Cisco Announces Nexus 4000 Switch for Blade Chassis

Cisco is announcing today the release of the Nexus 4000 switch.  It will be designed to work in “other” blade vendors’ chassis, although they aren’t announcing which blade vendors.  My gut is that Dell and IBM will OEM it, but HP will stick with their ProCurve line announced a few weeks ago.  Here’s what I know about the Nexus 4000 switch:

1) It will aggregate 1GB links to 10Gb uplink.  To me, this means that it will not be compatible with Converged Network Adapters (CNAs).  From this description, it seems to be just the Cisco Nexus 2000 in a blade form factor.  It’s simply a “fabric extender” allowing all of the traffic to flow into the Nexus 5000 Switch.

2) It will run on the Nexus O/S (NX-OS)  This is key because it allows users to have a seamless environment for their server and their Nexus switch infrastructure.

3) Cisco Nexus 4000 will provide “cost effective transition from multiple 1GbE links to a lossless 10GbE for virtualized environments”  This statement confuses me.  Does it mean that the Cisco Nexus 4000 switch will be capable of working with 1Gb NICs as well as 10Gb CNAs, or is it just stating that the traditional 1Gb NICs will be able to connect into a lossless unified fabric??

Cisco is having a live broadcast at 10 am PST today, but I just reviewed the slide deck and they talk at a VERY high level on this new announcement.  I suppose maybe they are going to let each vendor (Dell and IBM) provide details once they officially announce their switches.  When they do, I’ll post details here.