The increasing number of applications requiring greater bandwidth and the availability of less expensive 10-Gbps servers are fueling a growing demand for dense 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet switches. At the same time, data center architecture is evolving in response to new demands on the IT infrastructure. Application workloads are being deployed across a mix of virtualized and physical server and storage infrastructure, requiring a network infrastructure that provides consistent connectivity, security, and visibility across a range of bare-metal, virtualized, and cloud computing environments. The Cisco Nexus® 5600 platform Gigabit Ethernet switches are the third generation of the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches: the leading data center server access switches. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform, the successor to the widely adopted Cisco Nexus 5500 platform, maintains all the existing Cisco Nexus 5500 platform features, including LAN and SAN convergence (unified ports and Fibre Channel over Ethernet [FCoE]), fabric extenders, and Cisco® FabricPath. In addition, the Cisco Nexus 5600 platform offers integrated line-rate Layer 2 and 3 capabilities with true 40 Gigabit Ethernet support, Cisco's programmable fabric innovation, Network Virtualization Using Generic Routing Encapsulation (NVGRE), Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) bridging and routing capabilities, excellent network programmability and visibility, large buffer capacity, and significantly greater scale and performance for highly virtualized, automated, and cloud environments. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform 40-Gbps switches include 1-rack-unit (1RU), 2RU, and 4RU configurations for a flexible, agile, and energy-efficient design. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform complements existing Cisco Nexus switches and is an important component of the Cisco Unified Data Center architecture. The platform offers 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE with integrated Layer 2 and 3 features at wire speed. It also offers low latency: approximately 1 microsecond for any packet size. With a choice of port-side intake and fan-side intake airflow options to align with cold-aisle and hot-aisle placement within the data center, the Cisco Nexus 5600 platform 40-Gbps switches are designed for a broad range of traditional data center and large-scale virtualized cloud deployments. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform with the Cisco NX-OS Software operating system provides customers with features and capabilities that are widely deployed in data centers around the world. NX-OS is a purpose-built data center operating system designed for performance, resiliency, scalability, manageability, and programmability. It meets Ethernet and storage networking requirements, providing a robust and comprehensive feature set that can meet the demanding requirements of virtualization and automation in present and future data centers. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform is designed for top-of-rack (ToR) and middle-of-row (MoR) deployment in data centers that support enterprise applications, service provider hosting, and cloud computing environments. The Cisco Nexus 5600 platform delivers dense 40 Gigabit Ethernet switching that is well suited for cloud, big data, and virtualized environments.