Cisco advanced its case for converging the management of the data center operations around its servers and switches with the announcement this week of a new high-end series of switches that support 10/40G Ethernet aggregation today and 40/100G aggregations tomorrow.
Announced at the Cisco Partner 2014 Summit, Todd Brannon, director of product marketing for unified computing at Cisco, says the Cisco Nexus 9500 series switches are the latest instances of switches that support the recently announced Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture, through which Cisco is turning IT infrastructure into a programmable resource.
Based on a combination of proprietary ASICs and commercial silicon processors, the Cisco 9500 series is designed to make it easier to scale IT operations across a unified Cisco server and switch architecture at speeds of up to 60Tbps.
Cisco is also announcing today the Cisco Nexus 3164Q, which is based on the previous generation of Cisco Nexus 3000 series switches. This offering has been optimized for massively scalable data centers running Big Data applications that need access to as much as 40G of Ethernet in a way that can be easily isolated from other types of application traffic.
Five years after launching the Unified Computing System (UCS) platform, Cisco has made a concerted effort to tie its switches to its integrated servers, which Brannon says are now more integrated than ever, thanks to APIs that essentially turn servers and switches into a highly programmable environment. How that level of integration manifests itself is likely to vary across different organizations. But it’s clear at this point that with the rise of ACI and much faster IT infrastructure, Cisco is trying to draw a line between legacy systems managed via command-line interfaces and programmable systems that will be at the heart of next-generation data centers defined and managed by software.