Cisco moves Nexus 1000V outside vSphere (sort of)

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When Cisco announced the first 3rd party virtual switch for VMware ESX, it raised a lot of interest. Not just because the product was (and still is) an interesting attempt to address the limitations of native dvSwitch shipped with vSphere, but also because it was the first time that Cisco didn’t sell a physical box. 

Almost one year after the general availability of Nexus 1000V, the company seems to have slightly changed its mind about being all virtual.

At the beginning of this week in fact Cisco introduced a new 1U physical appliance dubbed Nexus 1010V Virtual Services Appliance. Its purpose is to host up to four Nexus 1000V Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM) outside the VMware vSphere environment, which means that a single device can handle up to 256 ESX hosts.


Administrators can access and manage it just like a traditional networking switch, without any interaction with the virtual infrastructure.

The platform can be extended with additional services like NAM (available today) or firewall, which will be available as separate purchases.

The appliance features 2 exacore CPUs Intel Xeon 5650 @ 2.66GHz with 8GB RAM, 1GB HD and 1 GbE quadport NIC.
It costs almost $30K but includes (only till the end of this year) 32 Nexus 1000V licenses.

Very likely this new appliance will also become a part of the Unified Computing System (UCS) configuration for high-end Vblocks.