Cisco Catalyst 4500 E - Supervisor Engine

Posted on 2011-10-28
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Ok Quick question/clarification,
I'm planing to replace my current core switch stack with a Cisco 4500 or 6500 series 6-slot chasis based system (model depends on overall pricing). My plan is to (start) with 4 48-port 10/100/1000 modules.

My main question is regards to the supervisor engine - I'm used to dealing with standalone systems or stack systems and not chassis.  My assumption is that a supervisor module is required.  Correct?  I am also assuming that the supervisor is the brains behind the system, and does all the work, and that teh modulles are essentially just an array of dummy ports.  As far as I can tell the main diffrence between supervisor modules is the overall throughput achieved by the system.  I also assume that all the engines are capable of L3 routing (needed).  

Do I have this about right?
Question by:JamesonJendreas
    LVL 79

    Accepted Solution

    Yes, the supervisor is absolutely required, and yes it is the brains of the outfit.
    Most supervisor engines are L3 capable.
    your reseller can show you some pricing differences with some pretty good bundles.
    If you need PoE on the ports, be sure you get the proper power supplies.
    one such bundle is the WS-C4507RE+96V+
    Comes with new Sup7LE, chassic, and 2 x 48-port modules. Just add a couple more modules and power supplies.
    The difference between 4506 and 4507 is that the 07 can support dual/redundant supervisor modules where the 06 cannot.
    6506 is also an awesome switch, but will cost a lot more than the 4500.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    In the 6500s some of the processing is distributed to the blades, and I think that's true in the 4500 as well, but I have less experience on that platform.  So the blades aren't quite "dumb".  But the Sup handles most things, and is absolutely required.  
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    yes you have it figure out but couple of things.

    fist of all there is some intelligence on the line cards them self because the cn execute ACL and QoS tasks depending on the cards you get normally the cheaper ones won't have this capabilities.

    the other thing is that you should get the best supervisor you can afford because they also support more specific capabilities like PFC side cards that help you to un load the main cpu of ACL, QoS, tasks and they off load the cpu. for the 6500 series y recomente to go on a sup-720 and if you are able to get two chassis do a VSS set up and you will get speeds up to 1.4 TB/s on the back plane. and for the 4500 i will go for the sup 7 and i will get a chassis with active stand by support.

    also get the dual power supply and if you do PoE check on the porter of the supply so you don't end with little power for the line cards.


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