1) vPC – Virtual Port Channels
A Port Channel based connectivity option that allows downstream switches and hosts to connect to a pair of Nexus 5000 vPC peer switches as if they were one switch. This allows the host or switch to use two or more links at full capacity.
2) Copper SFP+ Twinax cable
A low power and cost effective option to connect servers and FEX modules to the Nexus 5000. Twinax cables are available in 1,3,5 and now 7 and 10-meter lengths.
3) Nexus 2000 fabric extenders – FEX
These are like “remote line cards” that attach and are managed by the Nexus 5000. 24 and 48 port 1 Gbps FEX’s are available, and so are 32 port 1/10 Gbps FEX’s. These can be connected to the Nexus 5000 with SFP+ Copper Twinax cable, and for longer runs, SFP+ optics.
4) Expansion Modules
Each Nexus switch has one or two open expansion modules. These can accommodate a variety of modules, including additional 10 gig ports, 4 and 8 Gbps native fiber channel ports, and even a mix of both.
5) The new Nexus 5548
Up to 48 10 Gig ports & 960 Gbps throughput in a 1U chassis!
6) Unified Fabric
LAN and SAN on the same layer 2 Ethernet. This allows full SAN/LAN redundancy with just two cables per server. Great for ESX servers, which can use many network, and fiber channel cables.
Cisco’s highly resilient & modular operating system, which is based on Cisco’s rock-solid MDS 9000 SAN-OS.
And for the that extra .5 reason why I like the 5000 series switch, drumroll please…