What Is the Latest Feature On the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch?

The Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch is a powerful, high-performance switch designed for use in data center environments. The switch offers 48 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, with each port capable of supporting up to 40 Gbps of bandwidth. The switch also supports 32 ports of Fibre Channel, with each port capable of supporting up to 8 Gbps of bandwidth. In addition, the switch offers a variety of features that make it well-suited for use in data center environments, such as support for virtualization and network security.

The switch is designed for high-density 10GE deployments, providing up to 10 times the bandwidth of traditional 1GE switches. The switch also supports advanced features such as hardware-based Quality of Service (QoS), virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN), and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS).

Benefits of the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch

The Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch is designed to provide a high-density, low-power consumption solution for data center environments. The switch offers 48 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 6 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports in a 1U form factor. The latest features of the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch include:

High density and high availability

The Cisco Nexus 5548P provides 48 1/10-Gbps ports in 1RU, and the upcoming Cisco Nexus 5596 Switch provides a density of 96 1/10-Gbps ports in 2RUs. The Cisco Nexus 5500 Series is designed with redundant and hot-swappable power and fan modules that can be accessed from the front panel, where status lights offer an at-a-glance view of switch operation. To support efficient data center hot- and cold-aisle designs, front-to-back cooling is used for consistency with server designs.

Nonblocking line-rate performance 

All the 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the Cisco Nexus 5500 platform can handle packet flows at wire speed. The absence of resource sharing helps ensure the best performance of each port regardless of the traffic patterns on other ports. The Cisco Nexus 5548P can have 48 Ethernet ports at 10 Gbps sending packets simultaneously without any effect on performance, offering true 960-Gbps bidirectional bandwidth. The upcoming Cisco Nexus 5596 can have 96 Ethernet ports at 10 Gbps, offering true 1.92-terabits per second (Tbps) bidirectional bandwidth.

Low latency

The cut-through switching technology used in the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) of the Cisco Nexus 5500 Series enables the product to offer a low latency of 2 microseconds, which remains constant regardless of the size of the packet being switched. This latency was measured on fully configured interfaces, with access control lists (ACLs), quality of service (QoS), and all other data path features turned on. The low latency on the Cisco Nexus 5500 Series together with a dedicated buffer per port and the congestion management features described next make the Cisco Nexus 5500 platform an excellent choice for latency-sensitive environments.

Single-stage fabric

 The crossbar fabric on the Cisco Nexus 5500 Series is implemented as a single-stage fabric, thus eliminating any bottleneck within the switches. Single-stage fabric means that a single crossbar fabric scheduler has full visibility into the entire system and can therefore make optimal scheduling decisions without building congestion within the switch. With a single-stage fabric, the congestion becomes exclusively a function of your network design; the switch does not contribute to it.

Congestion management

Keeping latency low is not the only critical element for a high-performance network solution. Servers tend to generate traffic in bursts, and when too many bursts occur at the same time, a short period of congestion occurs. Depending on how the burst of congestion is smoothed out, the overall network performance can be affected. The Cisco Nexus 5500 platform offers a full portfolio of congestion management features to reduce congestion. These features, described next, address congestion at different stages and offer granular control over the performance of the network.

Virtual output queues

The Cisco Nexus 5500 platform implements virtual output queues (VOQs) on all ingress interfaces so that a congested egress port does not affect traffic directed to other egress ports. Every IEEE 802.1p class of service (CoS) uses a separate VOQ in the Cisco Nexus 5500 platform architecture, resulting in a total of 8 VOQs per egress on each ingress interface, or a total of 384 VOQs per ingress interface on the Cisco Nexus 5548P, and a total of 768 VOQs per ingress interface on the Cisco Nexus 5596. The extensive use of VOQs in the system helps ensure high throughput on a per-egress, per-CoS basis. Congestion on one egress port in one CoS does not affect traffic destined for other CoSs or other egress interfaces, thus avoiding head-of-line (HOL) blocking, which would otherwise cause congestion to spread.

Separate egress queues for unicast and multicast

Traditionally, switches support 8 egress queues per output port, each servicing one IEEE 802.1p CoS. The Cisco Nexus 5500 platform increases the number of egress queues by supporting 8 egress queues for unicast and 8 egress queues for multicast. This support allows the separation of unicast and multicast that are contending for system resources within the same CoS and provides more fairness between unicast and multicast. Through configuration, the user can control the amount of egress port bandwidth for each of the 16 egress queues.

Lossless Ethernet with priority flow control (PFC)

By default, Ethernet is designed to drop packets when a switching node cannot sustain the pace of the incoming traffic. Packet drops make Ethernet very flexible in managing random traffic patterns injected into the network, but they effectively make Ethernet unreliable and push the burden of flow control and congestion management up to a higher level in the network stack.

PFC offers point-to-point flow control of Ethernet traffic based on IEEE 802.1p CoS. With a flow-control mechanism in place, congestion does not result in drops, transforming Ethernet into a reliable medium. The CoS granularity then allows some CoSs to gain a no-drop, reliable, behavior while allowing other classes to retain traditional best-effort Ethernet behavior. The no-drop benefits are significant for any protocol that assumes reliability at the media level, such as FCoE.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to using this particular switch. One issue that has been raised is that the switch does not support Layer 3 switching, which can limit its usefulness in certain environments. Additionally, some users have reported issues with the web interface on the switch, although these appear to be relatively minor. Overall, the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch is a powerful and versatile option for data center networks but should be evaluated carefully before being deployed.

How the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch Compares to Other Switches

The Cisco Nexus 5548UP switch is a powerful and versatile addition to any network. It offers a variety of features that make it an ideal choice for both small and large networks. Here’s a look at how the Cisco Nexus 5548UP switch compares to other switches on the market:

– The Cisco Nexus 5548UP switch offers 48 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, making it one of the most scalable switches on the market.

– The switch includes eight 10GE SFP+ ports and two 40GE QSFP+ ports, providing flexibility and high-speed connectivity.

– The switch supports a virtual Port Channel (vPC), allowing for increased redundancy and resiliency.

– The switch is compliant with the IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet standard, making it easy to deploy in PoE environments.

– The switch is backed by a comprehensive warranty and support package, ensuring peace of mind for years to come.


The latest feature of the Cisco Nexus 5548UP Switch is its support for the Unified Port Controller (UPC). This new feature allows the switch to provide greater flexibility and scalability for unified data center deployments. The UPC makes it possible to connect multiple 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand ports in a single device, which simplifies administration and reduces costs. In addition, the UPC provides enhanced security features, including support for Access Control Lists (ACLs) and role-based access control (RBAC).

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