Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How to install the different types of Supervisor Engines available for Cisco Catalyst 4000 and 4500 Series Switches



The Supervisor Engines available for the Cisco Catalyst 4000 and 4500 Series Switches are positioned as such:

  • Supervisor Engine I   Deployed in the Cisco Catalyst 4003 Switch only

  • Supervisor Engine II   Deployed in the Cisco Catalyst 4006, 4503, or 4506 Switches for entry-level, and only Layer 2 switching with support for Cisco CatOS. For new opportunities, position the new Supervisor Engine II-Plus whenever possible.

    Note: Supervisor I and Supervisor II only supports CatOS system software. In order to have Layer 3 functionality in these switches, you can install Catalyst 4000 Layer 3 Services Module (WS-X4232-L3).

  • Supervisor Engine II-Plus   Deployed in the Cisco Catalyst 4006, 4503, 4506, or 4507R Switches for entry-level, Layer 2 switching with basic Layer 3 services. Optimized for small and medium-sized enterprises and education customers.  

    Note: Supervisor II-Plus (Sup2+). Sup-III, Sup-IV and Sup-V only support Cisco IOS  system software.

  • Supervisor Engine III   Supervisor Engine II-Plus delivers non-blocking Layer 2 switching with Layer 3/4 intelligent services to power resilient, multilayer switching solutions for converged data, voice, and video networks.  

  • Supervisor Engine IV   Deployed in the Cisco Catalyst 4006, 4503, 4506, or 4507R Switches for highly scalable Layer 2, 3, and 4 switching with advanced Layer 3 and 4 services for deployment flexibility and investment protection.  

    For all new opportunities, position the Supervisor Engine IV whenever possible. It delivers everything that the Supervisor Engine III offers plus redundancy, a NetFlow Services Card option, and dynamic buffer limiting, at a better price point.

  • Supervisor Engine V An extension of the Supervisor Engine IV that offers higher capacity, nonblocking Cisco Layer 2-4 switching at 96 Gbps, with performance of 72 Mpps  

  • Supervisor Engine V-10GE The Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Supervisor Engine V-10GE offers non-blocking, Layer 2 4 switching with wire-speed 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks, that increases the Catalyst 4500 Series overall performance to 136-Gbps capacity and 102-mpps throughput.


When you run CatOS, then you see the (enable) prompt, and in Cisco IOS , you see > and # prompt.

You can check the operating system whether it is Cisco IOS or CatOS if you use the show version command output or if you check the type of Supervisor card.

These are the supervisor cards that support CatOS:

  • WS-X4012
  • WS-X4013

These are the supervisor cards that support Cisco IOS:

  • WS-X4013+
  • WS-X4014
  • WS-X4515
  • WS-X4516
  • WS-X4516-10GE

In Cisco IOS, you do not have to configure the sc0 interface because it does not exist, hence you need to configure the interface VLAN.

Refer to Cisco IOS Software Release 12.1(19)EW for Sup II-Plus, III, IV for more information on Supervisor Engines.

Refer to Install and Upgrade Guides for more information on how to install Supervisor Engines in Cisco Catalyst 4000 and 4500 Series Switches.


This post is very helpful to me as I work with Sups... Thanks for this simple post...