Cisco Nexus Review

Stability is a major win for this solution, with zero data center outages in the past year

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for our data center layer two, layer three, infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

Our main data center has been using this solution for the past twelve months and we have had zero outages. Before that, when we were using the Catalyst 6500 series, that was not the case. The stability of this solution is a major win. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is stability because in a data center you really need that.

The consolidation of all of the layer two ports into one rack is very valuable.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more on-device programmability, as it seems to be lacking in this platform.

The EEM has limited capabilities compared to the Catalyst 9300 series, so this can be improved.

I would like to see better support for the newer front end tools, such as the DNS center.

For how long have I used the solution?

One year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability and availability is a definite plus on the Nexus platform. It seems to have better HA capabilities compared to the older platforms.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of this solution is better than that of the traditional models. You can always add more 2k switches to a 5k underlying chassis and increase the number of ports without any other configuration. There is no additional configuration required for FEX ports.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution has always been the same.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

The old solution was at end-of-life.

We were using the traditional Catalyst 6500 switches with the traditional iOS. It didn't provide us with 10-gigabit ports in the data center, which is why we switched to Nexus.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was a little bit more complex because it was a new technology that we were adopting. The learning curve was a little steeper. However, the actual deployment was pretty straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used a reseller, World Wide Technology, to help with our deployment. Our experience with them was very good.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI in terms of support and business continuity.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are a Cisco shop, so we didn't look for an alternative platform. We knew that we were going to use Cisco.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody implementing this solution is to train their support staff on the Nexus product before deployment, and not after the fact. Once you deploy, if the support staff has to learn while on the job then it may cause issues. It is good to invest in training prior to the implementation, especially on this platform because it is very different than the traditional iOS.

The software upgrades are also different from that of the traditional Catalyst switches, so if you are not used to doing them on this platform then you have to be careful.

The other thing that I can say is that the scalability and stability of this solution have improved when compared to previous products.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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