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What is SUP Engine

Ashish Shah


I'm curious to know what is Supervisior Engine or Supervisior Module that is used in 4500 or such higher modular switches. And how to configure them. Also how to check the current configuration of any switch having sup installed on it.

I'm having a task of upgrading sup 5 to sup 6 with maintaining current configuration same. I'm confused how to go-ahead with it. Need help urgently.

Thanks in advance.

Ashish Shah

2 Replies 2

Julio Tenorio

The supervisor engine is the central forwading intelligence of a modular switch such as the 4500 and 6500 series, and also takes care of the control plane and other functions. Think of it as the "brains" of your switch. They can be fully redundant with a hot standby feature so that if you by any means come to lose you primary supervisor, your secondary one will get control of everything and your users won't see any service disruption.

You should not have big problems in swapping you supervisor, as what determines the command set is your IOS version and feature set. Just be sure to check your newer IOS version for deprecated or substituted commands.

Good luck!

Cheers, Julio Sá


The Sup modules from one version to another should not be too hard to configure... You will want to check the IOS version on both the current Sup and the newer Sup modules, assuming that we are talking about native IOS and not CatOS, as well as that these Sup modules do not have an MSFC component included. I'm also assuming that you are only talking about replacing a Sup module and NOT adding a redundant supervisor module to the switch...

Now, let's assume that you have the current Supervisor module on a CATOS and the new one is on Native OS... my best recommendation is to do a manual configuration for the new native OS sup, which is what I did... Cisco's 'configurator' tool did not work very well for me...

Overall, if the 1st paragraph applies, then it is just a matter of copying the current configuration to the new Supervisor module (consoled in, of course) and ensuring that all key interfaces are 'no shut'... then it's just a matter of a quick review of the supervisor module config to ensure that most commands were accepted and working... some commands, like 'ip cef', may be different on a newer IOS, so you'll want to compare and verify that the commands took as needed.

Have fun!

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