Cisco Nexus 3550-F High Precision Timestamping Switch Data Sheet

Data Sheet

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Updated:September 28, 2021

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Updated:September 28, 2021


High-precision timestamping

The Cisco Nexus® 3550-F High Precision Timestamping Switch is a network tapping, aggregation, and monitoring solution, optimized for high-performance, low-latency networks.

The device incorporates Cisco’ industry-leading HPT1 time-stamping technology, for 70-picosecond (70ps) timestamps that are embedded in every packet. This makes the Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT the highest-precision network aggregation and monitoring solution available on the market today. The switch also offers high-quality time synchronization to Pulse-Per-Second (PPS), GPS, and Precision Time Protocol (PTP) sources, ensuring that every packet is globally synchronized as well as precisely timestamped.

High-bandwidth ingress and egress

The system offers 400Gb/s of ingress and configurable egress options of up to 80Gb/s.

The Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT ensures that tap aggregation performs well under adverse network conditions. The switch supports up to 40 ingress ports operating at 1Gb/s, 10Gb/s, or 40Gb/s (400Gb/s total), with HPT timestamps at 70ps resolution. Egress is supported through between 1 and 8 ports operating at 10Gb/s each. Egress ports also feature industry-standard Ethernet flow control, to allow lossless transmission even when capture devices are congested.

Deep packet buffer hierarchy

A deep, multilayered packet buffer architecture provides robust micro-burst protection.

Correlated micro-bursts are a fact of life, especially in high-performance networks. Yet regulatory environments require that every packet be captured. The Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT has a deep packet buffer hierarchy to ensure that packets are captured, time stamped, and transferred to long-term storage, even under extreme correlated micro-burst scenarios. The switch provides 32kB per-port buffers, 64kB per-quad-port buffers, and 32GB of global packet buffering (see figure overleaf). This multilayer architecture makes the Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT the most reliable tap aggregation system available today.

Transparent tapping

Replace 20 optical taps with a single 1RU device

Optical taps are difficult to deploy and manage, and consume large amounts of rack space. Every ingress port on the Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT can be configured as a Layer 1 tap, allowing the switch to replace 20 optical taps in a single 1RU of rack space. Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT taps are transparent to other devices. They add less than 5ns of delay to the tapped path, and nearly undetectable jitter. It also provides the ability to tag mirror output according to input port using VLAN tags.

Ease of use and manageability

Ease of use and enterprise manageability features are core to the Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT.

Many users rate our CLI (Command Line Interface) as one of the best they have used. Every command available on the CLI is also available via a remote JSON RPC API. This makes the switch easy to operate and to manage at scale. All Cisco Nexus 3550-F platforms and switches include standard enterprise manageability and deploy ability features, including automatic configuration (via DHCP), SNMP, TACACS+ authentication, onboard Python programmability, BASH shell access, and time-series logging.

Cisco Nexus 3550-F Fusion HPT

Figure 1.            

Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT

Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT multilayer, deep packet buffer hierarchy

Figure 2.            

Cisco Nexus 3550-F HPT multilayer, deep packet buffer hierarchy


      400Gb/s ingress (1GbE2/ 10GbE/40GbE2)

      70ps High-Precision Timestamping (HPT1)

      80Gb/s egress (8x 10GE) with Ethernet flow control (IEEE 802.3x)

Packet buffering

      32kB per port buffer (40x)

      64kB per quad port buffer (10x)

      32GB deep buffer (shared)

Time synchronization

      72 channel GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, BeiDou

      Active antenna support (3.3V)

      Cold-start timesync acquisition <30s

      PPS in/out with selectable 50Ω termination

      PTP/NTP support via management port


      3x 16 SFP+ line cards, up to 48 ports

      3x 4QSFP line cards, up to 12 ports

      Any 40 ports assignable as ingress

      Any 8 ports assignable as egress

      SFP+ Fiber (10GBASE-SR, 10GBASE-LR, 10GBASE-LRM, 1000BASE-SX, 1000BASE-LX)

      SFP+ Copper Direct Attach

      SMA for PPS in/out

      SMA for GPS in

      RJ45 management port

      RJ45 industry-standard serial port

      USB (for firmware upgrades)


      CLI via serial, SSH, and telnet

      JSON RPC API for all CLI commands

      Automatic configuration via DHCP

      TACACS+ and multiuser support

      ACLs on management interface

      Firmware updates via SFTP, TFTP, HTTP, and USB

      Onboard BASH and Python scripts

      Onboard Cron jobs


      Packet counters (RX, TX, dropped, etc.)

      Per port status LEDs

      Live packet dump

      SFP diagnostics (light levels, temps, etc.)

      SNMP, local, and remote syslog

      Time-series logging to InfluxDB


      19” 1RU, rack mount

      Weight: 11kg (24lbs)

      Dual, hot-swappable supplies

      Standard: AC 100-240 Vac, 50-60 Hz

      Optional: DC 48-60 Vdc

      Maximum consumption: 150W

      Dual hot-swappable fan modules

      Optional airflow direction (FTB, BTF)

      Operating temperature: -5°C to 45°C

      Storage temperature: -40°C to 70°C

      Operating Relative Humidity: 5% to 90% (non-condensing)

      Storage Relative Humidity: 5% to 95% (non-condensing)

      Max Operating Altitude: 3048m (Mainland China: 2000m)

      Class I Equipment

Product sustainability

Information about Cisco’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives and performance is provided in Cisco’s CSR and sustainability reporting.

Table 1.        Cisco environmental sustainability information

Sustainability topic



Information on product-material-content laws and regulations


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

WEEE Compliance

Information on product takeback and reuse program

Cisco Takeback and Reuse Program

Sustainability inquiries


Operating and storage conditions



Power supply



Maximum power consumption


Product packaging weight and materials


Dimension and weight


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1Patent pending
2Scheduled for a future firmware release


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