Monday, January 28, 2008

Cisco Systems: "It's the switch, stupid!"

Today, Cisco Systems (San Jose, California) announced its mother of all switching platforms, the Nexus 7000 Series, aimed at what it calls Data Center 3.0 (analogous to Web 2.0, I presume. I missed Data Center 2.0). Cisco is essentially trying to eliminate the need for separate storage networks, server networks, routing, switching and virtualization, by combining them all into a single unified fabric and managing it through Cisco's new proprietary NX-OS ("nex-os", get it?) operating system.

The Nexus 7000 will deliver up to 15 Tbps of switching capacity in a single chassis, with 512 ports for 10 Gbps ethernet, and eventually it is slated to be delivered with 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps ports. Some of the claimed performance speeds-and-feeds appear rather breathtaking:

  • Copy the entire Wikipedia database in 10 milliseconds.
  • Copy the entire searchable Internet in 7.5 Minutes.
  • Download all 90,000 Netflix movies in 38.4 seconds.
  • Send a high-resolution 2 megapixel photo to everyone on earth in 28 minutes.
  • Add a Web server in 9 seconds rather than 90–180 Days.
  • Transmit the data in all U.S. academic research libraries (estimated at more than 2,000 TB) in 1.07 seconds.

If nothing else does it, the 3 significant digits in the last claim tells you this is marketing-speak (read: calculated using max bandwidth assumptions), so a liberal dusting of sodium chloride is recommended.

The concept of a "data center" is currently undergoing a serious transformation and it will be interesting to see how this kind of mega-switch stacks up against alternative approaches, such Google's Data Center in a Box.

1 comment:

Tenz said...

thats insane... you could run a medium sized country with it. [the telecommunications infrastructure, i mean]