Cisco is a few weeks, give or take a few days, from launching a cloudy management service for its Nexus switches – a move that will change the role of the Nexus Dashboard currently suggested as the best way to manage the devices.
Switchzilla teased Nexus Cloud at its Live event in June 2022, billing it as simplifying switch management and improving visibility.
Last week, at the Asian iteration of Cisco Live, The Register learned the tool could debut this year.
“Right now we’re in early field trials and you’re looking at probably into December or early January for launch,” senior vice president and general manager for Cisco Networking and Compute, Jeremy Foster, told The Register. “If you want to be safe, say February,” he added.
Whenever it arrives, Nexus Cloud will offer a subset of the Nexus Dashboard. Foster said Dashboard is more mature.
Nexus Cloud will therefore be positioned for customers whose Cisco switching fleet needs management, but who don’t have the resources to operate the weightier and more complex Dashboard appliance.
Cisco plans to add features to Nexus Cloud so it surpasses Dashboard eventually.
For now, Foster said Dashboard will be recommended for customers who need complex and comprehensive management, run sovereign clouds, or air-gapped infrastructure and are therefore leery of any entanglements with SaaS or the big public clouds.
“Nexus Dashboard will handle premier type capabilities on-prem,” Foster said. The product will be actively developed, probably for years.
Nexus Cloud also interacts with Cisco’s Intersight cloud-based infrastructure management suite, so will also hook into Switchzilla’s wider management range and overlap a little with other tools and Nexus Dashboard.
The Register asked Foster if that might confuse users. He disagreed, arguing that linking Nexus Cloud to Intersight was about giving users options for unified management, not silos.
Foster also explained that Nexus Cloud won’t cost current users any more than their current entitlements to management software, but will be offered in different tiers of functionality and price.
One of the tricks Nexus Cloud can perform is reporting on energy consumption of Cisco’s switches – a feature Foster said burnishes the networking giant’s sustainability credentials by allowing customers to understand the financial and environmental impacts of the hardware in their fleet.
When your correspondent queried how much of a difference that makes, Foster changed tack and suggested that Cisco’s USC-X blade server chassis has a lower fan:server ratio than rack-mounted servers, so should also appeal to sustainability-conscious customers. Foster said customers are receptive to that argument, and predicted blade server sales (for Cisco and other vendors) will therefore surge in 2023. ®