Cisco Introduces Nexus 7000 Series: Virtual Switches for Future Data Centers?

Cisco Systems this week starts pitching a new series of switches, called Nexus 7000 , as the first component of its Data Center 3.0 architecture and as the successor to the Catalyst 6500, the most successful product in Cisco’s history. Like the Catalyst 6500, the Nexus is a chassis intended for the enterprise data center, into which customers stack blades for additional interfaces. But whereas the Catalyst 6500 is a jack-of-all-trades that can be a firewall, a load balancer, or a router depending on the blades plugged into it, the Nexus is aimed at just one job: virtualization.virtualization-cisco-nexus-7000-virtualswitches.jpg

The company claims it can:

* copy all the searchable Web in less than eight minutes;
* download Wikipedia’s database in 10 milliseconds;
* download 90,000 Netflix movies in less than 40 seconds;
* run 5 million concurrent high-quality videoconferences between New York and San Francisco;
* or send a two-megapixel digital photograph of CEO John Chambers to every human being on earth in 28 minutes.

InformationWeek puts it this way:

“Cisco’s vision is one in which big companies off-load an increasing number of server tasks to network switches, with servers ultimately becoming little more than virtual machines inside a switch. The Nexus doesn’t deliver that, but it makes a start, aiming to virtualize the network interface cards, host bus adapters, and cables that connect servers to networks and remote storage. At present, those require dedicated local area networks and storage area networks, with each using a separate network interface card and host bus adapter for every virtual server. The Nexus aims to consolidate them all into one (or two, for redundancy), with virtual servers connecting through virtual NICs.”

Meanwhile, All Things Digital’s John Paczkowski jokingly claims the switch is ‘fast enough to create rift in space-time continuum ‘.

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