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Networking Software (IOS & NX-OS)

Program and Automate Your Switches

Learn how you can take full advantage of the many capabilities of the new open NX-OS. (21:25 min)

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Cisco Networking Software (Cisco IOS, Cisco IOS XE, Cisco IOS XR, and Cisco NX-OS) is the world's most widely deployed networking software. It integrates cutting-edge technology, business-critical services, and broad hardware platform support.

You can now take advantage of shared software and the ability to maintain consistent features with reusable code across the network. This helps you deliver services faster and improve innovation.

Improve Operational Efficiency

Integrate industry leading NX-OS programmability into your data center.

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Networking Software Systems

Cisco IOS

  • Integrates technology, business services, and hardware support
  • Reduces operational spending
  • Optimizes return on investment
  • Improves business productivity

Cisco IOS XR

  • Focuses on the needs of service providers
  • Designed for the dynamic network usage requirements of services
  • Flexible programmability for dynamic reconfiguration

Cisco IOS XE

  • Supports next-generation platforms
  • Runs as a single daemon within a modern Linux operating system
  • Separates the data plane and control plane
  • Improved services integration

Cisco NX-OS

  • Open, modular and programmable for an agile data center infrastructure
  • Optimized for both physical and virtual data center deployments
  • Highly reliable continuous system operation, optimizing uptime

Core Technologies

Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

Cisco ACI is a comprehensive software-defined networking (SDN) architecture that automates IT tasks, accelerates data center application deployments, and significantly reduces TCO.

Cisco DNA Software

Cisco DAN Software is a valuable and flexible way to buy software for your data center, WAN, and access domains.

Segment Routing

Segment Routing architecture seeks the right balance between distributed intelligence and centralized optimization. It delivers an unified, end-to-end policy-aware network infrastructure while bringing unmatched simplicity and scalability.

Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

Get standards based-control protocol for VXLAN, helping to enable cloud scalability and multivendor interoperability.


IPv6 expands the number of network address bits from 32 bits (in IPv4) to 128 bits, which provides more than enough globally unique IP addresses for every networked device on the planet.

Ethernet VPN (EVPN)

EVPN helps you simplify the way you deliver Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN services.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)

Converge data Ethernet traffic and Fibre Channel (FC) traffic over a single Ethernet wire.

Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)

LISP is a routing architecture that provides new semantics for IP addressing.