Cisco Hardware
Cisco Nexus vs Catalyst

How Is Cisco Nexus Different from Cisco Catalyst Switches?

You’ll find a variety of switches in the market, but the most popular ones are Cisco Nexus and Catalyst switches. Cisco offers various fixed-configuration switches so that businesses can choose modular switches according to their networking needs. More importantly, with modular and fixed-configuration switches, businesses can keep up with the changing needs of business operations. People often confuse Cisco Nexus and Catalyst switches. But the question is, are they the same? No, they’re different. 

In this article, our focus will be on Cisco Nexus vs Catalyst so that you can understand the difference between them and choose the right one for your business needs. 

Cisco Nexus vs Catalyst – What Are the Differences Between Them

In simple words, Nexus switches are flexible and easy to integrate and use. On the other hand, Catalyst switches provide better control over the throughput traffic. 

Cisco Nexus Switches and Their Features

These switches provide servers with access to network resources and storage. Moreover, they help eliminate the need for parallel storage and computational networks. These switches use NX-OS as their operating system. Nexus switches perform well with modular software packages. 

They work best in Cisco-dominated environments. They support FCoE, fiber channels, and Ethernet. Moreover, Nexus series switches are easily programmable. They support Cisco Data Center Network Manager (CDCNM) to enable quick and easy automation. The Nexus product line is ideal for any deployment.

Whether it’s stacking switches or modular ones, you need to choose a switch type that fulfills your enterprise network needs. These switches support VXLAN, therefore, work best under a multi-tenant network environment. Nexus series switches are relatively stable; therefore, it’s easy to upgrade individual Nexus switches without affecting servers.  

They provide adaptable connections so when onsite is down, the network still maintains quality. The administration of these switches is simple, and they provide excellent performance. But one thing should be clear: it’s a complicated task to manage Nexus switches when they’re in operation. When compared to other switch families, Nexus appears to be very competitive. 

Cisco Catalyst Switches and Their Features

These switches offer various wireless access points, network switches, and wireless controllers. You need a passcode or combination of username and password to get started. Enterprise networks use these switches because they require a large number of network devices. Moreover, it’s essential to keep the server uptime high in such networks. 

Catalyst switches are not ideal for small businesses with a few machines because they’re designed for large university networks. They have exceptional power to handle loops. These switches can help achieve Syslog information easily. Moreover, detailed SNMP is vital for early troubleshooting of faults. 

They’re also excellent in level-based filtering. Their ability to handle routing and switching is ideal. The interface of Catalyst switches is intuitive, and its configuration is secure, quick, and easy. 

Major Differences between Cisco Nexus and Cisco Catalyst Switches 

Now you know the features of both switches. So it will be easy for you to understand the differences between them. 

  • Operating Systems

Catalyst switches and Nexus switches use different operating systems. The Nexus series use the NX-OS operating system. In addition, it works only with LACP. In contrast, the Catalyst series uses an IOS system. This operating system supports both PAGP and LACP. So, now you can understand how these switches influence your networking options. 

  • Fiber Channel Over Ethernet Support (FCoE) 

Both types of switches support different sorts of connections. Nexus supports all FCoE, fiber, and Ethernet connections. But all of these three connections are supported in the same chassis. Nexus series switches are popular because of their excellent network versatility and capability. 

In contrast, the Catalyst series doesn’t support FCoE. It offers fewer connection types. Therefore, it’s not as flexible and versatile as Nexus switches. 

  • Uses

It’s the primary thing that can help differentiate between two types of switches. For example, Nexus switches are commonly used in data centers, and they’re intended for professional use only. Due to their raw networking capability and flexible connection support, they have been in data center networking for a long time. 

On the other hand, the Catalyst series was created for enterprise networking. It works best in situations where the campus needs a large number of connections for users. Moreover, they work best for long-range signals. 

  • Cost

Nexus switches allow access to thousands of servers. Therefore, it’s possible to connect a significant number of virtual machines to a single port. Subscription and licensing of Nexus are expensive. But in the long run, it can become affordable. Cisco Catalyst switches last longer and reduces the total cost of ownership. But purchasing their subscription-based licensing is complicated. But overall, Catalyst series switches are the most costly. 

Cisco Nexus vs Catalyst – The Bottom Line 

In this article, we have compared both switches and tried to find their major differences. They work on different operating systems and support different connections. Therefore, it’s essential to understand your business needs before choosing switches for enterprise networks. If you want to know what best fits your business, reach out and Pre Rack’s team of experts can help!