North American Network Operators Group

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Re: 10GE router resource

  • From: Justin Shore
  • Date: Thu Mar 27 09:49:16 2008

Robert Boyle wrote:

At 04:33 AM 3/27/2008, Tore Anderson wrote:
> Hands up those of you running Cat6500's in service provider
> environments.


Actually, not quite yet, but I'm considering purchasing a pair of
Cat6500's (with Sup720 PFC3CXL) for a new colo I'm setting up, bundling
them together with VSS.  They'll terminate a few transit links and links
to other colos, in addition to functioning as distribution/access
switches for the data center itself.

Are you saying that there's something about the Cat6500's that makes
them unsuitable for such usage?  I'd sure like to hear more about that
before I go ahead and buy them, if so.

Cisco wants you to pay 4 times as much for the 7600 which is the same platform except the cards are vertical instead of horizontal. (If you have a NEBS chassis, then that's not even a differentiator.) Oh, there is also a ROM/PROM/Flash chip in the chassis which tells IOS that you are on a Catalyst and not a 7600 so the newer 7600 IOS code supposedly won't work. This is the "code split" which they did about a year? ago. The Catalyst works great as a core router, but Cisco says that's the job for a 7600, not a 6500. I don't know if there are any other differences, FlexWAN card support? But for most of us, the 6500 works great and does everything we need. That's what the OP was referring to I believe.

6708 linecards aren't supported in 7600s (though I think that was supposed to change in SRC, which I'm not running yet because its reported to be buggy as hell). Support for the ES linecards is only found in the 7600 chassis too which has certain implications (some critical) if you're doing MPLS. One thing that the 6500 can't do and never will be able to do is CALEA. If you're a SP and have to have support for CALEA as required by law (and can't get it closer to the edge) then you should put some more thought into the 7600s or some other solution.

Yesterday Gert posted an interesting take to the C-NSP list on the Business Unit split that formally separated the 6500s from the 7600s.

I'm not advocating one over the other but I am advocating a thorough examination of one's needs, wants and requirements before buying one or the other. We (and every other US SP) are required by law to support CALEA for all broadband subs. Since we couldn't do it on our edge we were forced to do it in the core. That required us to run SR and SR made us buy 7600s. Others may not have that need.