NEXUS 7K switches vs NEXUS 9K switches

Rashmi Bhardwaj | Blog,BUZZ,Hardware, Infrastructure & Design,Routing & Switching

Nexus 7K switches and Nexus 9K switches  are the 2 Cisco families apposite for Data Center environment with Nexus 9K being the new entrant of the 2 flavors and having an array of top-of-rack and chassis based switches.

The Nexus 9000 switches run NX-OS same as Nexus 7000 and banking on key features like ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) for allowing the switches to participate in the SDN framework. Though Nexus 7000 series doesn’t participate in ACI, however will function as interconnect devices, linking together multiple ACI setups.

N7K being a little high on cost, provides feature set like OTV, LISP, VDC and FCOE which latter doesn’t venture into presently, still N9K has some features and roadmap which can’t be undermined. Another benefit of Nexus 9k being that it can be deployed in a standalone mode with existing Nexus switches (If customer is still exploring) and may plan to introduce Application Centric Infrastructure in near future , then Nexus 9000 would be the recommended platform.


Comparison Table : Nexus 9K vs Nexus 7k switches

Below are some of differences between cisco Nexus 7k and Nexus 9K which help gives more insight into platforms –




Placement in RackEnd of row (EoR), middle of row (MoR), aggregation layer, and coreTop of rack (ToR), EoR, MoR, aggregation layer, and core
Chip SetOwn custom built chipsMerchant silicon
CostHighLower than N7K
FlexibilityPartially supports “pay as you grow” approachAdvocates “pay as you grow” approach where initially N9K models may be procured as simple switching platform and later ACI modules procured as part of customer roadmap
ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) SupportNot supported .can be used as interconnect that don’t participate in ACI.Supported
OTV and LISPSupportedNot Supported

(Virtual Device Context)

SupportedNot Supported. All switch resources are managed in the default VDC.
FC and FCoE  for SANSupportedNot supported
ModelsNexus 7700





Nexus 7000






Nexus 9500




Nexus 9300












Nexus 9200






Download the comparison table here.





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