Cisco Nexus 3000 Series

Cisco Nexus switches are a comprehensive family of data center switches designed to meet the demands of modern data center networks. These switches offer advanced features and technologies that enable organizations to build scalable, reliable, and high-performance data center networks. By choosing the right Cisco Nexus switch for your specific data center requirements, you can significantly enhance your network’s performance, manageability, and resilience.


Cisco Nexus is a family of switches designed by Cisco Systems, primarily for data center environments. These switches are highly scalable, reliable, and provide high-performance capabilities to meet the demands of modern data centers. Cisco Nexus switches are built with a focus on enabling advanced networking features, such as virtualization, automation, and software-defined networking (SDN).

This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of the Cisco Nexus product family, their key features and technologies, the operating systems that power these switches, and various deployment scenarios.

Nexus 3000 Series

The Nexus 3000 Series is a family of cost-effective, high-performance, and low-latency switches designed for small to medium-sized data centers. These switches are ideal for deployments requiring high-density 1, 10, 25, 40, and 100 Gbps Ethernet connectivity options. The 3000 Series also supports advanced features like vPC, VXLAN, and NVGRE.

Key Features and Technologies

Cisco Nexus switches offer various advanced features and technologies that help improve data center network performance, scalability, and manageability. Some of these key features and technologies include:

Virtual Device Contexts (VDCs)

VDCs allow a single physical Nexus switch to be partitioned into multiple logical switches, each with its own set of interfaces, configurations, and network resources. This feature enables network virtualization and provides better resource utilization, fault isolation, and security.

Virtual Port Channels (vPCs)

vPCs enable the bundling of multiple physical Ethernet links between two Nexus switches and a downstream device, creating a single logical link. This technology provides improved redundancy, load balancing, and increased bandwidth by allowing traffic to flow over multiple links simultaneously.


FabricPath is a Cisco proprietary Layer 2 routing technology that simplifies network design and improves scalability by combining the benefits of traditional Ethernet and Layer 3 routing. FabricPath enables fast convergence, loop-free topologies, and equal-cost multipathing (ECMP) for efficient utilization of all available paths in the network.

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

ACI is Cisco’s SDN solution that provides centralized policy-based automation, programmability, and visibility for data center networks. ACI is built on the Nexus 9000 Series switches and enables organizations to deploy applications faster, reduce operational costs, and improve network security.

Nexus Operating Systems

Cisco Nexus switches run on one of the following operating systems:

Cisco NX-OS

Cisco NX-OS is a data center-class operating system designed for Cisco Nexus switches. It is based on the industry-proven Cisco IOS software and provides a modular, resilient, and feature-rich platform for modern data center networks. Some of the key features of NX-OS include VDCs, vPCs, FabricPath, and support for various Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing protocols.

Cisco ACI

Cisco ACI is an operating system designed specifically for Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) solution. It runs on Nexus 9000 Series switches in ACI mode and provides centralized policy-based automation, programmability, and visibility for data center networks.

Deployment Scenarios

Cisco Nexus switches can be deployed in various data center scenarios, including:

Top-of-Rack (ToR) Switching: Nexus 5000, 3000, and 2000 Series switches can be deployed in ToR configurations to provide high-performance and low-latency connectivity to servers and storage devices.

End-of-Row (EoR) and Middle-of-Row (MoR) Switching: Nexus 7000 and 9000 Series switches can be deployed in EoR and MoR configurations to provide high-density, high-performance, and scalable connectivity between racks and the data center core.

Data Center Core: Nexus 7000 and 9000 Series switches can be deployed as core switches in large data center networks, providing high-performance and scalable connectivity between different data center layers.

Data Center Interconnect (DCI): Nexus switches can be deployed to interconnect multiple data centers, enabling seamless workload mobility, disaster recovery, and business continuity.


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