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Cisco goes 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet

Last week Cisco announced new 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet modules for the Catalyst 6500 and Nexus 7000. I’m guessing that next up will be Nexus 5000s with 40GE uplink ports[1].

Nexus 7000

The Nexus 7000 now has a 6 port 40G M2 module (datasheet) and a 2 port 100G M2 module (datasheet) - both non-blocking, and both capable of layer 3 in addition to layer 2. Both modules are supported in all Cisco Nexus 7000 Series chassis and compatible with Fabric–1 or Fabric–2 fabric modules.

The only available optics for the 100G module are LR4 modules that run 10km over G.652 single-mode-fiber.

The 40G module can reach up to 150m (30m or 100m seem more likely unless the fiber runs are carefully engineered) over 50 micron multi-mode-fiber with available SR4 optics.

There are some interesting “Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus” (QSFP+) modules available for 40G, including 1, 3, and 5 meter copper cables (similar to the 10GE twinax cables), and a 40G QSFP+ to Four 10G SFP+ breakout cable. Other than the SR4 optics these other QSFP+ modules currently only seem to be compatible with the Nexus 3064 switch that has four fixed QSFP+ uplink ports.

Catalyst 6500

The 6500 is getting a 4 port (2:1 oversubscribed[2]) 40GE module (datasheet). Supported 40GE optics are an SR4 that works at 100m over OM3 multi-mode fiber, and an LR4 that will reach 10km over single-mode fiber. A 40GE port slot can also accept a FourX adapter that will then provide four 10GE SFP+ ports in a slot. A single module can have a mixture of 40GE and 10GE ports.

The 6500 40GE module (unsurprisingly) is only compatible with the new Supervisor 2Ts.

  1. I haven’t heard anything yet though.  ↩

  2. Two ports can be set into “performance” mode, disabling the other two ports, for a non-blocking configuration.  ↩