Cisco Switch Modules

Posted on 2006-05-04
Last Modified: 2008-02-01

I need to purchse some layer 3 backbone switches, and I'm having trouble with the specifications.
I intend on purchasing this switch

can someone answer the following questions please.

- What modules are already in the switch?
- What are the actual names for the Fibre moduels for this switch? do they support singlemode fibre?
- how many processing cards does it have (like the CMM cards on Alcatel switches)

any other additional information you can think will be useful.

please dont just paste the link to the Cisco document relating to this switch as i dont find it usefull at all!

thank you
Question by:welsher
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    That link is for a 48 Port Rj45 Line Card for the 6500.  Look at the bottom of the description and you'll see what I mean.  Unless you intend on purchasing a switch used, you can customize it to whatever your requirements are.  Feel free to post them.

    Author Comment

    sorry, I posted the incorect link in the question.
    the actuall switch i would like to purchase is a Cisco 6513 Switch

    does this switch support Singlemode fibre modules?
    + my other questions from above

    thanks again!
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    Unfortunately, I think you're going to need to spend some time on the Cisco site.

    The 6500 series is a very flexible switch.  You can turn it into a swouter, firewall, content (up to layer 7) switch, etc.

    Question #1 is what do you plan to use this switch for?  That will likely dictate which Supervisor module you need.  There are four Sups: Sup1A (EOL), Sup2, Sup720, Sup32.  Sup1A is fine for L2 switching, and with the PFC and MSFC daughtercards it's OK for internal network routing up to 32Gbps, but not out on the Internet where a DOS attack could melt it.  Sup2 is a fantastic card for its age (better than Sup1A by a mile), can route with the PFC and MSFC2 cards, and can upgrade to 256Gbps with fabric cards and the CORRECT line cards.  Sup720 is the top-of-the-line Sup, capable of 720Gbps with the CORRECT line cards.  Sup32 is new but not nearly as powerful as Sup720.

    Question #2 is what do you mean by fiber?  FastE?  GigE? OCx?  If FastE, you'll need to look for a 100BaseFX card for the switch.  See for info.  If GigE, there are numerous modules available.  Some have GBIC slots (where you can insert a single-mode LX or ZX GBIC), and some have SFP slots (where you can insert a single-mode LX or ZX SFP).  If OCx, there are two choices: FlexWAN cards with "PA-" Port Adapters, or SIP cards with "SPA-" port adapters.  SIP/SPA is the much better way to go.

    As far as CORRECT line cards, you want the cards that support your desired throughput to maximize the capability of the Sup without overbuying or underbuying.  Sup1A is a "Classic-mode" Sup.  Sup2 is capable of classic and CEF256 with the switch fabric modules; it can upgrade further to distributed CEF with DFC daughtercards on the linecards.  Sup720 is capable of distributed CEF720 if the linecards have the CORRECT DFC3 daughtercard to match the specific revision of the Sup720 (Sup720, Sup720-3B, Sup720-3BXL).  I'm not familiar enough with the Sup32 to know what it can or can't do.

    So overall, if you're making a purchase in the 6500 category, I think you'll want to educate yourself, or latch onto someone with experience in this category.
    LVL 12

    Expert Comment

    Also, define what you mean by layer 3 backbone switch.  If you want to switch packets and perhaps do QoS using layer 3 information, you'll need the Policy Feature Card (and perhaps DFC for throughput).  If you want to route packets, you'll need some form of MSFC (included in the Sup720 and I think in the Sup32).

    If you are looking to use this as a router (i.e. configure anything you're using to doing on a router), I suggest you define those specific features needed very carefully, and evaluate whether your planned hardware can do it.  We've had to junk a Sup2/MSFC2 because it simply couldn't do what we wanted it to do.  We're getting ready to roll out Sup720s in a bunch of places.

    Author Comment

    thanks for your help, very helpful!

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