NX-OS Features

Quickly describing features seen on NX-OS, Cisco’s next generation data center network operating system:

NX-OS uses a feature-based license model.  With this change, you are only buying the feature packages your device needs.

120 grace period for testing features – you can try it all for 4 months or so.  This is as problematic as you are probably imagining ; -)

Modular features (you can enable disable protocols like OSPF, BGP, LACP, CDC) allow you to only run portions of code/processes as needed.

Interfaces are all Ethernet, there are no longer speed designations associated with the interfaces in NX OS.

SSHv2 is enabled by default

NX-OS uses a kickstart and a system image.

Rapid PVST+ is default.

Configuration rollback allows you to take a snapshot or “checkpoint” of the config before applying new configuration.

Cut-through switching is standard except where transmission speeds vary.

NX-OS supports Fabric Extension.  Fabric extension allows the collapsing of the switching layers and for less management points.

NX-OS supports vPCs – Virtual Portchannels / multichassis link aggregation, with allows active active forwarding (no spanning tree blocked ports).

Native FCoE

Cisco NX-OS Innovations featured on Cisco.com:

Cisco FabricPath

Get a highly scalable, high-bandwidth and resilient Layer 2 multipath network without a spanning tree

Cisco Overlay Transport Virtualization

Extend Layer 2 networks across geographically distributed data centers for transparent workload mobility.

Locator/ID Separator Protocol (LISP)

Enable a new routing architecture with global IP address portability.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and multi-hop FCoE

Converge LAN and SAN traffic over a single Ethernet unified fabric.

Virtual Device Context (VDC)

Virtualize a physical switch into multiple logical switches for infrastructure consolidation and segmentation (PCI certified).

Cisco Fabric Extender Link

Manage your network from a single point.

Unified Ports

Configure a single port for various data center connectivity requirements.

Cisco In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU)

Deploy new features and services without any network outage or service disruption.

Cisco VN-Link

Extend network security policies and quality of service to the virtual machine level, based on 802.1Q standards.

I/O Accelerator

Accelerate replication and backup applications over extended distances.

Cisco Storage Media Encryption (SME)

Encrypt storage media (tape or disk) to meet compliance and regulatory requirements.

Cisco Data Mobility Manager (DMM)

Deploy online migration of data across heterogeneous storage methods to get workload mobility in a cloud.

Virtual Storage Area Networks (SANs)

Isolate traffic and management to consolidate and segment SANs.


These are only some of the many features that immediately come to mind.  Most of these I will eventually cover in greater detail.