Cisco Expands Top-of-Rack Switch Portfolio with Nexus 3100

by Sean Michael Kerner

New switches provide both 10 and 40 gigabit capability and can scale up to 2.5 terabits of capacity

Cisco is growing its switching portfolio today with the new Nexus 3100 series top-of-rack switches.

The Nexus 3100 series builds on the Nexus 3000 switching platform, which Cisco nexus-3100first announced in March of 2011. Gabriel Dixon, marketing manager for Data Center and Virtualization at Cisco, told Enterprise Networking Planet that the new Nexus 3100 series does not replace any top-of-rack switches already in the Cisco portfolio.

"It's an additional member, thereby giving the customer even more choices," Dixon said.

Those choices currently include two Cisco Nexus 3100 switch models. The Cisco Nexus 3172PQ scales up to to 1.4 terabits per second of Layer 2 and 3 switching capacity. The Nexus 3172PQ is a top-of-rack switch including 48 SFP+ ports and 6 Quad SFP+ (QSFP+) ports. The SFP+ ports can deliver 10 Gbps/1 Gbps/100 Mbps speeds. The QSFP+ ports can provide 40 Gigabits per second or can be split up in a 4 x 10-Gbps mode.

Going a step up is the new Cisco Nexus 3132Q Switch, which can scale up to 2.5 terabits per second. The Nexus 3132Q provides 32 Enhanced QSFP ports and 4 SFP+ ports.

According to Cisco, each QSFP+ port can operate in native 40-Gbps or 4 x 10-Gbps mode, up to a maximum of 104 10G ports.


Cisco is targeting the new Nexus 3100 series switches for low-latency use-cases such as high-frequency trading environments. What's not yet specifically clear is what the precise latency figures will be for the new switches.

"As the next generation to the Nexus3000 line of switches, high-frequency trading is an expected use case given the compact 1RU design and feature richness of NX-OS," Dixon said. "Latency numbers are still being qualified and will be available in mid-November."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

This article was originally published on Monday Sep 30th 2013