The Cisco Nexus
® 1010 and 1010-X Virtual Services Appliances (VSAs) are members of the Cisco
® Nexus 1000V Series (model 1010 is shown in Figure 1). The appliances host a number of Virtual Service Blades (VSBs) to include the following: the Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Supervisor Modules (VSM), the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the Cisco Prime
™ Network Analysis Module (NAM), and the Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for LAN VSB. These VSBs provide a comprehensive solution for virtual access switching. Dedicated hardware for the Cisco Nexus 1000V VSM eases virtual access switch deployment for the network administrator, and with its support for additional VSBs, the Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X is a crucial component of a virtual access switch solution.
Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches are intelligent virtual machine access switches designed for VMware vSphere (vSphere 4.0 and later) environments. Operating inside the VMware ESX hypervisor, the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series supports server virtualization technology to provide:
• Policy-based virtual machine connectivity
• Mobile virtual machine security and network policy
• Nondisruptive operational model for your server virtualization and networking teams
Server virtualization usually changes the deployment and management of server operating systems, leading to longer deployment times, with a greater degree of coordination among server, network, storage, and security administrators. The Cisco Nexus 1000V Series offers a consistent networking feature set and provisioning process all the way from the virtual machine access layer to the core of the data center network infrastructure. Virtual servers can use the same network configuration, security policy, diagnostic tools, and operational models as their physical server counterparts attached to dedicated physical network ports. Virtualization administrators can access predefined network policies that follow mobile virtual machines to help ensure proper connectivity, saving valuable time that administrators can use to focus on virtual machine administration. This comprehensive set of capabilities helps you deploy server virtualization faster and achieve its benefits sooner (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Architecture
The Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X offer dedicated hardware for the Cisco Nexus 1000V VSM and other virtual network services. Network administrators can install and configure virtual access switches similar to the way they install and configure physical switches. Dedicated VSM hardware is especially helpful in a data center power up, because there is no dependency in finding server resources for the VSM. Thus, the Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X allow network administrators to manage the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual access switch like physical switches and scale server virtualization deployments (Figure 3).
Figure 4 shows the internal architecture of the Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X. The Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X contain the Cisco Nexus 1010 Manager, based on Cisco NX-OS, that manages VSBs, including installation and blade configuration. The Cisco Nexus 1010 Manager, based on Cisco NX-OS, offers a familiar interface for network administrators installing and configuring Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X. Cisco Nexus 1010 Manager also supports Cisco NX-OS high availability, allowing a standby Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X to become active if the primary Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X fails.
Note: Nexus 1010 and 1010-X appliances cannot be mixed in an active/standby high availability configuration.
Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X offer high-availability features for large-scale networking. Within a single appliance, a Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X offers process-level availability conferred by the modular nature of Cisco NX-OS, as well as VSB availability features such as restart-on-failure. Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch VSM active/standby high availability is fully supported on Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X. Finally, with dual Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X appliances deployed in a high-availability cluster, active/standby failover of Cisco Nexus 1010 Manager and Virtual Service Blades are supported. Nexus 1010 and 1010-X VSAs cannot be mixed in an active/standby configuration.
VSM on Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X Compared to VSM as a Virtual Machine
Table 1 compares deployment of a Cisco Nexus 1000V VSM as a virtual machine and on the Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X. For customers who want a complete software deployment of the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series, deployment of the VSM as a virtual machine provides flexibility in VSM placement and even mobility with VMware vMotion. However, for network administrators who want greater control over the management of the VSM, the Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X provides a complete Cisco NX-OS experience in installing the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual access switch. In addition, the Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X offers fewer dependencies when the data center is powered on because the VSM can be initiated at the same time as the Virtual Ethernet Modules (VEMs).
Table 1. Comparison of VSM on Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X and VSM as Virtual Machine
VSM as Virtual Machine
VSM on Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X
Cisco Nexus 1000V features and scalability
VEM running on Hypervisor (e.g. vSphere)
Cisco NX-OS high availability of VSM
Software-only deployment (Hypervisor specific)
Installation like that of a standard Cisco switch
Network team ownership and management of the VSM
Support multi-hypervisor VM traffic
VMware Product Compatibility
The Cisco Nexus 1010 or 1010-X is part of the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series, which is VMware Ready Certified to be compatible with VMware vSphere 4.0 and later as a VMware vNetwork Distributed Switch with support for VMware ESX and ESXi hypervisors and integration with VMware vCenter Server.
Nexus 1010 Maximum Supported Configurations (Up to 6x VSBs Total; see weighting matrix)
• 6x Cisco Nexus 1000V VSMs, each capable of managing 64x ESX/ESXi hosts for a total of 384x VMware ESX/ESXi hosts
• 6x Cisco VSG VSBs
Nexus 1010-X Maximum Supported Configurations [Up to 10x VSBs Total Using Cisco Nexus 1010 Release 4.2(1)SP1(4) and later; see weighting matrix]
• 10x Cisco Nexus 1000V VSMs, each capable of managing 64x ESX or ESXi for a total of 640x VMware ESX/ESXi hosts
• 10x Cisco VSG VSBs
Weighting Matrix (to determine max capacity of various VSBs on the Nexus 1010 and 1010-X)
Nexus 1010 and 1010-X
Example Nexus 1010 configurations:
• 6x VSMs
• 6x VSGs
• 3x VSMs, 3x VSGs
• 1x VSM, 1x VSG, 1x NAM, 1x DCNM
Example Nexus 1010-X configurations with Release 4.2(1)SP1(4):
• 10x VSMs
• 10x VSGs
• 5x VSMs, 5x VSGs
• 3x VSMs, 3x VSGs, 1x NAM, 1x DCNM
• Stateful failover between active and standby Cisco Nexus 1010 Managers
• Restart of VSMs and VSBs
• VSB export and import and VSM backup and restore
Table 7. Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X Virtual Services Appliance Ordering Information
Nexus 1010 and 1010-X Virtual Services Appliance Options
Cisco Nexus 1010 Appliance with 32x Nexus 1000V
Cisco Nexus 1010 Appliance High-Availability Pair without Nexus 1000V
Cisco Nexus 1010 Appliance High-Availability Pair with 32x Nexus 1000V
Cisco Nexus 1010 Appliance High-Availability Pair with 64x Nexus 1000V
Cisco Nexus 1010-X Appliance with 48x Nexus 1000V
Cisco Nexus 1010-X Appliance High-Availability Pair without Nexus 1000V
Cisco Nexus 1010-X Appliance High-Availability Pair with 48x Nexus 1000V
Cisco Nexus 1010-X Appliance High-Availability Pair with 96x Nexus 1000V
Redundant Power Supply
650W Power Supply, with added 5A standby
Virtual Service Blade Options
VSG-Cisco Prime Network Services Controller-1010-32
VSG and Cisco Prime Network Services Controller Paper CPU License for Nexus 1010 and 1010-X Promotion Quantity 32
Cisco Prime NAM Software 5.1 for Nexus 1010 and 1010-X
Service and Support Options
SMARTNet® for Nexus 1010 hardware only; various levels of support available
SMARTNet for Nexus 1010-X hardware only; various levels of support available
Software Application Support plus Upgrades (SASU) Nexus 1000V Paper CPU Quantity 32 for Nexus 1010
SASU Nexus 1000V Paper CPU Quantity 48 for Nexus 1010-X
SASU Cisco Prime Network Services Controller VSG Paper CPU 1010 Promotion Quantity 32 for Nexus 1010 and 1010-X
SASU Cisco NAM Virtual Service Blade Software
Service and Support
Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative programs are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco Services helps you protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare your network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco Services, see
Cisco Technical Support Services or
Cisco Advanced Services.
Cisco Software Application Support plus Upgrades (SASU) is a comprehensive support service that helps you maintain and enhance the availability, security, and performance of your business-critical applications. Cisco SASU includes the following resources:
• Software updates and upgrades: The Cisco SASU service provides timely, uninterrupted access to software updates and upgrades to help you keep existing systems stable and network release levels current. Update releases, including major upgrade releases that may include significant architectural changes and new capabilities for your licensed feature set, are available by software download from Cisco.com or by CD-ROM shipment.
• Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC): Cisco TAC engineers provide accurate, rapid diagnosis and resolution of software application problems to help you reduce outages and performance degradation. These specialized software application experts are trained to support the Cisco VSG for Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches. Their expertise is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by telephone, fax, email, or the Internet.
• Online support: Cisco SASU provides access to a wide range of online tools and communities to help you resolve problems quickly, support business continuity, and improve competitiveness.