Nexus 2000 Model Number Cheat Sheet

A colleague of mine pointed something out the other day: the numbers and letters that make up the Nexus 2000 (FEX) model actually have meaning! No, I haven’t been living under a rock. I think it’s pretty clear that with a model number like “2248TP-E” the “22” indicates this is the 2200 series FEX and the “48” indicates it’s got 48 ports. But what about the letters that follow the numbers?

The letters have a logic behind them as well. By interpreting the numbers and letters together you can understand exactly how a given FEX is equipped.

Platform series No. User facing ports  Port type
(user facing)
 Port type
(network facing)
 “Enhanced” indicator
2 2 4 8 T P E

An explanation of each field:

  • Platform series: As of this writing, this is either 21 (first-gen FEX) or 22 (latest gen). I’ll save the differences between the generations for another post.
  • User facing ports: The number of ports that downlink to end devices (servers, appliances, etc). This number does not include the number of network/uplink ports. Remember: a FEX must be uplinked to a parent 5500/7000 and this uplink must occur on the dedicated network ports on the FEX.
  • Port type (user): This letter indicates the type of port that is present for downlinking to end devices. The FEX can be ordered with different port types depending on the needs of the network.
    • T – Twisted pair (RJ45 connectors)
    • P – SFP+
    • X – 10GBASE-KR (ie, traces on a backplane/midplane)
  • Port type (network): This letter indicates the type of port that is present for uplinking to the parent switch.
    • P – SFP+
    • Q – QSFP (40Gig)
    • M – Uplink module
    • F – Indicates the FEX comes with some number of Fabric Extender Transceivers (FETs). The FEX itself will be equipped with SFP+ ports.
  • Enhanced indicator: Indicates an enhanced version of the 2200 (bigger buffers, etc)

Some examples:

  • 2248TP-E – 48 ports of RJ45 (T) for hosts, SFP+ (P) ports going north, enhanced model (E)
  • 2232PP – 32 ports of SFP+ (the first P) for hosts, SFP+ for uplink (second P)
  • 2224TF – 24 ports of RJ45 (T) for hosts, SFP+ ports for uplink and comes with FETs (F) for making the physical connection to the parent switch

That’s that. With this cheat sheet you should be able to figure out at a glance how a particular Nexus 2000 is outfitted.

Disclaimer: The opinions and information expressed in this blog article are my own and not those of Cisco Systems.

7 thoughts on “Nexus 2000 Model Number Cheat Sheet”

  1. Does anyone know of sheets like this for 5000 and 6000?
    I took a test and had some answer like 6648T, 6652U, 7748tp. All those are made up, just trying to make a point.

    I had no clue the answer to those because I had never seen anything showing me the break down. I know almost all the nexus lines, the 8,12,24,32,48 tend to be correct in the model with how many ports, or sometimes slots allowed.

    The exception is the 5000 series. They just do not match.
    I saw the 2000 sheet and the 7700. The 7700 was on sku’s so doesn’t really apply to what I am talking about here.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Hey Darrell,

      The numbers in the Nexus 5500 and 5600 models are typically the number of 10G ports. This isn’t always the same as the number of physical ports on those switches because some of them use the QSFP+ interface which can break out to 4x 10G ports on a single connector. So that one physical port gets counted as 4 in the model numbers.

      In the case of an all 40G switch (like the 5624Q) the model refers to the number of 40G ports.

      Unfortunately there is no universal rule for identifying port counts and types. There’s some guidelines and the rest you pick up as you work with the product IDs.

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