Rock Solid Core Data Center Switches
May 31, 2022
Rock Solid Core Data Center Switches
Score 9 out of 10
Nexus 9500 Series
Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Nexus Series Switches
We use dual Cisco Nexus 9500 Series Switches at the core of data centers for all east-west traffic as well as north-south. One switch is an A side device and one is a redundant B side device. These switches are responsible for all layer two switching out to the compute and storage cabinets as well as all the layer three routing inside the data center. I have virtual servers running in the compute and storage cabinets that are directly connect to the Cisco Nexus 9500 Series Switches.
- Layer two switching with wire speed: With this product, all switching is done at wire speeds, so if your source/destination can pump enough data to these switches, it can handle it.
- High capacity layer three routings: Depending on your needs, there is a very good possibility that from a layer three perspective, these switches can handle your workloads. For example, we run redundant switches, which require a virtual gateway that is shared between the two physical switches and we've never had a problem with layer three routing on these switches.
- Dependable, with serious uptime: Years ago, when we first installed them was the only time they have been powered off or on. Add that the only time these switches have ever been restarted was in maintenance windows as part of a software upgrade - they just flat out work.
- The levers used to remove line cards could be in a better physical location.
- I would have preferred the power cables to attach to the rear of the switch.
- Leaving room for cable management would have been nice.
- It has to work, and work consistently and reliably.
- It has to have the features we need to operate and it does.
- It provides vendor software support in the form of updates.
- Since moving to these for our core data center switches, we don't have to worry about problems that they may have. They just get the job done, day in and out. You don't have to worry about whether the switch is functional tomorrow, they just simply work. For me, that's big on the ROI scale.
- Expandability is excellent, as we've grown, these switches have grown with us. No need to do a forklift upgrade to get new compute and storage cabinets up and running. When we've needed to add a new compute and storage cabinet, we buy the parts and connect them to these existing cores, add a little code, and we are in business. Another soft dollar amount when it comes to thinking about ROI, you can buy cheaper switches, but you would be hard-pressed to find better.
- As we've needed to add more features to the core network, these have allowed us to add those features and keep the business moving. For example, we needed to put some VACLs in place to control east-west traffic, so we quickly wrote some code, applied it to the switches, and it was that easy - we were done.
We looked at a number of different product lines that Cisco offers. Some were clearly not powerful enough or lacked the expandability that we were looking for. One of the key things we were looking for was to have a one-and-done moment. Simply to say, we wanted a switch platform that would carry us forward and not need to be replaced for the next six to eight years. It takes a lot of effort to replace core data center switches and you just don't want to do that every few years.
Do you think Cisco Nexus Series Switches delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with Cisco Nexus Series Switches's feature set?
Did Cisco Nexus Series Switches live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of Cisco Nexus Series Switches go as expected?
Would you buy Cisco Nexus Series Switches again?
If you need a switch that simply works and is available 365/7/24, then this is certainly one that should be at the top of your list. In all the years we've been running these Cisco Nexus 9500 Series Switches, the only time we restart them is when we are doing software upgrades. They are rock solid.