Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:August 29, 2020

Bias-Free Language

The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.

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Updated:August 29, 2020


Product overview

The Cisco Nexus® 3232C Switch is a low latency, dense, high-performance, power-efficient, 100-Gbps switch designed for the data center. This compact, 1-Rack-Unit (1RU) model offers wire-rate Layer 2 and 3 switching on all ports with latency of 450ns. It is a member of the Cisco Nexus 3200 platform and runs the industry-leading Cisco® NX-OS Software operating system, providing customers with comprehensive features and functions that are widely deployed. The comprehensive programmability features help enable organizations to run today’s applications while also preparing them for demanding and changing application needs such as big data, cloud, and virtualization. The Cisco Nexus 3232C supports both forward and reverse (port-side exhaust and port-side intake) airflow schemes with AC and DC power inputs.

The Cisco Nexus 3232C (Figure 1) is a Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP) switch with 32 QSFP28 ports. Each QSFP28 port can operate at 10, 25, 40, 50, and 100 Gbps, up to a maximum of 128 x 25-Gbps ports[1].

Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch

Figure 1.            

Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch

Main benefits

The Cisco Nexus 3232C provides the following:

      Wire-rate Layer 2 and 3 switching on all ports[2], with up to 6.4 Terabits per second (Tbps) and up to 3.3 billion packets per second (bpps)

      Robust programmability, with support for Cisco NX-API, Linux containers, XML and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) APIs, the OpenStack plug-in, Python, and Puppet and Chef configuration and automation tools

      High performance and scalability with a four-core CPU, 8 GB of DRAM, and 16 Mb of dynamic buffer allocation, making the switch excellent for massively scalable data centers and big data applications


    The QSFP28 port can be configured to work as 4 x 25-Gbps ports, offering deployment flexibility, with up to a maximum of 128 x 25-Gbps ports.

    Both fiber and copper cabling solutions are available for 10-, 25-, 40-, 50-, and 100-Gbps connectivity, including Active Optical Cable (AOC) and Direct-Attached Cable (DAC).

      High availability

    Virtual PortChannel (vPC) technology provides Layer 2 multipathing through the elimination of Spanning Tree Protocol. It also enables fully utilized bisectional bandwidth and simplified Layer 2 logical topologies without the need to change the existing management and deployment models.

    The 64-way equal-cost multipath (ECMP) routing enables the use of Layer 3 fat-tree designs. This feature allows organizations to prevent network bottlenecks, increase resiliency, and add capacity with little network disruption.

    Advanced reboot capabilities include hot and cold patching and fast reboot capabilities.

    The switch uses hot-swappable Power-Supply Units (PSUs) and fans.

      Purpose-built NX-OS operating system with comprehensive, proven innovations

    Power-On Auto Provisioning (POAP) enables touchless bootup and configuration of the switch, drastically reducing provisioning time.

    Cisco Embedded Event Manager (EEM) and Python scripting enable automation and remote operations in the data center.

    Advanced buffer monitoring reports real-time buffer utilization per port and per queue, which allows organizations to monitor traffic bursts and application traffic patterns.

    Ethanalyzer is a built-in packet analyzer for monitoring and troubleshooting control-plane traffic and is based on the popular Wireshark open-source network protocol analyzer.

    Complete Layer 3 unicast and multicast routing protocol suites are supported, including Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol Version 2 (RIPv2), Protocol Independent Multicast Sparse Mode (PIM-SM), Source-Specific Multicast (SSM), and Multicast Source Discovery Protocol (MSDP).


The Cisco Nexus 3232C has the following configuration:

      32 fixed 100 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP28 ports

      Locator LED

      Environment LED

      Status LED

      Dual redundant power supplies

      Redundant (3+1) fans

      Lane-selected LED

      One 10/100/1000-Mbps management port

      One RS-232 serial console port

      Two USB ports

Transceiver and cabling options

The Cisco Nexus 3232C has 32 QSFP28 ports. QSFP28 technology allows a smooth transition from 40 to 100 Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure in data centers. Each of the Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch’s QSFP28 ports can operate in either native 100 Gigabit Ethernet mode or 4 x 25 Gigabit Ethernet mode. This switch supports both fiber and copper cabling solutions for these two modes.

For low-cost cabling, copper-based 40-Gbps Twinax cables can be used, and for longer cable reaches, short-reach optical transceivers are excellent. Connectivity can be established from the QSFP28 ports to 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches or hosts using a splitter cable that has an Enhanced QSFP (QSFP+) transceiver on one end and four SFP+ transceivers on the other end. Similar capability can be achieved on the fiber solution by using QSFP+ SR4 transceivers on both ends and procuring third-party fiber splitter MPO-to-LC cables. Table 1 lists the transceiver types supported.

Table 1.        Cisco Nexus 3232C QSFP28 transceiver support matrix

Part Number


QSFP-100G-AOC (1m-30m)

QSFP 100-Gbps to QSFP 100-Gbps AOC: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30m

QSFP-100G-CU (1m-5m)

QSFP 100-Gbps to QSFP 100-Gbps copper DAC: 1, 2, 3, and 5m

QSFP-4SFP25G-CU (1m-5m)

QSFP 100-Gbps to 4 x SFP 25-Gbps passive copper breakout cable: 1, 2, 3, and 5m


100GBASE SR4 transceiver module with MPO-12 connector, multimode fiber up to 100m


100GBASE LR4 transceiver module for Single-Mode Fiber (SMF) with LC connector, 10km


100GBASE CWDM4 transceiver module for Single-Mode Fiber (SMF) with LC connector, 2km


100GBASE PSM4 transceiver module with MPO-12 connector, single-mode fiber up to 500m

The Cisco Nexus 3232C supports 100, 40 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet optics. Please refer to latest compatibility matrix for information about all supported optics:

      100 Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix:

      40 Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix:

      10 Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix:

For more information about the transceiver types, see

Cisco NX-OS software benefits

NX-OS is a data center-class operating system built with modularity, resiliency, and serviceability at its foundation. NX-OS helps ensure continuous availability and sets the standard for mission-critical data center environments. The self-healing and highly modular design of NX-OS makes zero-impact operations a reality and enables exceptional operation flexibility.

Focused on the requirements of the data center, NX-OS provides a robust and comprehensive feature set that meets the networking requirements of present and future data centers. With an XML interface and a Command-Line Interface (CLI) like that of Cisco IOS® Software, NX-OS provides state-of-the-art implementations of relevant networking standards as well as a variety of true data center-class Cisco innovations.

Table 2 summarizes that benefits that NX-OS offers. Table 3 lists NX-OS packages available for the Cisco Nexus 3232C.

Table 2.        Benefits of Cisco NX-OS Software



Common software throughout the data center: NX-OS runs on all Cisco data center switch platforms (Cisco Nexus 9000, 7000, 6000, 5000, 4000, and 3000 Series Switches; Cisco Nexus 1000V Switches; and Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders).

  Simple data center operating environment
  End-to-end Cisco Nexus and NX-OS fabric
  No retraining necessary for data center engineering and operations teams

Software compatibility: NX-OS interoperates with Cisco products running any variant of Cisco IOS Software and also with any networking OS that conforms to the networking standards listed as supported in this data sheet.

  Transparent operation with existing network infrastructure
  Open standards
  No compatibility concerns

Modular software design: NX-OS is designed to support distributed multithreaded processing. NX-OS modular processes are instantiated on demand, each in a separate protected memory space. Thus, processes are started and system resources allocated only when a feature is enabled. A real-time preemptive scheduler that helps ensure timely processing of critical functions governs the modular processes.

  Robust software
  Fault tolerance
  Increased scalability
  Increased network availability

Troubleshooting and diagnostics: NX-OS is built with unique serviceability functions to enable network operators to take early action based on network trends and events, enhancing network planning and improving Network Operations Center (NOC) and vendor response times. Cisco Smart Call Home and Cisco Online Health Management System (OHMS) are some of the features that enhance the serviceability of NX-OS.

  Quick problem isolation and resolution
  Continuous system monitoring and proactive notifications
  Improved productivity of operations teams

Ease of management: NX-OS provides a programmatic XML interface based on the NETCONF industry standard. The NX-OS XML interface provides a consistent API for devices. NX-OS also provides support for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Versions 1, 2, and 3 MIBs. In addition NX-API and Linux Bash are now supported.

  Rapid development and creation of tools for enhanced management
  Comprehensive SNMP MIB support for efficient remote monitoring

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): With RBAC, NX-OS enables administrators to limit access to switch operations by assigning roles to users. Administrators can customize access and restrict it to the users who require it.

  Tight access control mechanism based on user roles
  Improved network device security
  Reduction in network problems arising from human errors

Table 3.        Cisco NX-OS Software packages available for Cisco Nexus 3232C*


Chassis Based

Part Number

Supported Features

Cisco Nexus 3232c Enhanced Layer 3 license



Layer 3 including full OSPF, EIGRP, BGP, and VXLAN**

** VXLAN will be supported in future release

Product specifications

Table 4 lists the specifications for the Cisco Nexus 3232C.

Table 4.        Specifications




  1RU fixed form-factor switch
  32 QSFP28 ports; each supports native 100 Gigabit Ethernet and 4 x 25 Gigabit Ethernet modes
  2 redundant power supplies
  4 redundant (3+1) fans
  Management, console, and USB flash-memory ports


  6.4-Tbps switching capacity
  Forwarding rate of up to 3.3 bpps
  Line-rate traffic throughput (both Layer 2 and 3) on all ports
  Configurable Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) of up to 9216 bytes (jumbo frames)

Hardware tables and scalability*

Number of MAC addresses


Number of VLANS


Number of spanning-tree instances

  RSTP: 512
  MSTP: 64

Number of ACL entries

  6000 ingress
  1000 egress

Routing table*

  Maximum number of Longest-Prefix-Match (LPM) routes: 128,000
  Maximum number of IP host entries:72,000
  Maximum number of MAC address entries: 136,000
  Maximum number of Layer 3 multicast entries: 64,000

Number of EtherChannels

256 (with vPC)



Number of ports per EtherChannel


Buffer size

16 MB shared

System memory

8 GB

Boot-flash memory

64 GB



50 to 60 Hz

Power-supply types

  AC (forward and reverse airflow)

Typical operating power

205 watts (W)

Maximum power



  Input voltage


  100 to 240 VAC
  50 to 60 Hz
  89 to 91% at 220V

Power-supply efficiency

89 to 91% at 220V

Typical heat dissipation

700 BTU/hr

Maximum heat dissipation

1371 BTU/hr


  Forward and reverse airflow schemes

    Forward airflow: Port-side exhaust (air enters through fan tray and power supplies and exits through ports)

    Reverse airflow: Port-side intake (air enters through ports and exits through fan tray and power supplies)

  Redundant fans
  Hot swappable (must swap within 1 minute)


Measured sound power (maximum)

  Fan speed: 40% duty cycle
  Fan speed: 70% duty cycle
  Fan speed: 100% duty cycle


  66.1 dBA
  70.6 dBA
  76.9 dBA


(height x width x depth)

1.72 x 17.3 x 22.4 in. (4.4 x 43.9 x 56.8 cm)


22.2 lb (10.06 kg)

Temperature: Operating

32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)

Temperature: Storage

-40 to 158°F (-40 to 70°C)

Relative humidity: Operating

  10 to 85% noncondensing
  Up to 5 days at maximum (85%) humidity
  Recommend ASHRAE data center environment

Relative humidity: Storage

5 to 95% noncondensing

Altitude: Operating

Up to 13,123 ft.

Altitude: Non-Operating

Up to 16,000 ft.

* Denotes ASIC capabilities; please refer to Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Verified Scalability Guide documentation for exact scalability numbers validated for specific software releases:
** Latency for Switch only.

Software features

Please refer to the latest release notes for a list of software features supported by the Cisco Nexus 3200 platform:


Table 5 lists management standards supported by the Cisco Nexus 3200 platform.

Table 5.        Management and standards support



MIB support

Generic MIBs


Ethernet MIBs


Configuration MIBs


Monitoring MIBs


Security MIBs


Miscellaneous MIBs


Layer 3 and Routing MIBs



  IEEE 802.1D: Spanning Tree Protocol
  IEEE 802.1p: CoS Prioritization
  IEEE 802.1Q: VLAN Tagging
  IEEE 802.1s: Multiple VLAN Instances of Spanning Tree Protocol
  IEEE 802.1w: Rapid Reconfiguration of Spanning Tree Protocol
  IEEE 802.3z: Gigabit Ethernet
  IEEE 802.3ad: Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP)
  IEEE 802.3ae: 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  IEEE 802.1ab: LLDP
  IEEE 1588-2008: Precision Time Protocol (Boundary Clock)



  RFC 1997: BGP Communities Attribute
  RFC 2385: Protection of BGP Sessions with the TCP MD5 Signature Option
  RFC 2439: BGP Route Flap Damping
  RFC 2519: A Framework for Inter-Domain Route Aggregation
  RFC 2545: Use of BGPv4 Multiprotocol Extensions
  RFC 2858: Multiprotocol Extensions for BGPv4
  RFC 3065: Autonomous System Confederations for BGP
  RFC 3392: Capabilities Advertisement with BGPv4
  RFC 4271: BGPv4
  RFC 4273: BGPv4 MIB: Definitions of Managed Objects for BGPv4
  RFC 4456: BGP Route Reflection
  RFC 4486: Subcodes for BGP Cease Notification Message
  RFC 4724: Graceful Restart Mechanism for BGP
  RFC 4893: BGP Support for Four-Octet AS Number Space
  RFC 5549: BGP Ipv4 NLRIs with an IPv6 next hop


  RFC 2328: OSPF Version 2
  8431RFC 3101: OSPF Not-So-Stubby-Area (NSSA) Option
  RFC 3137: OSPF Stub Router Advertisement
  RFC 3509: Alternative Implementations of OSPF Area Border Routers
  RFC 3623: Graceful OSPF Restart
  RFC 4750: OSPF Version 2 MIB


  RFC 1724: RIPv2 MIB Extension
  RFC 2082: RIPv2 MD5 Authentication
  RFC 2453: RIP Version 2
  IP Services
  RFC 768: User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
  RFC 783: Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)
  RFC 791: IP
  RFC 792: ICMP
  RFC 793: TCP
  RFC 826: ARP
  RFC 854: Telnet
  RFC 959: FTP
  RFC 1027: Proxy ARP
  RFC 1305: Network Time Protocol (NTP) Version 3
  RFC 1519: Classless Interdomain Routing (CIDR)
  RFC 1542: BootP Relay
  RFC 1591: Domain Name System (DNS) Client
  RFC 1812: IPv4 Routers
  RFC 2131: DHCP Helper
  RFC 2338: VRRP

IP Multicast

  RFC 2236: Internet Group Management Protocol, version 2
  RFC 3376: Internet Group Management Protocol, Version 3
  RFC 3446: Anycast Rendezvous Point Mechanism Using PIM and MSDP
  RFC 3569: An Overview of SSM
  RFC 3618: Multicast Source Discovery Protocol (MSDP)
  RFC 4601: Protocol Independent Multicast - Sparse Mode (PIM-SM): Protocol Specification (Revised)
  RFC 4607: Source-Specific Multicast for IP
  RFC 4610: Anycast-RP using PIM
  RFC 5132: IP Multicast MIB

Regulatory standards compliance

Table 6 summarizes regulatory standards compliance for the Cisco Nexus 3200 platform.

Table 6.        Regulatory standards compliance: Safety and EMC



Regulatory Compliance

Products should comply with CE Markings according to directives 2004/108/EC and 2006/95/EC.


  UL 60950-1
  CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60950-1EN 60950-1
  IEC 60950-1AS/NZS 60950-1GB4943

EMC: Emissions

  47CFR Part 15 (CFR 47) Class A
  AS/NZS CISPR22 Class A
  CISPR22 Class A
  EN55022 Class A
  ICES003 Class A
  VCCI Class A
  KN22 Class A
  CNS13438 Class A

EMC: Immunity

  KN 61000-4 series

Ordering information

Table 7 provides ordering information for the Cisco Nexus 3232C.

Table 7.        Ordering information

Part Number




Nexus 3232C 32 x 100G,1RU switch


Nexus 9300 Fan, Forward airflow (Port-side Exhaust)


Nexus 9300 Reverse airflow (Port-side Intake)


Nexus 9300 650W AC PS, Port-side Intake


Nexus 9300 650W AC PS, Port-side Exhaust

Software Licenses


Nexus 3164 Layer 3 LAN Enterprise License



Nexus 3232C 32 x 100G, 1RU switch, Spare


Nexus 9300 Fan, Forward airflow (Port-side Exhaust)


Nexus 9300 Reverse airflow (Port-side Intake)


Nexus 9300 650W AC PS, Port-side Intake


Nexus 9300 650W AC PS, Port-side Exhaust

Cisco environmental sustainability

Information about Cisco’s environmental sustainability policies and initiatives for our products, solutions, operations, and extended operations or supply chain is provided in the “Environment Sustainability” section of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

Reference links to information about key environmental sustainability topics (mentioned in the “Environment Sustainability” section of the CSR Report) are provided in the following table:

Sustainability topic


Information on product material content laws and regulations


Information on electronic waste laws and regulations, including products, batteries, and packaging

WEEE compliance

Cisco makes the packaging data available for informational purposes only. It may not reflect the most current legal developments, and Cisco does not represent, warrant, or guarantee that it is complete, accurate, or up to date. This information is subject to change without notice.

Services and Support

Cisco offers a wide range of services to help accelerate your success in deploying and optimizing the Cisco Nexus 3200 platform switches in your data center. The innovative Cisco Services offerings are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners and are focused on helping you increase operation efficiency and improve your data center network. Cisco Advanced Services use an architecture-led approach to help you align your data center infrastructure with your business goals and achieve long-term value.

Cisco SMARTnet Service helps you resolve mission-critical problems with direct access at any time to Cisco network experts and award-winning resources.

With this service, you can take advantage of the Cisco Smart Call Home service capability, which offers proactive diagnostics and real-time alerts on your Cisco Nexus 3200 platform switches. Spanning the entire network lifecycle, Cisco Services help increase investment protection, optimize network operations, support migration operations, and strengthen your IT expertise.

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[1] 50-Gbps break-out switch coming soon with software release
[2] Wire rate on all ports for packets greater than 200 bytes

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