Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) has put to good use the talent and technology it has acquired from its $863 million purchase last year of Insieme Networks.
Among the first products to come out of that venture is the Nexus 9508 modular switch which delivers 40Gbps of line speed on each of its 288 ports.
Product tests observed by a team from online technology publication Computerworld.com, confirmed that that speed was achieved with zero packet loss and an average latency of 624 nanoseconds port to port on the same card or 2050 nanoseconds when crossing from one line card to another.
Even with ports configured to send traffic to every other port, per port average speed was almost the same. This time though, latency rate spiked by about 50 per cent although researchers still observed no packet loss.
The fully-loaded Nexus 9508 chassis with 288 active 40Gb fibre ports consumed about 11 watts per port with no traffic. With ports connected to fibre and powered on, power load went up to 16 watts per port when running typical Internet traffic load.
The Insieme team that designed the Nexus 9500 line introduced some routing and switching innovations to the suite.
- They used commodity switch components where possible and minimized component count
- There are no backplane or midplane to constrain the device
- Line cards are inserted horizontally in front of the chassis and link directly to connectors on fabric modules inserted vertically in the back
This design provides scalability. For example the Nexus 9508 can take up to six fabric modules if more performance is needed or organizations can start with just two modules if the need for throughput is not that much.
The product is also designed for easy maintenance. Redundant supervisor modules for routing operations and management are in a dedicated slot in the front. Redundant switch controller modules are in a slot in the rear.
Fans, power supplies, line cards, fabric modules and other components can be replaced on-the-fly in just a few minutes.