Cover by Gary A. Donahue

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Nexus Design Features

The Nexus switches are designed from the ground up to be highly resilient and scalable. The Nexus architecture is built with the following features:

Management and control plane is separate from data plane

In a nutshell, this means the act of forwarding packets is kept separate from the management and maintenance of the system. While you’re SSHed into the switch, issuing commands, hardware is forwarding packets without any need to use the CPU. This allows you to do things like upgrade the switch’s OS without interrupting packet flow.

Out-of-band management supported

On the 5000s, there is a dedicated management interface that, on nonL3 models, is the only port that can be assigned an IP address. The management port is in its own VRF (see the section Virtual Routing and Forwarding for more detail).

Lights-out management on 7000 series

Similar to what servers have been doing for years, the Nexus 7000 series has a special port with its own processor that remains on even when the switch is powered off. This Connectivity Management Port (CMP) allows you to control the switch with lights-out capability that is completely independent of NX-OS.

High-speed backplane on 7000 series

The original fabric modules released for the Nexus 7000-series switches provide up to 230 Gbps per slot with N+1 redundancy.

N+1 redundancy on 7000 series

N+1 redundancy means that there is an additional module available in case of failure of the primary module. Thus if you require two fabric blades, ...

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