Some people say that I should stay away from the N9K if I'm not planning to use ACI. Cisco stats that it has 50% less code. Do you guys have any practical experience with deploying N9K switches? I'm eyeing the 9396PX as this has been recommended by our Cisco technical contact.

Originally I've been eyeing the 5672UP, and I'm wondering what I'm missing out on if I go with the N5K instead of the N9K?

The features I need are:

  • 48x10GbE ports
  • >= 4x40GbE ports
  • vPC
  • VRRP/HSRP support so I can do the default gateways on these devices

FEX support is on the "would be nice to have" list.

The idea is that each server will use LACP and use one physical link per switch.


  • I have the same decision and doing the same choice. Look at the CiscoLive presentations on 9Ks I am going with the 9396PXs due to pricing and performance. 2 Fexes, and 10 hosts ... 5Ks. 10 Fexes and 2 UCS chassis and 400 hosts ... 9Ks
    – user7649
    Jul 23, 2014 at 21:04

1 Answer 1


For your requirement


Preferably if your DC is expanding i would suggest to go with N9k if you are not looking specific to any FC port; Regarding the technology with ACI, CISCO's APIC controller is still in its initial stage and would have many bugs initially.

For the technical answer for minimal configuration, N5k support Openflow, onePk and python; as long as you are not implementing APIC controller forget about minimal configuration in N9k; both N5k and N9k provide same functionality (keeping aside APIC controller).

Look into the hardware and choose the best, configuration minimality is always achievable by software.

btw N9k has more throughput than N5k [1.92/1.44Tbps]

HTH Buck!!

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