The Journey of a Network Engineer

Jul 20 2011   8:20AM GMT

Introducing Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T

Sulaiman Syed Profile: Sulaiman Syed

Cisco very recently introduced the new SUP engine for the much trusted Catalyst 6500, the Supervisor Engine 2T (S2T). It is much welcomed sup line to already strong and dominant SUP720. You would expect that the new SUP should be better. That is how technology goes forward. I think the most important feature is the increase of the backplane capacity by double. That is 80Gbps.

The S2T gets its name from the fact that the It has 26 Fabric Channels boosting 80Gbps. So 80Gx26 = 2.08Tera. That is why it is called S(up)2T(era) The S2T has 26 Fabric Channel. Each Fabric channel is unidirectional with speed of 80Gbps. Thus, it can support 13 line cards with two Fabric Channels for bidirectional data transfer. 13 line cards? welcome the biggest Catalyst 6500 Chassis 6513-E

The main components of S2T are: Policy Feature Card 4 (PFC4), and Multilayer Switch Feature Card 5 (MSFC5). Lets have a look at what Cisco has to say about them.

Policy Feature Card 4

Supervisor Engine 2T features the integrated Policy Feature Card 4 (PFC4), which improves performance and scalability and provides new and enhanced hardware features. The PFC4 is equipped with a high-performance ASIC complex that enables hardware acceleration for existing and new software features. The PFC4 supports Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding, QoS, Netflow and Access Control List (ACLs) and multicast packet replication and processes security policies such as access control lists (ACLs) operations all simultaneously enabled with no performance impact. The PFC4 supports all of these operations for both IPv4 and IPv6. PFC4 also provides enhanced performance and scalability and supports many new innovations such as native VPLS, flexible NetFlow, egress NetFlow, Cisco TrustSec, distributed policers, control plane policing, and comprehensive IPv6 features.

Multilayer Switch Feature Card 5

Supervisor Engine 2T features the Multilayer Switch Feature Card 5 (MSFC5), providing high-performance, multilayer switching and routing intelligence. Equipped with a high-performance processor, the MSFC5 runs both Layer 2 protocols and Layer 3 protocols on the dual-core CPU complex. These include routing protocol support, Layer 2 protocols (for example, Spanning Tree Protocol and VLAN Trunking Protocol), and security services. The MSFC5 builds the Cisco Express Forwarding information base (FIB) table in software and then downloads this table to the hardware application-specific-integrated circuits (ASICs) on the PFC4 and Distributed Forwarding Card 4 (DFC4), if present on a module, which make the forwarding decisions for IP unicast and multicast traffic.

The main Features are:

• Platform scalability: Delivering up to 80 Gbps per slot of switching capacity on E-Series chassis; 2-Terabit aggregate bandwidth capacity using the 6513-E chassis, scaling to 4-Terabit capacity with VSS. Support for up to 1056 ports of 1Gbps and 352 ports of 10Gbps systems deployed with VSS. Providing 1Gbps/10Gbps and 40Gbps interface support to address future customer bandwidth growth requirements.

• Security: Support for Cisco TrustSec, CTS, providing MacSec encryption and Role-Based ACL. Providing control plane policing to address denial of service attacks.

• Virtualization: Native support for VPLS, as well as enhancements such as VPN-aware NAT, VPN statistics, and VPN netflow as important features needed for deployment of network virtualization.

• Netflow application monitoring: Supervisor Engine 2T supports enhanced application monitoring such as Flexible and Sampled Netflow for intelligent and scalable application monitoring.

It is a nice welcome for the Catalyst 6500. S2T will surely be used in Data Center and at Core layers. The nonblocking 8 ports 10G links would be a real advantage to support the current infrastructure. while, it is yet to be seen how the 40G ports will integrate into the data center.

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