NX-OS Releases and Platforms

The Cisco NX-OS releases for different platforms are identified interestingly. Let’s start with the mother of all NX-OS releases:

  • x.y(z) = for Nexus 7000

Here x is the major release or software train, y is the minor release and z is the maintenance release. An example of the version number is 5.2(5).

See Cisco NX-OS Software Release Strategy for more information.

As the NX-OS releases are not directly compatible across different Nexus platforms Cisco added a platform designator for NX-OS releases for other platforms. These are formed like this (a and b are additional numbers or number+letter combinations to identify smaller changes in the version):

  • x.y(z)Na(b) = for Nexus 5000
  • x.y(z)Ea(b) = for Nexus 4000
  • x.y(z)Xa(b) = does not exist, yet…
  • x.y(z)Ua(b) = for Nexus 3000
  • x.y(z)SVa(b) = for Nexus 1000V

Do you see the pattern with the red letters that show the platform for the particular release? I wonder what will be the platform carrying the X designator!

Update on 19-Jun-2015:

Since publishing this post in 2012 the following new platform designators have been issued:

  • I for Nexus 9000 and Nexus 3164Q
  • A for Nexus 3500 (U is still used for Nexus 3000/3100)
  • D for Nexus 7000 (since NX-OS 7.2(0)D1(1))

This D designator for Nexus 7000 is brand new (as of June 2015). Looks like Cisco wants Nexus 7000 to have an own letter as well.

I’m still disappointed that Cisco didn’t introduce the X letter for the fifth Nexus platform.


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  1. Nice detective work šŸ™‚

    Maybe we will see a top of rack “switch”

  2. Markku Leiniƶ

    Obviously it cannot be a plain FEX as they don’t have user-downloadable images. But it is possible that the new platform is a hybrid platform that can be used both as a FEX and as a standalone switch! That’s my guess for now. I don’t bet for a Nexus 6000 yet because 7009 is still relatively new and 5596 is also not yet fully marketed and positioned yet.

  3. Update for this: Now there is Nexus 6000 announced but it uses the same N series designation as Nexus 5000 series. So X is still available for something else!

  4. The Nexus 9000 switches are using the I designation. It means that they still haven’t released the X software!

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