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Need more 10GB ports - upgrade 6500 vs buy 4500-X?

Hi everyone,

I need to upgrade our core to add more buildings that are being upgraded to 10GB connectivity. Two options we're discussing are a) upgrade our 6509 to include a new supervisor (current is Sup720, would be upgrade to Sup 2T) and an additional blade with more 10GB ports, or b) buy a 4500-X and trunk it to our 6509 to provide more 10GB ports.

What are the things to consider here? Would we need/want an newer supervisor even if trunking the 4500-X?

Also, just curious, is anyone using a 4500-X as a core where they would have traditionally used a 6500? I'm just thinking about down the road...


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Hall of Fame Community Legend

Future proofing of your

Future proofing of your investment is a must.  You want to make sure that what you're about to invest in (6500 or 4500) will meet the growing bandwidth demand in the next 4 to 8 years down the road. 


The option of 6500E or 4500X is not considered as "future proofing".  Why?  Let's take the 6500.  Let's say you stick the "latest and greatest' supervisor card compatible with the 6500E, Sup2T.  This means that the backplane of the 6500 can support up to 80 Gbps per slot.  Now, what about the future?  What happens if you need more bandwidth and Cisco launches a better supervisor card next year?  Can you upgrade the 6500E to a newer supervisor card?  The answer is NO.  


My recommendation is to look at the 6807X instead.  Currently 6807X, with Sup2T, can support up to 220 Gbps per slot.  Rumours has it that Cisco will be releasing a new supervisor card next year and will DOUBLE the per-slot-bandwidth.  At 440 Gbps per slot, you think anyone would "settle" with 10 Gbps?  How about 40 Gbps?  How about 100 Gbps?  If you've got a 440 Gbps how many 100 Gbps can you use?  


Think of it this way, the 6807X is designed to support up to 880 Gbps.   Think about it.  


NOTE:  Take note that I am NOT mentioning anything about the 6880X or 6840-series of switches.

Rising star

I think you need to consider

I think you need to consider more than just the hardware side of your choice.

It depends on your overall network architecture and business needs but the 65K switches offers more features than the 45K. For example the 65K with correct license supports full MPLS BGP whereas the 45K only supports VRF Lite.

VIP Expert

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Much depends on how many additional 10g ports you need (very few if just changing the Sup provides them), your budget, and your future plans.  Another option you might consider would be an "inexpensive" (e.g. 3650-48TQ) switch that offers 10g ports, used just to "fan out" one of your existing 6500 10g ports.

Regarding using a 4500-X as a core, I could see that as long as you understand how you're positioning yourself.  We've been using the 6880 for some core devices; a little more flexibility to their design than the 4500-X but where we don't see a need for 6807s (they take less rack space too).  We haven't (yet?) considered the recently released 68xx fixed models, those like the 4500-X.


You may also consider Nexus

You may also consider Nexus 5672 as it is a datacenter grade switch and pricing is almost same as 4500x. Would also give you options for 40G and other DC features like VDC, vPC, LISP etc. 

Though I had never purchased 4500x in my life, I was just comparing prices and found the least price for 4500x to be $10,800 here -

N5k which I bought was only $870 higher than this.



Pawan Sharma