Cisco Nexus 3636C-R Switch Data Sheet

Data Sheet

Available Languages

Download Options

  • PDF
    (595.8 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:August 29, 2020

Bias-Free Language

The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.

Available Languages

Download Options

  • PDF
    (595.8 KB)
    View with Adobe Reader on a variety of devices
Updated:August 29, 2020


Product overview

The Cisco Nexus® 3636C-R switch is a high-speed, high-density 10-, 25-, 40-, or 100-Gigabit Ethernet (GE) switch designed for the data center spine. The large buffers and routing table sizes of the 3636C-R also make this switch an alternative for a wide range of applications, such as IP storage, demilitarized zone (DMZ), big data, and edge routing. The switch comes in a compact 1-Rack-Unit (1RU) form factor and provides extensive Layer 2 and Layer 3 functions. It is part of the R-Series family and runs industry-leading Cisco® NX-OS Software.

The comprehensive programmability features enable organizations to run today’s applications while also preparing them for demanding and changing application needs. The Cisco Nexus 3636C-R switch supports both forward and reverse (port-side exhaust and port-side intake) airflow schemes with AC and DC power inputs.

The 3636C-R (Figure 1) is a Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP) switch with 36 QSFP28 ports. Each QSFP28 can operate at 100 or 40 Gigabit Ethernet or in a breakout cable configuration.

Related image, diagram or screenshot

Figure 1.         

Cisco Nexus 3636C-R switch

Main benefits

The Cisco Nexus 3636C-R switch provides:

     Wire-rate Layer 2 and 3 switching on all ports* with up to 7.2 Terabits per second (Tbps) and up to 3.34 billion packets per second (bpps).

     Programmability with support for the Cisco NX-API, Linux containers, XML, and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) APIs, the OpenStack plug-in, Python, and Puppet and Chef configuration and automation tools.

     High performance and scalability with an 8-core CPU, 32 GB of DRAM, and 16 GB of dynamic buffer allocation, making the switch excellent for massively scalable data centers and big-data applications.

     MACSec capability*

     Higher TCAM capability


     Fiber cabling solutions are available for 10-, 25-, 40-, 50-, and 100-Gbps connectivity, including Active Optical Cable (AOC) and Direct-Attached Cable (DAC).

     Configurable QSFP28 Uplinks to work as 4 x 25-Gbps or 4 x 10-Gbps port.

     High availability:

     Virtual Port Channel (VPC) technology provides Layer 2 multipathing by eliminating the Spanning Tree Protocol. It also enables fully used bisectional bandwidth and simplified Layer 2 logical topologies without the need to change the existing management and deployment models.

     Advanced maintenance capabilities include hot and cold patching and Graceful Insertion and Removal (GIR) mode.

     The switch uses hot-swappable Power-Supply Units (PSUs) and fans.

     NX-OS operating system with comprehensive, proven innovations:

     Power-On Auto Provisioning (POAP) enables touchless bootup and configuration of the switch, drastically reducing provisioning time.

     Cisco Embedded Event Manager (EEM) and Python scripting enable automation and remote operations in the data center.

     Ethanalyzer is a built-in packet analyzer for monitoring and troubleshooting control-plane traffic that is based on the popular Wireshark open-source network protocol analyzer.

     Complete Layer 3 unicast and multicast routing protocol suites are supported, including Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol Version 2 (RIPv2), Protocol Independent Multicast Sparse Mode (PIM-SM), Source-Specific Multicast (SSM), and Multicast Source Discovery Protocol (MSDP).

* Please check release notes for NX-OS support


The Cisco Nexus 3636C-R has the following configuration:

     36 QSFP28 ports operating at 40 or 100 Gigabit Ethernet

     8 ports that can be used for MACSec

     Locator LED

     Environment LED

     Status LED

     Dual redundant power supplies

     3 redundant fans

     One 10-, 100-, or 1000-Mbps management port (copper or fiber)

     One RS-232 serial console port

     One USB port

Transceiver and cabling options

The Cisco Nexus 3636C-R has 36 QSFP28 ports that support a wide range of speed, from 10- or 25- Gbps with breakout cable.

The Cisco Nexus 3636C-R QSFP28 technology allows a smooth transition from 40- to 100-Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure in data centers. Each of the switch’s QSFP28 ports can operate in native 100- or 40-Gigabit Ethernet mode or 4 x 10 or 4 x 25 Gigabit Ethernet mode.

Please refer to the latest compatibility matrix for information on all supported optics:

     100-Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix:

     40-Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix:

     25-Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix:

     10-Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix:

For more information about the transceiver types, visit:

Cisco NX-OS software benefits

Cisco NX-OS Software is a data center-class operating system built with modularity, resiliency, and serviceability at its foundation. It helps ensure continuous availability and sets the standard for mission-critical data center environments. The self-healing and highly modular design of NX-OS makes zero-impact operations a reality and enables exceptional operation flexibility.

Focused on the requirements of the data center, NX-OS provides a robust and comprehensive feature set that meets the networking requirements of present and future data centers. With an XML interface and a command-line interface like that of the Cisco IOS® Software solution, NX-OS provides state-of-the-art implementations of relevant networking standards as well as a variety of true data center-class Cisco innovations.

Table 1 summarizes the benefits that NX-OS offers, and Table 2 lists the NX-OS packages available for the Cisco Nexus 3636C-R switch.

Table 1.        Benefits of Cisco NX-OS Software



Software compatibility: NX-OS interoperates with Cisco products running any variant of Cisco IOS Software and also with any networking OS that conforms to the networking standards listed as supported in this data sheet.

  Transparent operation with existing network infrastructure
  Open standards
  No compatibility concerns

Modular software design: NX-OS is designed to support distributed multithreaded processing. Its modular processes are instantiated on demand, each in a separate protected memory space. Thus processes are started and system resources allocated only when a feature is enabled. A real-time preemptive scheduler that helps ensure timely processing of critical functions governs the modular processes.

  Robust software
  Fault tolerance
  Increased scalability
  Increased network availability

Troubleshooting and diagnostics: NX-OS is built with innovative serviceability functions to enable network operators to take early action based on network trends and events, enhancing network planning and improving Network-Operations-Center (NOC) and vendor response times.

  Quick problem isolation and resolution
  Continuous system monitoring and proactive notifications
  Improved productivity of operations teams

Ease of management: NX-OS provides a programmatic XML interface based on the NETCONF industry standard. The NX-OS XML interface provides a consistent API for devices. NX-OS also supports Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) Versions 1, 2, and 3 MIBs. In addition, NX-API and Linux Bash are now supported.

  Rapid development and creation of tools for enhanced management
  Comprehensive SNMP MIB support for efficient remote monitoring

Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): With RBAC, NX-OS enables administrators to limit access to switch operations by assigning roles to users. Administrators can customize access and restrict it to the users who require it.

  Tight access control mechanism based on user roles
  Improved network device security
  Reduction in network problems arising from human errors

Table 2.        Cisco NX-OS Software packages available for Cisco Nexus 3636C-R*


Chassis Based

Part Number

Supported Features

Cisco Nexus 3636C-R Enhanced Layer 3 license



Layer 3 including full OSPF, EIGRP, BGP

* Cisco Nexus 3636C-R uses the Cisco Nexus 9000 licensing scheme. For more information please refer to

Product specifications

Table 3 lists the specifications for the Cisco Nexus 3636C-R.

Table 3.        Specifications




  1RU fixed-form-factor switch
  36 QSFP28 ports; each supports native 100-GE and 40-GE mode
  2 redundant power supplies
  3 redundant fans
  Lane select LED button
  Management, console, and USB flash-memory ports


  7.2-Tbps switching capacity
  Forwarding rate of up to 3.34 bpps
  Line-rate traffic throughput (both Layer 2 and 3) on all ports for packet size larger than 115 bytes
  Configurable Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) of up to 9216 bytes (jumbo frames)

Hardware tables and scalability*

Number of MAC addresses


Number of Virtual LANs (VLANs)


Number of spanning-tree instances

  Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP): 512
  Multiple Spanning Tree Protocol (MSTP): 64

Number of Access Control List (ACL) entries

  7000 ingress

Routing table*

  Maximum number of Longest-Prefix-Match (LPM) routes: 128,000
  Maximum number of IP host entries:750,000
  Maximum number of MAC address entries: 192,000
  Maximum number of Layer 3 multicast entries: 64,000

Number of EtherChannels

256 (with VPC)

Number of ports per EtherChannel


Buffer size

16 GB

System memory

32 GB

Boot-flash memory

128 GB


50 to 60 Hz


Power-supply types

AC (forward and reverse airflow) DC (port-side exhaust)

Typical operating power

921 Watt (W)

Maximum power


AC Power-Supply Units (PSUs)

  Input voltage
  Power-supply efficiency


  100 to 240 VAC
  50 to 60 Hz
  89–91% at 220V


Maximum heat dissipation

2,631 MBtuTU

  Forward and reverse airflow schemes

o  Forward airflow: Port-side exhaust (air enters through fan tray and power supplies and exits through ports)

o  Reverse airflow: Port-side intake (air enters through ports and exits through fan tray and power supplies)

  Redundant fans

Hot-swappable (must swap within 31 minutes)



Measured sound power (maximum)

  Fan speed (PE): 50% duty cycle
  Fan speed (PE): 90% duty cycle
  Fan speed (PI) 50% duty cycle
  Fan speed (PI) 90% duty cycle

Fan speed: 100% duty cycle


  74.6 dBA
  87.5 dBA
  76.2 dBA
  90.0 dBA

Dimensions (height x width x depth)

1.65 x 17.3 x 31.22 in. (4.2 x 44 x 79.3 cm)


  35.627.1 lb (12.316.1 kg)


Temperature: Operating

32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)

Temperature: Storage

–40 to 158°F (–40 to 70°C)

Relative humidity: Operating

  10– to 85% noncondensing
  Up to 5 days at maximum (85%) humidity

Recommend American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) data center environment

Relative humidity: Storage

5 –to 95% noncondensing

Altitude (Operating)

  Up to 13,123 ft.

Altitude (Non-Operating)

  Up to 16,000 ft.

Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

194,870 hours

* Denotes Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) capabilities; please refer to Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Verified Scalability Guide documentation for exact scalability numbers validated for specific software releases:

Software features

Please refer to the latest release notes for a list of software features supported by the Cisco Nexus 3000 platform:


Table 4 lists management standards supported by the Cisco Nexus 3000 platform.

Table 4.           Management and standards support



MIB support

Generic MIBs

  IANA iprouteprotocol-MIB

Ethernet MIBs


Configuration MIBs


Monitoring MIBs


Security MIBs


Miscellaneous MIBs


Layer 3 and Routing MIBs



  IEEE 802.1D: Spanning Tree Protocol
  IEEE 802.1p: Class-of-Service (CoS) Prioritization
  IEEE 802.1Q: VLAN Tagging
  IEEE 802.1s: Multiple VLAN Instances of Spanning Tree Protocol
  IEEE 802.1w: Rapid Reconfiguration of Spanning Tree Protocol
  IEEE 802.3z: Gigabit Ethernet
  IEEE 802.3ad: Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP)
  IEEE 802.3ae: 10 Gigabit Ethernet
  IEEE 802.1ab: Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP)



  RFC 1997: BGP Communities Attribute
  RFC 2385: Protection of BGP Sessions with the TCP MD5 Signature Option
  RFC 2439: BGP Route Flap Damping
  RFC 2519: A Framework for Inter-Domain Route Aggregation
  RFC 2545: Use of BGPv4 Multiprotocol Extensions
  RFC 2858: Multiprotocol Extensions for BGPv4
  RFC 3065: Autonomous System Confederations for BGP
  RFC 3392: Capabilities Advertisement with BGPv4
  RFC 4271: BGPv4
  RFC 4273: BGPv4 MIB: Definitions of Managed Objects for BGPv4
  RFC 4456: BGP Route Reflection
  RFC 4486: Subcodes for BGP Cease Notification Message
  RFC 4724: Graceful Restart Mechanism for BGP
  RFC 4893: BGP Support for Four-Octet AS Number Space
  RFC 5549: BGP IPv4 NLRIs with an IPv6 next hop


  RFC 2328: OSPF Version 2
  8431RFC 3101: OSPF Not-So-Stubby-Area (NSSA) Option
  RFC 3137: OSPF Stub Router Advertisement
  RFC 3509: Alternative Implementations of OSPF Area Border Routers
  RFC 3623: Graceful OSPF Restart
  RFC 4750: OSPF Version 2 MIB


  RFC 1724: RIPv2 MIB Extension
  RFC 2082: RIPv2 MD5 Authentication
  RFC 2453: RIP Version 2

IP services

  RFC 768: User Datagram Protocol (UDP)
  RFC 783: Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP)
  RFC 791: IP
  RFC 792: ICMP
  RFC 793: TCP
  RFC 826: ARP
  RFC 854: Telnet
  RFC 959: FTP
  RFC 1027: Proxy ARP
  RFC 1305: Network Time Protocol (NTP) Version 3
  RFC 1519: Classless Interdomain Routing (CIDR)
  RFC 1542: BOOTP Relay
  RFC 1591: Domain Name System (DNS) Client
  RFC 1812: IPv4 Routers
  RFC 2131: DHCP Helper
  RFC 2338: VRRP

IP Multicast

  RFC 2236: Internet Group Management Protocol, Version 2
  RFC 3376: Internet Group Management Protocol, Version 3
  RFC 3446: Anycast Rendezvous Point Mechanism Using PIM and MSDP
  RFC 3569: An Overview of SSM
  RFC 3618: Multicast Source Discovery Protocol (MSDP)
  RFC 4601: Protocol Independent Multicast - Sparse Mode (PIM-SM): Protocol Specification (Revised)
  RFC 4607: Source-Specific Multicast for IP
  RFC 4610: Anycast-RP using PIM
  RFC 5132: IP Multicast MIB

Regulatory standards compliance

Table 5 summarizes regulatory standards compliance for the Cisco Nexus 3000 platform.

Table 5.        Regulatory standards compliance: Safety and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)



Regulatory compliance

Products should comply with CE markings according to directives 2004/108/EC and 2006/95/EC.


  UL 60950-1
  CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60950-1EN 60950-1
  IEC 60950-1AS/NZS 60950-1GB4943

EMC: Emissions

  47CFR Part 15 (CFR 47) Class A
  AS/NZS CISPR22 Class A
  CISPR22 Class A
  EN55022 Class A
  ICES003 Class A
  VCCI Class A
  KN22 Class A
  CNS13438 Class A

EMC: Immunity

  KN 61000-4 series

Ordering information

Table 6 provides ordering information for the Cisco Nexus 3636C-R.

Table 6.        Ordering information

Part Number




Nexus 3636C-R switch, 36p QSFP28 MACSEC


Nexus Fan, 65CFM, port side intake airflow


Nexus Fan, 65CFM, port side exhaust airflow


Nexus 9000 2KW AC Power Supply, Port-side Intake


Nexus 9000 2KW AC Power Supply, Port-side Exhaust


Nexus 9000 2KW DC Power Supply, Port-side Intake


Nexus 9000 2KW DC Power Supply, Port-side Exhaust

Software Licenses


Nexus 3000 Layer 3 LAN Enterprise License



Nexus 36180YC-R, 48p 10/25G and 6p QSFP28, Spare


Nexus Fan, 65CFM, port side intake airflow


Nexus Fan, 65CFM, port side exhaust airflow


Nexus 9000 2KW AC Power Supply, Port-side Intake


Nexus 9000 2KW AC Power Supply, Port-side Exhaust


Nexus 9000 2KW DC Power Supply, Port-side Intake


Nexus 9000 2KW DC Power Supply, Port-side Exhaust

Services and support

Cisco offers a wide range of services to help accelerate your success in deploying and optimizing the Cisco Nexus 3600 platform switches in your data center. The innovative Cisco Services offerings are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, and they focus on helping you increase operation efficiency and improve your data center network. Cisco Advanced Services use an architecture-led approach to help you align your data center infrastructure with your business goals and achieve long-term value.

Cisco SMARTnet Service helps you resolve mission-critical problems with direct access at any time to Cisco network experts and award-winning resources.

With this service, you can take advantage of the Cisco Smart Call Home service capability, which offers proactive diagnostics and real-time alerts on your Cisco Nexus 3600 platform switches. Spanning the entire network lifecycle, Cisco Services help increase investment protection, optimize network operations, support migration operations, and strengthen your IT expertise.

Cisco Capital

Flexible payment solutions to help you achieve your objectives

Cisco Capital makes it easier to get the right technology to achieve your objectives, enable business transformation and help you stay competitive. We can help you reduce the total cost of ownership, conserve capital, and accelerate growth. In more than 100 countries, our flexible payment solutions can help you acquire hardware, software, services and complementary third-party equipment in easy, predictable payments. Learn more.

For more information

For more information, please visit

Learn more