Cisco adds a blade switch to the Nexus line

Nexus 4000 is the first NX-OS- based blade switch, to be sold through server OEMs

Cisco this week unveiled a blade addition to its Nexus line of data center switches designed to aggregate multiple physical x86 blade servers from various vendors into a 10G Ethernet fabric. Read all about it here.

In a nutshell, the Nexus 4000 is the first blade switch in the Nexus line, which also includes the Nexus 7000 core switch, the 5000 top-of-rack switch, the 2000 fabric extender and the 1000V software-based virtual switch. The 4000 is intended to fit inside a blade server system enclosure and aggregate server NIC connections into a 10G pipe for connection to and from the Nexus 5000 and 7000 top-of-rack and core switches.

The Nexus 4000 features a specialized ASIC for low latency and lossless operation in a virtualized environment, Cisco says. It can work in conjunction with the Nexus 1000V virtual switch which resides on blade servers running VMware's ESX 4.0 virtualization software. The 1000V aggregates virtual machine images from a single server while the 4000 aggregates multiple physical blade servers, Cisco says.

The Nexus 4000 will be sold to Cisco's server OEM customers who will rebrand it and then sell it to end users. The new switch will compete with HP's new 6120XG and 6120G/XG blade switches, and 6- and 10-port BNT line from Blade Network Technologies, which are resold by IBM.

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