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Classic CCNA/CCNP Network Labbing: NX-OS 7K - and The 7700F-Series Hardware 003

Updated on December 27, 2014

The 6500-series was practice for the 7K

The SDDC, or Software Defined Data Center, now features Cisco equipment running NX-OS. (see previous article - Hardware 002) it is more than just IOS. It is IOS-plus. The new Equipment, Nexus: 5K, 2K, and 1K is mentioned in the previous article. Now, I have to mention the 7K in this one. And no, the 7k would NOT be considered "Classic CCNP Labbing"- NOT by a long-shot. But the 6500-series might. Maybe.


With the Cisco-6500 there was in existence a "Supervisory Engine" and an "Ethernet Module". The 6500 could not function without a supervisor, the Ether-modules could do nothing, alone. In other words, there was a well-defined "management network" and a well defined "data-traffic network". These conditions of management and control are amplified within Nexus. Now, both of those items (Supervisor and Ethernet modules) can exist as stand-alone hardware in the Nexus-class racks, but it can also be virtualized, and it is, in NX-OS. The hardware has been made faster, even more scalable, both the software and hardware has been bred and raised for the PURPOSE of yet-higher speed data-packet herding.

The Supervisor Engine and Ethernet Modules are replicated (virtually) in NX-OS, and is used in their "little" virtualized switch, the N1000v. (The N1000v role is NOT "little") But the name of the game is to get good at building the infrastructure used to corral, or herd your wild packets of data.

And now, imagine the "Big... old", Cisco 6500 standing with an arm reaching outward and emulating James-Earl Jones... " I ... am your Father...".

" Nexus N7700 - I ... am Your Father... "

A fully racked 6500-Series Catalyst switch
A fully racked 6500-Series Catalyst switch

"No... That's not TRUE... that's IMPOSSIBLE ! "

"Besides, you -look- and SMELL funny..."
"Besides, you -look- and SMELL funny..."

" NOOooooooooooooo ! "

WS-6513-E Series Catalyst Chasis
WS-6513-E Series Catalyst Chasis

From the "Cisco-Live" video in Orlando Florida

Berna Devrim and Jeff Raymond of Cisco - showing the 7700 off in 2013
Berna Devrim and Jeff Raymond of Cisco - showing the 7700 off in 2013

Jeff explains what the 7700 (and 7K) have

It is True C6500 utilized Supervisory and Ethernet modules

And the Cat-6500 series began ameliorating amalgamation and aggregation of high speed gigabit and multi-gigabit lines, in a world gone giga-gaga.

And, just as with the descendant N7K, there are "supervisors and modules". In 7K, there are even virtual appliances called "supervisors and modules"...

But, If you look at the top-most photo in this article, the top two slots of the 6509? You could fill the entire rack with Ethernet ports, and it could do NOTHING... without those top two slots filled. It needed those "things" called "supervisory engines", to operate the rack.

And it was the harbinger of things to come. Then the bouncing new baby boy who was EVEN STRONGER IN THE FORCE showed up.

The Nexus 7K.

But now, even the 7K actually has a little brother, that's even bigger and stronger than HE is! And that would be the 7700. It's all just a matter of scale. They both are very very powerful in "The Force", they BOTH can work at approximately the same "magnitude" of input and output... but the newest member of the family is fractionally better.

In the case of C6500 it began to aggregate multi-gigabit lines. The 7K can now (with the new F-series "cards") will have "cards" installed with 12 ports at 40gigs per-port. Or cards with 6 ports at 100gigs per-port.

On the 7700 that is scaled up a tad. N7700 can have cards of 24 ports at 40gigs per-port, or 12 ports at 100gigs per-port. The total throughput of the 7700-Rack is somewhere around 83TB of switching, with 400 ports at 40-gigs, while concurrently managing 200 ports at 100-gigs...

Does kinda blow-away the C6500. Yet, they ARE "family". Ultimately it is all "Cisco", so definitely all part of the family. C6500 is the "Same Class", it's just "old school" now...

Like I said, they BOTH, the 7K and N7700, are powers to contend with, BOTH are about the same magnitudes of performance. One is just fractionally bigger stronger overall. They STILL out-class every other player that want to stand in the field though.

And, the C6500 is still there too. A stalwart player in this game, also of the "same class", just not of the same magnitude. And therefore, not sought as "newest and greatest"... but still "great" hardware.

It's just the natural order of things. Evolution will happen. And there will (soon) be new generations. Cisco calls the "F-class" of card their "next generation" of hardware. It's all custom ... Cisco-custom hardware for this purpose. And we are the people who learn enough to obtain a driving permit to sit behind the drivers-wheel of these machines controlling the information highways.

And these pieces of hardware are the Formula-Racers.

A 6500 Supervisor-Engine

The "Kid" has my eyes...
The "Kid" has my eyes...

An F-card for the N7700

The only thing we HAVE in common "POP"... are the pull-handles to yank us out of the RACK!!!!
The only thing we HAVE in common "POP"... are the pull-handles to yank us out of the RACK!!!!


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