The Nexus 9000 and ACI is all the buzz at the moment and as an architect I need to look at what is out there, gain a sound understanding of it to realize business benefits. The unique part about the Nexus range is ability to leverage new optics – Cisco’s QFSP Bi Di.
Whilst nothing new, QSFP Bi Di optics allow migration to 40GbE in a non obtrusive way. By not having to replace your DC’s cable plant it is possible to achieve fast interaction between Spine and Leaf switching fabrics. This new speed and easy migration path is essential in Clos styled architectures. Currently 10GbE cabling uses 2 x MMF fiber strands and this delivers a single connection. 8 strands are required for 40GbE duplex connection. Quickly consider your existing cable plants and there immediately reduces your ability to deliver dense 40GbE.
Cisco’s QSFP Bi Di removes the limitation of an 8 strand requirement for 40GbE and leverages the ability of two strand like older 10GbE connections. As a result there is substantial reduction in CapEx and complexity when transitioning to 40GbE. I know the reallocation of CapEx for me is extremely useful as it makes investment elsewhere viable.