Nexus v2 coming from Cisco?

Sources say, and documents indicate, new fabric modules coming to reach 15T limit

Cisco's got a big data center announcement coming up on October 18. A couple of sources say it will be the second generation fabric modules for the Nexus 7000, which will take the switch to its 15Tbps potential.

At introduction, the Nexus 7000 promised to eventually achieve 15Tbps of capacity and 512 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports in 10-slot and 18-slot chassis. Five other slots are for the fabric cards. Cisco designed the Nexus 7000 to support up to five fabric modules to achieve its maximum capacity -- Fabric 1 produced 230G per slot with its five fabric cards.

Cisco wouldn't confirm our information, and said the 10/18 announcement will involve several product lines. But a document on Cisco's Web site says Fabric 2 will achieve the system's capacity:

The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Fabric-2 modules (Figure 1) for the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series chassis are separate fabric modules that provide parallel fabric channels to each I/O and supervisor module slot. Up to five simultaneously active fabric modules work together delivering up to 550 Gbps per slot. Through the parallel forwarding architecture, a system capacity of more than 15 Terabits is achieved with the five fabric modules. The fabric module provides the central switching element for fully distributed forwarding on the I/O modules.

But the document also says only a nine-slot version of the Nexus 7000 will house the new Fabric 2 cards. It's unclear if Cisco will announce it for the 10- and 18-slot versions as well on October 18.

Sources say Fabric 2 will support 48 ports of wire speed 10G Ethernet per slot, if equipped with five active fabric modules. Current generation cards sport 32 10G ports. That means 336 wire-speed 10G ports in the Nexus 7009.

Fabric 2 will also support 32,000 routes and 10 watts of power draw per port, sources say. But missing pieces include MPLS, Overlay Transport Virtualization and LISP. They also say there could be some backward compatibility issues with existing line cards from Fabric 1 switches.

As for 40/100G Ethernet, these sources say Fabric 2 may not support 40/100G modules previewed at Cisco Live in July. Cisco has said Fabric 1 could support 40G but others indicated the Nexus 7000 could use an upgrade to support practical densities.

The software version required for Fabric 2 is NX-OS 5.2 or later.

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