Today's data centers are increasingly filled with dense rack-mount and blade servers that host powerful multicore processors. The rapid increase in in-rack computing density and the increasing use of virtualization software combine to accelerate the demand for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and consolidated I/O: applications for which the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches are an excellent match. With low latency, front-to-back cooling, and rear-facing data ports, the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series is designed for a broad range of physical, virtual, storage access, and high-performance computing environments, thus giving customers the flexibility to meet and scale their data center requirements in a gradual manner and at a pace that aligns with their business objectives.
The switch series, using cut-through architecture, supports line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet on all ports while maintaining consistently low latency independent of packet size and services enabled. It supports a set of network technologies known collectively as Data Center Bridging (DCB) that increases the reliability, efficiency, and scalability of Ethernet networks. These features allow the switches to support multiple traffic classes over a lossless Ethernet fabric, thus enabling consolidation of LAN, SAN, and cluster environments. Its ability to connect Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to native Fiber Channel protects existing storage system investments while dramatically simplifying in-rack cabling.
In addition to supporting standard 10 Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) on servers, the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series integrates with multifunction adapters called converged network adapters (CNAs) that combine the functions of Ethernet NICs and Fiber Channel host bus adapters (HBAs), making the transition to a single, unified network fabric transparent and consistent with existing practices, management software, and OS drivers. The switch series is compatible with integrated transceivers and Twinax cabling solutions that deliver cost-effective connectivity for 10 Gigabit Ethernet to servers at the rack level, eliminating the need for expensive optical transceivers.
The Cisco Nexus 5000 series is designed for data center environments with cut-through technology that enables consistent low-latency Ethernet solutions, with front-to-back cooling, and with data ports in the rear, bringing switching into close proximity with servers and making cable runs short and simple. The switch series is highly serviceable, with redundant, hot-pluggable power supplies and fan modules. It uses data center-class Cisco NX-OS Software for high reliability and ease of management.
Investment protection and operation best practices
With Cisco Nexus 5000 series switches, customers can take advantage of the cost and functional benefits of a unified converged fabric while protecting their investments in existing network, storage, and server assets. Cisco Nexus 5000 series switches can easily be inserted into an existing data center network to provide immediate benefits without causing disruption or revision of existing design and operation best practices.
FCoE is an open standards - based protocol that encapsulates Fiber Channel over Ethernet, eliminating the need for separate switches, cabling, adapters, and transceivers for each class of traffic. This feature dramatically decreases power consumption and reduces both capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) for businesses.
Cisco Unified Fabric unites data center and storage networks to deliver a single high-performance, highly available and scalable network. Cisco now delivers end-to-end data center convergence from server to storage by delivering director-class, multi-hop Fiber channel over Ethernet (FCoE) capability for the Nexus 7000 and MDS 9500 platforms, adding to existing FCoE functionality on the Nexus 5000 switches.