus 5548P implements a switch-fabric-based architecture. It consists of a set of port application-specific interface cards (ASICs) called unified port controllers (UPCs) and a switch fabric called the unified fabric controller (UFC). The UPCs provide packet-editing, forwarding, quality-of-service (QoS), security-table-lookup, buffering, and queuing functions. The UFC connects the ingress UPCs to the egress UPCs and has a built-in central scheduler. The UFC also replicates packets for unknown unicast, multicast, and broadcast traffic. Each UPC supports eight 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces; however, no local switching is performed on the UPCs. All packets go through the same forwarding path, and the system helps ensure consistent latency for all flows.

 

Best regards,

Ahmad Manzoor

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Enthusiast

Hi Ahmad,

I believe VPC support between N7K and FEX 2K is in the roadmap. Do you know when this feature will be available ?

Thanks !!

Danny

 

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Dear Danny,

I am not sure about it.

Clients normally use a N5k between N7k & N2k on distribution layer, we rarely see the collapse core infrastructure in real world deployments. (collapse core is access layer is directly connected with core without involving / deploying distribution layer), example is use N5k as data center core switch.

Best regards,

Ahmad Manzoor

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I have a collapse core infrastructure using a pair of Nexus 7010's in a VPC domain with N2K's at top of rack and I am interested in doing VPC between N7K and N2K and I was told this feature is in the road map.

Thanks !!

Danny

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