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What would be a good upgrade from Cisco 6506-E?

Posted on 2016-10-27
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Last Modified: 2016-11-02
Hi,

We're looking to upgrade our Cisco 6506-E which act as a core in our network. In this upgrade, we're looking to upgrade to a mixed 1Gb and 10Gb network. I'm looking at the Nexus 5K with 2K.

If I want to reduce the cost, does the 3850 have enough power to replace the 6506 at all? the number on its datasheet seems fine.

Is it worth to upgrade the chassis at all or replace line cards with 10Gb SFP?   The cost of the 10Gb line cards is expensive.

These are the module I have on the 6506-E...
WS-X6748-GE-TX    
WS-X6748-GE-TX    
WS-X6748-GE-TX    
VS-S720-10G      
WS-X6724-SFP      

Thanks,
Matt
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Question by:Matt Tse
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kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
ID: 41863353
What services do you run on your network? Do you run any storage, such as iSCSI, or NFS or SMB3 for virtualization? If you do, you want a switch with low latency and large buffers, which means the Cat 4000 series or higher. The Catalyst 3K series of switches is designed for wiring closets, not servers.
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 41863474
The 6807 is the natural replacement for this.
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 41867713
4K isn't a replacement for the 6K.
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Author Comment

by:Matt Tse
ID: 41867726
You are right Craig.  I meant to tag ur comment as the solution. But I was doing this on my phone and this happened.  I'm new to EE.  Anyway I can change that?

Thanks again for the recommendation!
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 41867856
A 4K might be able to replace a 6K at the core. It did for me. A 3K also might be okay, but is limited it's ability to support storage networking. Without knowing anything about what the needs of the network are, we can't make any recommendations regarding what is actually appropriate for the environment.
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 41869303
How, kevin? There are linecards in the 6K that you can't put in a 4K chassis. The 4500-E isn't a core switch and the 4500-X isn't capable of taking linecards. The 6807 is the replacement for what's there already.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 41869312
There are many possible network designs, with various types of equipment that can be procured. OP is also asking about replacing 6506 with a 3850, which also isn't a core switch, and doesn't take line cards. Without a better description of the environment or the goals, it's hard to make any recommendations. It seems that cost may or not not be an issue.

a 10G line card could be installed in the existing chassis. A 4500-X could be added to the network for the 10G connectivity. It could even be made into the "core", and the 6506E could be made into an access switch.
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 41869349
I hear you, but the question asked for a good upgrade and mentions linecards. For that reason alone a 3850 and 4500-X are non-starters.

The 4500-E isn't a core switch; never has been and never will be. That leaves the 6807 which Cisco clearly state is the new 6500.

FWIW the 3850 10G mGig switch will likely replace the 4500-X in the future.
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 41869370
Is it worth to upgrade the chassis at all or replace line cards with 10Gb SFP?   The cost of the 10Gb line cards is expensive.

Totally depends on when the end goals are. Is the goal just to get some 10G? Does that 10G need to be low latency to handle microbursts from storage?

The 3850 looks like it's designed to be an access switch in wiring closets. That's fine, but it isn't a large buffer/low latency switch like a 4500-X for top of rack east-west datacenter applications.

Maybe the Nexus line is a good fit as originally proposed, but Matt needs to give more information.
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 41870962

The 3850 looks like it's designed to be an access switch in wiring closets. That's fine, but it isn't a large buffer/low latency switch like a 4500-X for top of rack east-west datacenter applications.

So you're just confirming that the 3850 isn't a replacement for a 6500.

As I said, you'll see soon enough that the 3850 will be the replacement for the 4500-X, so that blows the 4K out of the list too.  The only option therefore is the 6807, as I've already said.

If you're replacing a modular switch with a non-modular switch that has 25% the port density of the original switch, it's not an upgrade IMO.

I don't think "it depends on what you want it for" really comes into it.  The question is "What would be a good upgrade from Cisco 6506-E?".  The vendor says the replacement for the 6500 is the 6807, so that is a good replacement.
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