At the center of the Cisco Nexus 4001I is the unified switch application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), a new, purpose-built, high-performance, line-rate switch ASIC that delivers extremely low and consistent latency across all packet sizes independent of the configured networking features. The unified switch ASIC supports standard Ethernet as well as Priority Flow Control (PFC) and Enhanced Transmission Selection, required for lossless Ethernet transmission. LAN and SAN networking protocols are delivered through Cisco NX-OS Software, the industry's first modular, fault-tolerant, highly available operating system designed specifically to support unified fabric data center networks. Using the combination of the unified switch ASIC and Cisco NX-OS, the Cisco Nexus 4001I extends the benefits of the Cisco Nexus Family of data center switches to blade servers: the fastest growing segment of the server market.
The Cisco Nexus 4001I provides four major benefits:
• Lower total cost of operation (TCO): Deployment of unified fabric with the Cisco Nexus 4001I at the blade server access enables a significant reduction in the number of switches, LAN and SAN network interface cards (NICs), ports, optic modules, and cables. This consolidation of server access network elements significantly reduces the overall capital and operation costs of the data center network through reduction in the number of network elements that need to be purchased, managed, powered, and cooled.
• High performance: The Cisco Nexus 4001I is a line-rate, feature-rich, extremely low-latency switch capable of enabling server access migration from Gigabit Ethernet to 10 Gigabit Ethernet to lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet, as well as supporting the demanding latency requirements of high-performance computing (HPC) clusters and high-frequency trading applications.
• Enhanced server virtualization: Using unified fabric at the server access with Cisco Nexus 4001I provides the uniform interfaces, simplified cabling, and consistent server access design required to gain the advantages of automated virtual machine mobility. The Cisco Nexus 4001I used in conjunction with the Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch delivers an operationally consistent and transparent server access design for virtual machine deployments, substantially reducing the overhead needed to configure, troubleshoot, and repair the server access link between the virtual NIC (vNIC), virtual switch, and the blade switch.
• Increased resilience: The Cisco Nexus 4001I extends Cisco NX-OS to the blade server access, providing a fault-tolerant network with single modular operating system across the data center.
• Fourteen fixed 10 Gigabit Ethernet server-facing downlinks (autosensing ports; can also operate in Gigabit Ethernet mode)
• Six fixed 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks (autosensing ports; can also operate in Gigabit Ethernet mode)
• Two management ports: one external 10/100/1000BASE-T port and one internal port for advanced management module (AMM) connectivity
• One RS-232 serial console port
The Cisco Nexus 4001I inserts into the high-speed slot (HSS) of the IBM BladeCenter H or HT chassis. The Cisco BladeCenter H and HT chassis are designed to support up to four Cisco Nexus 4001I switches per chassis.
Transceiver and Cabling Options
The Cisco Nexus 4001I supports a wide variety of 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity options using Cisco 10GBASE Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+) modules. For in-rack or adjacent-rack cabling, the Cisco Nexus 4001I supports SFP+ direct-attach 10 Gigabit Ethernet copper, an innovative solution that integrates transceivers with Twinax cables into an energy-efficient and low-cost solution. For longer cable runs, multimode and single-mode optical SFP+ transceivers are supported. Table 1 lists the supported 10 Gigabit Ethernet transceiver options.
Features and Benefits
The rich feature set of the Cisco Nexus 4000 Series Blade Switches makes these the ideal blade switches for access-layer applications. The series protects investments in data center IBM BladeCenter environments with standards-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE features that allow IT departments to consolidate networks based on their own requirements and timing. The combination of high port density, lossless Ethernet, wire-speed performance, and extremely low latency makes the Cisco Nexus 4000 Series switches ideal for meeting the growing demand for 10 Gigabit Ethernet that can support unified fabric in enterprise and service provider data centers, protecting enterprises' investments.
IEEE 802.1 DCB enables Ethernet fabrics to support lossless transmission to increase network scalability, support I/O consolidation, ease management of multiple traffic flows, and optimize performance. Cisco's unified fabric consolidates all data center I/O onto Layer 2 Ethernet. Unified fabric reduces capital and operating costs by reducing the number of server adapters, cables, and upstream switches needed. All I/O (LAN, SAN, and cluster) typically is consolidated onto two Ethernet links. IEEE 802.1 DCB and FCoE enable the incorporation of Fibre Channel frames within a unified fabric, facilitating wire-once strategies in which all servers become capable of SAN connection.