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Baby Honey Badger

A few months ago I did a quick post on the Nexus 7009 when it was pseudo announced (here ).  When I was attending Cisco Live 2011 last week in Las Vegas I found out that they had a Nexus 7009 in their Data Center booth in World of Solutions for all to see.  So, I figured I would post some updated information that I was able to gather or figure out. All this information was being openly spoken in the booth, nothing here was gathered from any other resource then what I was able to hear.
To recap, below is a picture of the new family member, the 7009 along side its big brothers the 7010 and the 7018.  As you can see there are some nice size differences.  The Nexus 7009 us 14RU, the 7010 21RU, and the 7018 25RU.

So, what does this new Nexus 7009 look like?  Well, it just looks like any other Nexus 7000 does – same line cards, same supervisors, etc.  – so no difference there compared to its big brothers.  Features like this are really nice, if you start with the 7009 at a location and need to expand, most of the components are swappable to the larger chassis.  The I/O modules are compatible as well as the supervisors are the same.  What this chassis does work out to be is a 2 Supervisor slots and 7 I/O module slots for a total of 9 – just like the 7010 is 2 and 8 and the 18 is 2 and 16.

Photo courteous of Cisco

So what are some of the differences?  Here is a matrix that shows the port density and the features as they compare (this is based on what I can find).  Mostly it just comes down to port-density in the chassis as well as RU height.  Basically it is a smaller version of the others.

Now, lets look at the front of this switch without the doors.  Something here does look different compared to the others, yup the middle does. What are those cards in the middle of the chassis?  Well, in order to save space in the design, those are the Fabric cards, Fabric 2 to be exact, and they are rated at 110Gbps/Slot (Fab-1 is only 46Gbps/Slot).  By the looks of it, they will only fit the 7009 chassis and not the others – but that is a small price to pay for the footprint savings! I am sure that the Fab-2 cards will be available for the 7010 and 7018 in the near future since those can definitely benefit from the increased bandwidth.   In this picture you can also see the wire-management on the sides on the switch.  These are nice, but nowhere near as nice as the 7010 fins – I can foresee some cabling fun in out future!

Photo courteous of Gideon Tam

Below is a detailed picture of the front of the chassis.  The supervisors are on top, all the blades are horizontal like the 7018, and the airflow here is also side-to-side.  This is the only downside I see to this chassis, just like the 6509 – it does not support hot aisle/cold aisle design without air-ducting.  But to be honest, if you replacing a Cisco 6509 with one of these, you already have that air-flow problem. The Rack that the switch was installed in at Cisco Live had some special ducting installed, so Panduit may have a rack that helps to maintain the hot/cold aisle design – much like they do for the Nexus 7018.

Here is a picture of the rear.  Again, you can see that this one only has two power supplies – but luckily they are the same as the other chassis are.  The fan tray does look different as the 7009 has a 3×3 design versus 4×3 in the 7010.  But that does make some sense as this is a smaller form-factor chassis.

One last neat feature, the door.  You can open the door from Either side from my understanding!  Pretty cool!

Photo courteous of Cisco

Here is a stand-alone picture of the rear of the Nexus 7009 – I know a few have been asking about the depth of this chassis – by the look of it, full rack depth is what I can see.  Quick clarification on this – the switch is 24″ deep, so it should fit in a 2-post rack.

One last piece of information, in this chassis they also had a 6 x 40G and a 2 x 100G line card as you can see in this picture.  100G line card on top and 40G line card below

So in recap, these look to be a great replacement if you have an aging 6509 that you want to replace but do not have the space for a 7010 or larger.
One more closing thought – if you have a data center and want to deploy Nexus with FEX, a 7009 with 10G line cards is not a bad option in the scheme of things.  You can run all the FEX switches off this Nexus instead of home-running things to the core.  With the Fab-2 cards, you will have 550Gbps of backplane speed, more then sufficient for today’s applications.