Wow the title of this post is a mouthful.

Similar to my previous post on the Nexus 2000 (Nexus 2000 Model Number Cheat Sheet), this post will explain what the letters and numbers mean in the Nexus 7000 IO module part numbers. This will allow you to quickly identify the characteristics of the card just by looking at the part number which in turn should help you out as you're building BOMs and picking the right card for the job.

Update July 2, 2013: Updated to reflect release of the Nexus 7700 and F3 modules.

Here is an example SKU: N7K-M206FQ-23L

N 7 K - M 2 6 F Q - 2 3 L
Prefix IO module family Generation No. of ports Port type Connector type Fabric version Fabric count XL capability

Here's what each field means:

  • Prefix - Indicates which n7k chassis the card is for
    • N7K - For the Nexus 7000
    • N77 - For the Nexus 7700
    • Cards are not interchangeable between chassis families
  • IO module family - Indicates whether the card is an M-series or F-series card.
  • Generation - Indicates which generation of card this is within its particular family (eg, F1, M2, etc)
  • Number of ports - The number of front-facing ports on the card. In this example, there are (6) ports.
  • Port type - The type of front-facing ports
    • G - 10/100/1000
    • X - 10G
    • F - 40G
    • C - 100G
  • Connector type - Indicates the type of connector/transceiver on the front of the card
    • T - RJ45
    • S - SFP
    • 2 - X2
    • P - SFP+
    • Q - QSFP
    • F - CFP
    • K - CPAK
  • Fabric version - Indicates the version of the fabric that lives on the card itself.
    • This number has nothing to do with the fabric modules that go into the chassis.
    • The fabric in the Nexus 7000 is actually hierarchical: the fabric chip on the IO module talks to the fabric modules installed in the chassis (think of the overall fabric being a spine/leaf architecture)
    • This number represents the fabric version on the IO module
  • Fabric count - This is the number of fabric modules needed in the chassis in order to get full line rate on the IO module.
    • This number is related to the "fabric version" number in that it's assumed the fabric module version matches the "fabric version" number.
    • ie, in the example above, it's assumed that Fabric 2 modules are installed in the chassis. The "fabric count" value of (3) indicates that 3x Fabric 2s are needed to get full line rate.
  • XL capability - If the SKU has an "L" in this position, the card is capable of being licensed to enable larger forwarding tables

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