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When do i need nexus?

siscon00b
Level 1
Level 1

Hi,

I'm only just now discovering nexus switches, i'm wondering when its appropriate to use the nexus switches. Is it mainly for large DC's?

 

I have a small main data center with approx 15 physical servers, i'm wondering if its really necessary to run nexus or not.

 

Thanks.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Generally Catalyst switches have more buffering than Nexus switches.  In your size, people typically choose Nexus switches for - price.  They are the cheapest way to get lots of 10Gbe ports.

 

If given the choice, I would generally prefer a Catalyst over a Nexus.

 

A Nexus 3524 is an Ethernet 10Gbe switch with SFP+ ports.  You can connect an Ethernet based SAN (such as iSCSI, NFS, etc).  You can't plug in Fibre Channel.  You can go to much more expensive Nexus switches that have dual personality ports, and then you can configure the ports to also act as Fibre channel ports.

 

Nexus switches don't stack together.  They have this thing called a vPC which you can form between them.  It has a horrible set of complexity that they introduce, and all sorts of limitations on the way you can do things.  They don't simply form one "switch" like catalyst switches.  Catalyst switches are far nicer in this regard.

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4 Replies 4

Philip D'Ath
VIP Alumni
VIP Alumni

For your size a Nexus 3524-X would be worth looking at.  They are well priced as well.  Note that it is an all 10Gbe switch, so if you need some Gigabit ports you'll need to put in a Gigabit SFP.

 

https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/switches/nexus-3548-switch/data_sheet_c78-707001.html

 

I would also consider a Cisco Meraki MS425-16 (you could stack two or three of these together) or an MS425-32 depending on the number of 10Gbe ports required.  The Meraki switches have far better analytics out of the box, and are easy to look after and manage.

https://meraki.cisco.com/products/switches/ms425-16

https://meraki.cisco.com/products/switches/ms425-32

 

Thanks for the links i'll check them out, i'm wondering if there is something i can check on the existing catalyst switches to show there is an issue with them? Someone mentioned buffers in another thread. 

 

The servers are pretty low on the network util side with no virtualisation.

 

Yeah ok, so these types of switches are usually SFP based? Does that mean i could run a SAN with some fibre SFP's. I don't need them for this, general question. Assuming there is some sort of licensing restriction like the HP SN's / Brocades?

 

Does the stacking work the same as the catalyst, provide redundant supervision, power etc?

Generally Catalyst switches have more buffering than Nexus switches.  In your size, people typically choose Nexus switches for - price.  They are the cheapest way to get lots of 10Gbe ports.

 

If given the choice, I would generally prefer a Catalyst over a Nexus.

 

A Nexus 3524 is an Ethernet 10Gbe switch with SFP+ ports.  You can connect an Ethernet based SAN (such as iSCSI, NFS, etc).  You can't plug in Fibre Channel.  You can go to much more expensive Nexus switches that have dual personality ports, and then you can configure the ports to also act as Fibre channel ports.

 

Nexus switches don't stack together.  They have this thing called a vPC which you can form between them.  It has a horrible set of complexity that they introduce, and all sorts of limitations on the way you can do things.  They don't simply form one "switch" like catalyst switches.  Catalyst switches are far nicer in this regard.

Thanks Phil,

 

I've been reading and found the same, no stack and vPC. They still seem Ok to me but you're right the added complexity is it a bit of drain. I also don't have any 10Gbe servers at this point, so i'd just be buying mainly 1Gbe SFP's. Good to have options though.

 

I'm going to check out our current catalyst switches and see if i can notice any issues with them in the current setup.