As I mentioned in a blog a couple weeks ago about the Cisco ASR line, we are building a new data center right now using the Cisco Nexus 7000 and 5000 series switches.
The lead network engineer on my team, Kamal Vyas, has responsibility for the several parts of the DC network design, particularly the main, internal data center network. He joins us this week as guest blogger with the following post.
With introduction of Nexus 2K (FEX), Cisco now has a complete end-to-end Nexus solution for data center networks. And perfect timing, since this week, at Cisco's Customer Proof of Concept Labs (CPOC), we got the opportunity to test out an end-to-end Nexus DC design comprising of Nexus 7K (Aggregation), 5K and 2K (Access) switches. Services Modules along with Core Switches leveraged the flagship 6509s with ASRs at the WAN edge.
Yup...Scary huh!!! Tell me about the concerns of introducing so many new devices and code types (not flavors) in the DC Network. We are using NX-OS at aggregation and access, IOS XE at the WAN edge, and IOS at the core and services level. Most of them in their early deployment cycles and with limited inter-op testing. The products have complete diversity as well. The 7K is manufactured by the Cisco Storage Group, the 5K is manufactured by Nuova (now Cisco), the 6500 part by the good, old ISBU, and the ASR (IOS XE) by the Routing BU. I am sincerely hoping to see unity in this diversity while testing. Hence, more reasons to make sure this gets thoroughly tested in the lab and documented (yup, CYA). Also this needs a lot of help from Cisco cross-BU teams to work in tandem and take this solution close to SRND/DCAP levels.
Being in a lab environment, we plan to turn on all bells and whistles including VPC, VDC, VRF, SPT-enhancements and contexts. This is a perfect opportunity to get our hands dirty. Also will help us make intelligent decision as to which options to pick day one and which one we would want to wait a little bit more.
Salient Features of the proposed design, to summarize, would be:
Over course of my next few blogs will touch upon individual areas of the DC network and provide more details about my experience going through the process. Please feel free to share if you have any comments/suggestions in this regards.
Stay Tuned !!!!
More from Kamal in the future about our data center network design and build in March.
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Michael Morris is a communications engineering manager at a $3-billion high-tech company. His background is in enterprise WANs working with telcos and developing large-scale routing designs. He has worked on networks at government and corporate organizations, including networks at two Fortune 10 companies. In his current role, he leads a team of 10 engineers responsible for large-scale IT networking projects and architectural standards for data networks, storage area networks, IP telephony, contact centers, and security. Michael is CCIE #11733 and recently became one of the first three Cisco Certified Design Experts (CCDE) ever (#20080002). He has 11 years experience in networking and communications, including four years as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army. He has a bachelor's degree in MIS from the University at Buffalo and is working on his MBA from NC State University. In 2008, he was awarded the Network Professional Association (NPA) Professional Excellence and Innovation Award for his work on network architecture, templates and enterprise MPLS design.
Michael Morris's From the Field blog is also featured on the Cisco Learning Network. See it there, along with the blogs of other Cisco Experts.