So I currently have two racks where I need a bunch of 10GbE ports (currently using SFP+ TwinAx cables), and I want to replace my current switch.

Basically there are three options I could do:

  1. 1x9504 with the 2x 48x10GbE linecard + 2xFEX for 1GbE copper
  2. same as before just 2x9504 for redundancy
  3. 2x9396PX

While I understand that the 9396PX is designed to be actually a top of the rack switch and the 9504 is the core one, on base price there doesn't seem to be a huge difference even if I add in the FEXes.

Also I understand that the 9504 can have redundant supervisors and fabric modules, so with 2 linecards and running vPC to all servers I should be able to survive a linecard failure.

Which one would you go for?

Nexus 7k would be an option for the core (with the FEX), but I'm a bit afraid Cisco won't push it as much on the roadmap as the 9k line.

  • so you goal is to get higher 10G port density? – sdaffa23fdsf Nov 9 '14 at 12:46
  • The answer to this question is a matter of opinion, and as such is off-topic. It's a fine question for chat, though. – Ron Trunk Mar 21 '15 at 15:49

When you are upgrading your switch, you need to understand your current usage, ask more questions, collect more data.

  • How many users are there in your network? [Mac table size]
  • Are you planning to expand your network in the future? [Do you need a topology where you can accommodate FEXs]
  • What is your network topology? [9K switch is deployed in the core]
  • Do you just need 10G connectivity between your IT servers? [If all you have is few servers, you can buy an less expensive box]
  • Do you have Servers running VMs?
  • How much of High Availability is needed in your environment? Are you running banking servers behind these boxes?

Because I had worked in N7K software development team, I have an idea how these boxes are deployed by different customers.


We ended up actually getting 2x9508, each with 2 36-port 40GbE line-cards. With breakouts, this gives us 144 * 4 10GbE ports. Ought to be enough for a while :-)

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