Cisco Nexus Review

The rack-based design enabled us to eliminate the more complicated to manage chassis-based designs

What is our primary use case?

The pros of the Cisco Nexus are the simplified integration with the data center and the end platform before building a data center.

Our primary use case of this solution is for the data centers. 

How has it helped my organization?

This product has improved the way our organization functions in the way that the rack-based design allowed us to eliminate chassis-based designs. The chassis design is more complicated to manage and maintain in field operations.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the ease of management.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see network function virtualization with no hardware.

I would like to see the integration of the products into something where it's seamless where an engineer never touches the switch again, never does CLI and you move to an application based network organization.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution needs to get a better handle on the vulnerability in recent code releases that aligns better with the DCN product. We'd like to avoid the need for continual upgrades and potential outages in our data centers and having to reboot the switches for each OS upgrade.

Cisco Nexus is stable, but then, in February of 2017, a cyberwar started. Cisco is getting hammered and we're seeing that evidence in very frequent updates to the OS system. If you have six data centers or you've got multiple locations around the world, these efforts take many months to update successfully to every device. 

When it takes us multiple months and two or three releases in the middle, we invest a lot of money in maintaining the device. The hacker community is the issue. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is fine. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution's technical support is used by my architects. I don't use it personally. 

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

The way that our airline works, because we've recently been in a merger, is that we're putting two big airlines together. Our primary driver has been the end-of-service lifecycle and the ability to remain PCI compliant. We must also remain compliant with cybersecurity.

We typically wait until the end of service life. As we practice this, we end up doing these refreshes and adding new architecture. We're making decisions now based on features, functionalities, and outcomes for passengers getting on planes to improve their experience.

How was the initial setup?

We initially started a couple of years ago with Cisco Nexus. We started the design with 9Ks and 5Ks, we ended up reevaluating the situation features and going with more 2Ks to lower the costs for what we need. 

What about the implementation team?

For the deployment, we used our staff engineers and Cisco people. We worked together with Cisco on finding the right solutions for implementing the product.

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

I am intimately aware of what the licensing costs are with Cisco Nexus. It depends on what we decide, how much margin, and what our strategy is when we have an intersection point to where we think won't be spending money on equipment we aren't going to use. 

I have already had conversations, here and at the five portals required to manage the licensing, with the new OS releases and the requirement to use the smart license portal. There are too many portals. We need a manager. 

Cisco Nexus is similar to other licensing costs but it's painful right now. I've sent everything to our account executive to work with for our systems integration and logistical partners. They need to solve this and help train the team. There's a big gap in there.

Cisco Nexus is very costly for the service. It's insurance in case something happens. We have a very good strategy that we're happy with, it's just the renewal process that is problematic on the license. 

When I walked through the customer experience center and explained the situation, they got a good feel for how much pain and suffering it's been. Cisco needs to understand how hard the renewals are each year for us. 

Even having the SmartNet Total Care portal, having a person dedicated to the distributors, etc. it's still a mess. If the incentives get better, which I know Cisco is working on, it would be great, right now, we're buying the license year-to-year.

We have three hundred to four hundred data centers of Nexus. So the coverage associated with Smart Net, 27 by 4, is basically what we spend each year. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at another vendor. Cisco is found around the world with good support and credibility in the industry. It was an easy choice even though the functionality from the competitor was more.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate this product an eight for the way I work with my team. They select the product, I serve them. I rate it from a perspective of what the quality of life my team has from using this product. How simple, risk-free, and smooth can we do this without putting the data centers in jeopardy.

Make sure you do your comparisons and make the right decision with the right product before you decide. I would recommend taking a good hard look at Cisco and the Nexus product line and what it could do for you.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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Learn what your peers think about Cisco Nexus. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2021.
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