As the Product Line Director for servers, storage and networking at Curvature, I keep a close eye on what hardware is selling, what’s not, and why. With over 15,000 active product sku’s and 10,000 customers worldwide, it’s important that we maintain an accurate inventory count at every operating unit globally. To do this, I review products with our global supply chain department to determine what manufacturers interest our customers, then we dive into the specific product-line and product-model level so we can plan and forecast appropriately.
So, what’s selling in 2014? I’ve just finished my analysis and I’ll give you a sneak peak at our year-over-year comparison. In short, we are seeing significant growth patterns to the Nexus and Catalyst 4500+E platforms as our customers migrate to Nexus series, as well as Catalyst 4507R+E ,and the related PoE and PoE+ line cards (WS-X4748-RJ45V+E, WS-X4648-RJ45V+E and WS-X4748-UPOE+E) from the Catalyst 6500.
It’s no surprise as the Catalyst 4500+E and Nexus platforms have more features, are more cost and space efficient as well as flexible in comparison to the 6500 series. First, the Catalyst 4500+E supports current PoE/PoE+ line cards at the access layer. Cisco end-of-life’d all of their 6500 PoE cards and has stopped supporting the 6500 (non –E) chassis. Further, Nexus supports line-rate 10Gbp Ethernet, FCoE, and native fibre channel at the core. It also is a scalable platform because you can add up to 12 fabric extenders. In comparison, in the Catalyst 6500, the line cards are installed in the chassis, whereas the Nexus platform has the flexibility of offering fabric extenders in remote locations while being managed by the parent switch. The price on the Nexus 5000 is $800 per port standing at 1RU, whereas the 6506 chassis is $5000 at 12RU. Lastly, the Catalyst 4500+E chassis supports true line-rate gigabit Ethernet with a robust 48Gbps per slot, while the 6500 only gets 40Gbps with any Sup720.
Features, performance, space, flexibility, and cost are the driving factors for what networking hardware is being purchased in 2014. Whether it’s at the core or access layers, IT managers clearly have a lot to consider when maximizing the performance of their network. So what’s important to you when purchasing a switch?
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