Do You Need The Cisco Nexus Yet?

This post is going to attempt to address one question.

Do You Need the Cisco Nexus Yet?

The Cisco Nexus line of switches get a lot of press. There’s a lot of talk about them. They are touted as the next big thing in switching. That may all be well deserved, however, does your organization need Cisco Nexus switches yet?

To answer that question, let’s take a look at some important factors.

Remembering the Role of Information Technology in Business

IT pros are IT pros for a reason. IT professionals love technology. There is nothing wrong with that. You like hearing about the latest technology and how it might be applied to make business, services, and lives better. 

IT pros read articles or watch videos detailing the latest hardware and get excited thinking about possibilities. Let’s face it. You want the latest cool “toys” for your network. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to remember one thing.

Information technology is designed to serve the specific business needs of each organization. IT answers to business. IT is meant to help business. IT is meant to enable, empower, and drive business.

IT is not about technology for technology’s sake.

This is probably something every IT pro knows. Yet, sometimes people fall victim to it. It’s perfectly normal to really like the latest and greatest technology and imagine it in your network. But this is where a little discretion and business discipline is sometimes needed for the financial interests of the organization.

Implementing Technology at Your Pace

Implementing technology at the appropriate pace for your organization is vital to information systems, business process, and the bottom line. Understanding what your real needs are as you look to the future is key. If you spend dollars on technology you don’t need it’s not only wasteful, but it makes one ask about what else the money could have been used for?

The Financial Realities

IT departments are being asked to do more with less. It’s that simple. There is only so much money. As your parents might have told you, it doesn’t grow on trees. You have to consider all your options to get more done for less money.

So, with all of this in mind, do you absolutely need the Cisco Nexus solution? It may not be all that you hear about in the magazines (which make their money covering the latest technology). A lot less people need Cisco Nexus switches than we’re led to believe.

What’s the Alternative?

If not the Cisco Nexus, then what? Well, there is an alternative that has been around for a while. You may have heard of it. It’s the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series.

Just take a look at this video comparing and contrasting the 6500 series and the Nexus to see which might be right for you.

The Catalyst 6500 is a high-performance, highly reliable solution that will cover the switching needs of most, for much less. Sure, the manufacturer would like people to move into the Nexus line. After all, it’s a great solution. But many are not ready - they just don’t need it yet.  

This leads to a concern that many people have. What about end of service/end of life dates (EOS/EOL)?  Well, the manufacturer certainly doesn’t want to service every product forever. They need to keep moving forward, growing and developing new products to meet anticipated demands. Fair enough, but…

The “secret” is that you can still get support for your older switches. There are hardware providers that offer hardware replacement/maintenance programs at great prices. And, you can always get some low-cost spares.

For more information check out these blog posts:

Cisco Nexus Switches Review

5 Key Benefits of Using a Cisco 6500 Series Switching Solution

Cisco 6500 Series: Retired Veteran or Rediscovered Super Soldier?


There are several factors to weigh when making an investment in your network’s hardware and infrastructure. Is it worth paying top dollar for the latest and greatest, such as the Cisco Nexus line? Do you really need it? Only you can answer that question accurately and honestly. If you do, then that is the way to go.

On the other hand, you could opt for a robust switching solution like the Cisco Catalyst 6500 series, save a bunch of money… then apply the savings toward more mission-critical applications.

These are two approaches. You have to think about what is right for you and decide for yourself.