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What You Need to Know About Cisco Nexus 7700 Switch

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Cisco Nexus 7700

Cisco has recently released a new datacenter switch product family: Nexus 7700. For those of you who are already familiar with Nexus 7000 and wondering about their similarities and differences, here are the quick rundowns on Nexus 7700.

General

  • Completely new product line with its own components
  • Not compatible or interchangeable with any existing Nexus 7000 products, although their part numbers are almost identical (ie. FAB2, F2e, F3 etc.)
  • Required NXOS 6.2 or later

Chassis & Supervisor
Cisco Nexus 7700 SUP2E

  • 7710 (2 SUP, 8 Module Slots) w/ Front-to-Back Airflow
    •  Height = 14RU. Smaller than 7010 (21RU) and roughly the same size as 7009 but deeper
    •  Up to 8 x 3kW Power Supplies (Compared to 3 x 6kW/7.5kW on 7010)
  • 7718 (2 SUP, 16 Module Slots) w/ Front-to-Back Airflow (Compared to Side-to-Side on 7018)
    • Height = 14RU. 1RU taller than 7018 (25RU) and around 2" deeper
    • Up to 16 x 3kW Power Supplies (Compared to 4 x 6kW/7.5kW on 7018)
  • Six Fabric slots. With FAB2, each slot provides 220Gbps. Total throughput = 6 x 220Gbps = 1.32Tbps/slot (Compared to 110 Gbps/slot on N7K FAB2)
  • Supervisor 2E is half-slot. Support up to 8 VDCs + 1 Admin VDC

I/O Modules

Cisco Nexus 7700 F3 Module

  • F2e 48-Port 1G/10G (N77-F248XP-23E) (23E = Gen2, requires minimum 3 x FAB2)
    • 48 x 10Gbps = 480Gbps < 1.32Tbps = Line Rate
    • Support L2/L3, N2K FEX , FCoE
    • DO NOT support OTV, LISP, MPLS
  • F3 24-Port 40G (N77-F324FQ-25) (25 = Gen2, requires minimum 5 x FAB2)
    • 24 x 24Gbps = 96Gbps < 1.32Tbps = Line rate
    • Support L2/L3, N2K FEX , FCoE, wired rate VXLAN, OTV, LISP, MPLS/VPLS
    • Support 40G-10G Twinax breakout cable
  • F3 12-Port 100G (N77-F312CK-26) (26 = Gen2, requires minimum 6 x FAB2)
    • 12 x 100Gbps = 1.2Tbps < 1.32Tbps = Line Rate (become oversubscribe if lose one FAB2)
    • Support L2/L3, N2K FEX , FCoE, wired rate VXLAN, OTV, LISP, MPLS/VPLS

Price

  • N77-C7710-B26S2E-R = US$170K List
    • Nexus 7710 Bundle (Chassis,2xSUP2E,6xFAB2),No Power Supplies
  • N7K-C7010-B2S2E-R = US$130K List
    • Nexus 7010 Bundle (Chassis,2xSUP2E,5xFAB2),No Power Supplies
  • F2e module price ($44K List) is the same for both N77K and N7K

If you review the information above and combine with this Cisco comparison table, you will quickly realize that the Nexus 7700 are geared towards high density 40G and 100G due to its doubled Fabric throughput. From the 10G perspective, you do not really gain anything, but instead you have to pay more for the chassis and FAB. Both Nexus 7700 and 7000 support F2e and F3 line cards with identical features, so nothing really rules in favor of Nexus 7700 other than the doubled port capacity of the F3 40G/100G line card. If your environment will be primarily 10G, you would still have wider selection of 10G line cards (eg. 1G Copper/SFP, 10G Copper etc.) with Nexus 7000 (as of today). Although Cisco has recently announced EoS/EoL on 7010/7018 chassis and Supervisor 1, you best bet is probably to go with 7009 and Supervisor 2, but you might have to put up with side-to-side airflow.  Nevertheless, Nexus 7700 certainly makes it possible for those who are in needs of high capacity 40G/100G environment.

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About Author

Metha Cheiwanichakorn, CCIE#23585 (RS, Sec, SP), is a Cisco networking enthusiast with years of experience in the industry. He is currently working as a consulting engineer for a Cisco partner. As a founder of and an instructor at labminutes.com, Metha enjoys learning and challenges himself with new Cisco technologies.

2 comments

Hi, Thanks for nice write-up. Is high density of 40G & 100G only differentiators of 7700 over 7000? I see from Cisco.com that 7010 & 7018 chassis aren't EOL/EOS, but only the chassis that are using 46Gbps Fabric modules. We can continue to buy 7010 & 7018 but with 110Gbps Fabric modules. Kindly clarify. V.

That's is correct. The main difference on 7700 is 220Gbps/FAB2 to support 40G/100G linecard. FAB1 and SUP1 will be EOS soon.