100G Ethernet

Catalyst Gets Older

2:15 PM -- So, Cisco is saying the catalyst follow-up -- called Nexus, as we learned today -- isn't a Catalyst replacement. (See Cisco's Nexus Targets Data Center's Future.)

Because it handles so many jobs -- Ethernet! Firewalls! Load balancing! Checkbook balancing! -- Catalyst gets likened to a Swiss army knife. It keeps that job under the Nexus regime, but Catalyst is coming up on some limitations, not surprising given its age.

Specifically, it's unclear whether a card with 100-Gbit/s interfaces is in Catalyst's future.

"We think we can build it, but we don't think it would be a high-performance module because of the limitations of the Catalyst backplane," says Deepak Munjal, marketing manager for Cisco's data center team. "It's something we're thinking about."

– Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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