The Journey of a Network Engineer

May 14 2012   12:26PM GMT

The difference between Cisco Nexus 7000 M1, F1, and F2 line cards.

Sulaiman Syed Profile: Sulaiman Syed

I have written an article few months ago touching the main differences between the F1 and M1 cards in the Cisco Nexus 7k platform. The main difference between those two that the M1 cards will do major and all Layer 3 related features and operations, while the F1 card will do the Layer 2 operations.

Recently, Cisco has introduced the F2 and M2 cards. The M2 cards will give the data center the expansion to run 40G and 100G infrastructure. In this article, i would look into the main differences between the F2 and F1 card.

The F2 still provide all the built-in features of F1 line card. It actually take the operation further to provide better bandwidth. Currently, the F2 card will give wire-rate speed. This means that 48 port populated with 10G links will run in non-blocking architecture. Something new that was not possible in the older line cards, of course this all became possibility with the FAB-2 (fabric module 2)

One of the main advantages and upgrades it the ability to run in Layer 3. The Cisco Nexus 7000 48-Port 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet F2-Series Module will be able to delivers 720 million packets per second (mpps) of distributed Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding and up to 480 Gbps of data throughput.But the F2 cards lack the ability to run OTV or MPLS.

All in one, if doing a new purchase of Nexus 7k. Just buy the F2 cards. IF there is a need for OTV and MPLS then you would need to get the M1 card. Otherwise, F2 will suffice for all the data center networking needs.

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