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Cisco Nexus 9k Fabric Module and Cisco Nexus 9500 Platform Architecture

The Cisco Nexus 9500 switching platform provide three modular chassis:

  • Cisco Nexus 9500 4-slot switch
  • Cisco Nexus 9500 8-slot switch
  • Cisco Nexus 9500 16-slot switch

The Cisco Nexus 9500 Series modular switches are capable of supporting up to 172.8 Terabits per second (Tbps) bandwidth with a comprehensive selection of fabric modules and line cards that gives you 1-, 10-, 25-, 40-, 50-, and 100-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

Cisco Nexus 9500 Platform Features

The Cisco Nexus 9500 Platform is a modular chassis which consist of various features which are given below:

  1. Predictable high performance
  2. High density 1, 10, 25, 40 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet access Configuration
  3. High density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet aggregation and spine configuration
  4. Highly available, scalable, and robust solution
  5. Chassis designed for 2 to 3 future generations of line cards
  6. Power efficiency

 Fabric Modules

  • Interconnect I/O module slots
  • These are installed at the rear of the chassis
  • These fabric modules uses Broadcom T2 as the(NFE) network forwarding engine
  • Upto 3.84 Tbps duplex per line card slot
  • All fabrics cards are active and carry traffic

This video will help you to know about Cisco Nexus 9K Fabric Modules


Chassis Type Nexus 9504 Nexus 9508 Nexus 9516
NFEs per fabric Module 1 2 4

These NFE T2Chipsets connects with Line cards, If lines cards are Merchant then T2 connect with T2 NFE but if line cards are ACI ready then T2 NEF will connect to ALE.

Cisco Nexus 9500 switches

The Cisco Nexus 9500 Series switches have a modular architecture that include the following components:

  • Switch chassis
  • Supervisor engine
  • System controllers
  • Fabric modules
  • Line cards
  • Power supplies
  • Fan trays
  • Optics

Among these parts, line cards, power supplies, supervisors and system controllers are common elements that can be shared among the entire Nexus 9500 product family.

 Nexus 9500 Platform Architecture


Fabric module NFE

ASIC chipset there are two kinds of flow. High Gig flow and Low Gig flow. For fabric Module only High Gig flow is used.

Ex 9504: 8Higig line per slot, so for 4 slot (4*8=32) Hi Gig

Ex 9508: *Hi gig Line per Slot so for 8 Slot Chassis (8 line card *8 Hi gig line per line card = 64 hi gig.

Data Plane Scaling with Fabric Modules (For Example Nexus 9500)

  • Moving on to data plane of Nexus 9508 Fabric Module can offer up to 320 GBps to every I/O module slot
  • With 6 fabrics modules, each I/O module slot can have to 1.92 Tbps forwarding bandwidth in each direction

For 9508 Nexus minimum fabric Module is 3 but recommended is even numbers and if we use all 6 of them it can give up to 1.92 Tbps per line card.

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