By: Bobby Grewal
The scene: Your data center
The situation: Your Cisco 6500/4500 chassis is end of life
Your budget: Not a lot
The solution: Cisco Nexus 5000
It is generally a given, small to mid-size companies are on a tight budget. Your network has been running on an end of life Cisco 6500 chassis for a year now. The Supervisor Module has been upgraded, line cards have been added, and your accounting department winces at the power bill your data center generates every month. You stare at all those flashing green lights and ask yourself, “What can I do?” Technically, you’ve got some options.
First, you can upgrade to a new 650X-E/450X-E chassis.
This option offers a good solution similar to what you currently have, with some added functionality. For instance, you can now add a gigabit line card. Or if you’re running 10GbE to your closets, you can install the 10GbE module. And, of course, you’re no longer working with an end of life chassis. But these upgrades come at a price. You’ll have to purchase a new chassis and new line cards to support the new E-chassis. Not to mention the Smartnet on those individual line cards and chassis itself.
Second, you can upgrade to a new Cisco Nexus 7000.
Consider the Nexus 7000, that shiny Rolls Royce that gets every Network Engineer’s blood pumping as they sit behind the wheel of this state-of-the-art platform. With the significant enhancements in design, power, airflow, cooling, and cabling, the Nexus 7000 is a venerable “data center in a box.” Combine your LAN and your SAN in a single chassis! Extend your layer 2 network to some top-of-the-rack Nexus 2000’s. 10GbE? 40GbE? 100GbE? Child’s play to the 7000. However, the Rolls Royce motorcar passes through 60 pairs of highly skilled, highly expensive hands, before it reaches the owner. The Nexus 7000 commands a heavy price tag. While it does everything, consider this; the list price for a Cisco Nexus 7009 bundle containing two supervisor-1 engines, five Fabric-2 modules, and two 6KW power supplies, the enterprise L3 feature license, and a single Fabric-2 48-port 10GbE line card, totals up to a staggering $157,500. That total doesn’t even include the 10GbE optics that must be purchased. If you add a year of 24x7x4 SNTP SmartNet coverage, that’s another $13,600. Nevertheless, it is nice to dream.
The final option is the NEXUS 5000.
It is the boombox versus the iPod. Tom versus Jerry. David versus Goliath. While the Nexus 5000 may be the “Napoleon Dynamite” of core devices, don’t underestimate its “Star Wars” power. The Nexus 5596UP is the ideal core device for your network and wallet. Rip that chassis out and replace it with a device that will take up a whole 2U of rack space. If we didn’t have you at rack space, consider this: 1GbE or 10GbE on every port. SFP and SFP+ support on all ports. Every port on a 5596UP is capable of forwarding at line-rate, full duplex without dropping a frame. And all these ports are non-blocking, meaning you send it – it will be delivered. Ninety-six ports too many? Get the same functionality in a 48-port model. The “UP” in 5596UP stands for Unified Ports, meaning each port supports traditional Ethernet, Fibre Channel (FC), and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FcoE). We know what you’re thinking, price? The box, Layer 3 routing engine and the enterprise L3 license, list at a total of $51,800, not including Smartnet. At that price tag, you could afford to put a pair of 5596UP’s in a VPCconfiguration and have Layer 3 HSRP redundancy. With the money you saved, you just bought yourself a redundant solution.