The B440 M1 and C460 M1 will be available this summer. Cisco claims to have at least 400 customers to date for the platform, and expects $1 billion in revenue this year. But analysts note that demand seems to be lukewarm and that deployments are still mostly trial, not production.
"I think it's still in the kicking-the-tires phase," Eunice says. "Cisco is not a traditional vendor in the server space. This is really not even through the first full year of shipment. They have not disclosed a long list of massive sale, whereas you go to HP or IBM, they have tons of references for any size sale."
To extend the market appeal of FEXlink, meanwhile, Cisco introduced two new Nexus 2000 fabric extenders scaling above and below the 2148T Gigabit Ethernet version unveiled in January 2009. The Nexus 2232 supports 32 10Gbps Ethernet ports and can extend the Fibre Channel over Ethernet capabilities of the Nexus 5000 switch down to the server rack; the 2248 is a 48-port 10/100Mbps Ethernet configuration of the line. Cisco also unveiled a fabric extender transceiver module intended to lower the per-port price points of the fabric extenders -- down to about $300 per 10Gbps port, Cisco says.
"It lets you take the Nexus fabric and scale it to as much as you want," says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at The Yankee Group. "It's a good way to get people started (with Nexus switching) at relatively low price/points and extend it without waiting for the (higher-end Nexus) 7000."
Cisco says it has 2,000 customers and 1 million ports shipped of the Nexus 2000 line. The 2232 and 2248 are both available this quarter at an entry price of $9,000.
For pure Fibre Channel deployments, Cisco unveiled the MDS 9148 SAN switch. It supports 48 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports in a 1 RU footprint and is intended as a complement to the existing 8Gbps Fibre Channel modules for the chassis-based MDS 9500 SAN switch.
Analysts say the density of the 9148 in that configuration is impressive, but that Cisco is late to the 8Gbps Fibre Channel party, which Cisco previously acknowledged.
"Eight gig Fibre Channel's been out there for a while, so it's hard to get too excited about it," Kerravala says. Users began migrating to 8Gbps Fibre Channel in the second half of 2008.
The MDS 9148 will be available from Cisco partners this quarter.
Cisco also rolled a dedicated appliance for provisioning virtual switching service to virtual machines. The Nexus 1010 hosts virtual services, such as the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, to ease installation and bestow "ownership" of virtual services to the network administrator instead of the server administrator. The Nexus 1010 also supports network analysis down to the virtual machine layer.
The Nexus 1010 costs $25,000 and will be available this quarter.
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