Cisco Nexus Review

Provides us with more business continuity and high availability

What is our primary use case?

We are using this solution in the redesign of our data center network. Specifically, to provide an aggregation point for our data center services.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution provides our organization with more business continuity and high availability. This is because we can build them in ways with technology, like VPC, to make sure that our network is constantly up and available to our end users.

What is most valuable?

The biggest benefit to this solution is a high port density with high bandwidth. A big strength is the high bandwidth backplane, line rate speeds, and switching and routing packets.

What needs improvement?

We have uncovered things about some of the features where there is room for improvement.  

  • There are limitations on some of the lower level 9K solutions where you can't do the same things that you would normally be able to do, like for instance the number of static maps that you can configure on it.
  • There are limitations between different product IDs that I do not really understand, and I don't think that there is a really good reason for.

For how long have I used the solution?

One month.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is an extremely stable solution. I would say that heeding or taking note of the software versions that Cisco recommends is probably a good idea because that's where you find the most stable features. When you do that, or you follow the low level, baseline requirements, it is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The 9K series is very scalable because you have multiple different PIDs that allow you to put them where you want them. They can be on the core, your access, or your aggregational layer. You can do a lot of different things with them. They're a very scalable switching solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Cisco technical support is much like any other. The first level is often a little bit laboring to get through that process, but once you get to their second or third level of support, they are very knowledgable about the solution.

If you're dealing with a bug or a feature that you're not really understanding, it often takes a day to get through that process. If on the other hand, it is a situation where you have a priority one network down then you can generally jump through the ranks pretty quickly.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Our existing network had been neglected for a long time before I joined the company. We wanted to become more relevant with the times, knowing that we're pushing a lot of stuff to the edge, trying to get higher bandwidth to our core.

We were comfortable with Cisco's technology and Cisco's footprint, so we started by getting some information from them. After this, we began to have regular meetings with them to discuss our design and how it would be implemented.

How was the initial setup?

I think that the initial setup would be complex for someone that does not know the technology. You do have to know some of the underlying technologies in order to use this solution because it's not something that you can just unbox and start using. There is a learning curve.

What about the implementation team?

We purchased the product through a reseller, MTM Technology, and they are very good. We have a long relationship with them.

We are deploying the solution with our in-house team.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

All of our costs including subscription, licensing, and support services are bundled together, and the cost is approximately $100,000 USD per year.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were pretty focused on Cisco. That is where we wanted to go.

What other advice do I have?

We are using this solution in a very specific use case right now. I do see more flexibility and availability, but for us, a pretty small network, I haven't really unlocked a lot of the features.

My advice to anybody looking to implement this solution is to take your time in finding the right design. I have worked with Cisco for a long time, and I've worked with other manufacturers like HP, Dell, and Arista. I think that Cisco is definitely the leader in the market, but I do think that if you rush through the design process then you might find yourself making decisions prematurely. 

This is a good solution, but there is some room for improvement on some of the things that we have discovered.

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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