Cisco Hardware question

Posted on 2009-05-12
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Simple question.

how does a cisco 4506 switch differ from a 7000 series router.

OK the question is a bit more generaly than that, I use GNS3 to simulate networks quite a lot, however I have 4506 switchs on site which are not suported in this software.

So I need to use a router. However how do I know what features are only avalible on the 700 series and what is avalible on the 4500?

if both have the same ios image name, release, and service level on them, would they suport the same features?

the reson is that I want to be able to simulate HSRP with IP SLA monitering, on a 4506 switch. So I am going to have to use a router image.

It seems to me that the term router and switch have a massive cross over when it comes to CISCO, most of there switcsh are now fully routing enababled, I just wondered if any one could tell me the differences between the 7000 range of routers and the 4500 range of switchs. and how the IOS images compare in features.

Ie. 7000 enterprise image and a 4506 enterprise image.

The area of CISCO images seems to be massive and although I have got my head round the seperate images for a single switch/router. I  still wonder how the images with simmler releases differ between devices. It there anyrelationship, or are seperate device series completely seperate from each other?
Question by:Aaron Street
  • 2

Accepted Solution

ksims1129 earned 500 total points
ID: 24366757
the cisco 4500 series switches are more for dense access layer switches. They have router capabilites but no stateful firewall capabilites. They do not offer high end enterprise feature such as mpls. The 7000 series routers are high bandwidth wan aggregators. they support enterprise level routing such as mpls and route health. High end enterprise router features.
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Author Comment

by:Aaron Street
ID: 24368856
I get that,

so what we are saying is the basic routing protocals are present on both devices. and where as the switchs are geared towards high switching throughput, (and have features that enhance this) the routers have the advanced features that are geared towards routing.

And there is no link between say 12.2(20)SE4 ios for a 4506 and a 12.2(20) ios image for a 700 series?
LVL 16

Author Comment

by:Aaron Street
ID: 24722481
Ok now I get it!!

Switchs only really run the ethernet layer 2 protocol. Some do some basic WAN layer 2 protocols but they are geared to run MAC address switching at high speed..

Routers on the other hand can handle many different Layer 2 protocols, So where as the 4506 may have ip routing on it. It can't run frame relay, or PPP or any other layer 2 protocol nessery for WAN links....

Cisco and other compinies really should have renamed there devices.

A Switch is a layer 2 device and a Router is a Layer 3 device (at least that the correct defination of the terms).

I supose the correct name for a 4506 should be a LAN router, and a 7000 is a WAN router.


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