Cisco Switch Fabric Module - General Questions

What is the prupose of the Cisco Switch Fabric Modules ?

Is it purely to provide greater bandwidth/backplane than the default maximum provided by the installed Supervisor module ?

I am looking at purchasing 7600 ranger routers and 6500 range swicthes, and I need to know if I will require any of these modules.

TIA
ccfcfcAsked:
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harbor235Connect With a Mentor Commented:

That is not correct on the newer supervisors, the SFM is intergrated, so you you would need to purchase a new Supervisor. With older supervisors like the SUPII that would be correct.

Regardless how much bandwidth the SUP has it's job is to perfrom the layer 2 - 4 services required of the traffic passing through the linecards. The SUP does not need high bandwidth, traffic does not pass through it (exception is the built in interfaces), its perfroming route lookups, QOS, ACLs, etc ....
All this info can be downloaded to the cards via DCEF so there is no interaction at all with the SUP to move traffic after the intial download of the FIB. Also the SUP is there for management purposes.

harbor235 ;}
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jjmartineziiiCommented:
I might be wrong but if you get the 720G Supervisor, the regular switch modules wont go as fast as the fabric enabled ones.
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harbor235Commented:

In the 7600/6500 series platform they are intergrated into the supervisor cards if you are using the SUP720 and its variants. If you are using SUPIIs than you need the SFM to get the full 256Gbps perfromance.

Wht SUP are youo planning on using?

harbor235 ;}
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ccfcfcAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the replies.

I am still looking at the capabilties of the differeing Supervisor modules. It's my understanding from what I have been able to find out so far the one of the differences between Supervisor modules is that, regardless of the maximum backplane of the switch/router, the Supervisor has it's own maximum which limits how much of the switch/router backplane can actually be used. If you go for a cheaper Supervisor with a smaller maximum backplane, you could then add a SFM at a later date if you needed to increase the backplane capacity. Would that be correct ?

I realise there will be other differences between Supervisor modules, so I have another thread open asking for information on that to aid us with our choice, as this is our first experience with this paricular hardware.

Thanks.
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