Partners say Cisco has future-proofed its new line of Nexus switches, powered by its Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) innovation, allowing customers to transition from 10/40 Gbps to 25/100 Gbps at the same price with no rip-and-replace needed.
The switches, unveiled at Cisco Partner Summit 2016 on Tuesday, look to be "incredible," one partner exec said.
"It allows us to go back to our customers and be in a position to talk about scalability in terms of network speeds without needing to have a rip-and-replace conversation -- that's key," said Vinu Thomas, chief technology officer of Presidio, a New York-based top Cisco partner. "These newer switches are incredible, in the fact that they're able to help our customer transition from what has been traditionally 10/40-gig networks to almost a 100-gig network at the same price. … Cisco is thinking about future-proofing network infrastructure investments that customers make and [customers] want that."
The networking giant's new Nexus 9000 data center switches offers real-time visibility across the entire network, enhanced security through segmentation, intelligent buffering and future-proofing for the transition to hyper-converged infrastructure, according to Thomas Scheibe, senior director of product management of Cisco's ACI.
"They're the first products to have the new ASIC in them," said Scheibe. "We build into these switches the ability to have a convergence for storage and IP traffic as well as different types of storage traffic while at the same time optimizing the application performance going over that network."
The new 9000 switches can support over a million containers per rack and have the ability to scale up to 10 times in IP addresses and end points at cloud scale, according to the company.
The Nexus 9200 series and Nexus 9300EX switches are the industry's first native 25 Gbps-capable switches that deliver 25/50/100 Gbps speeds at the cost of 10/40 Gbps, according to Scheibe. The Nexus 9500 now offers an upgrade to high-density 100 Gbps infrastructure with the existing chassis and 36 ports of 100 Gbps in a single rack unit.
Cisco is also enhancing its NX-OS for the 9200, 9300 and 9500 series switches with innovations such as segment routing, DevOps automation, in-service software upgrade and microburst detection -- which gives customers traffic control, operational flexibility, visibility and security for the data center.
"It can support both ACI and NX-OS at the same time, and that was what our customers were asking for for a long time," said Scheibe.
In Cisco's most recent quarterly earnings report, the San Jose, Calif.-based network leader saw dips in both its switching business and data center sales. Partners say the new switches will help Cisco get back on a positive trajectory in the data center.