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Community Manager

Ask the Expert: Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches

            Read the bioWith Amer Atout

Welcome to the Cisco Support Community Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to learn and ask questions about the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches with Cisco expert Amer Atout. 

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches are programmable campus backbone switches optimized for 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. They provide slot capacity of up to 880 G and smart and simple network operations using Cisco Catalyst Instant Access. These switches offer converged wired, wireless, and VPN security and exceptional investment protection with their Cisco Catalyst 6500 inheritance.

Amer Atout is a product manager for the Cisco Catalyst 6800 and 6500 Series Switches. He is responsible for promoting the next-generation supervisor module and fixed aggregation platforms. Previously, Amer was a customer escalation engineer for the Cisco Catalyst Access platforms, where he led in the resolution of escalated issues on Cisco Catalyst 4000, 3000, and 2000 products; increased customer satisfaction; and improved product quality. Amer holds a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the University of Jordan, Amman. 

Remember to use the rating system to let Amer know if you have received an adequate response. 

Amer might not be able to answer each question due to the volume expected during this event. Remember that you can continue the conversation in Network Infrastructure community,  sub-community, LAN, Switching and Routing discussion forum shortly after the event. This event lasts through January 17, 2014. Visit this forum often to view responses to your questions and the questions of other community members.


Hello Amer,

Could you please tell me if the Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL will support VSS? 



Hello Henry,

With the Cisco Catalyst Supervisor Engine 2T, the Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can be configured to work in VSS mode. At FCS the Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL will only be able to form a VSS pair with another Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL chassis.



And what about virtual port-channel, are we able to configure vPC on Cat 6800? BTW, is there any benefit using VSS over vPC (if both are available)?

Hello tenaro,

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches inherets the rich feature set of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches and hence it supports Virtual Switching System (VSS) delivering the following benefits:

  • Operational Manageability

Two Catalyst 6800s share a single point of management, single gateway IP address, and single routing instance.

Eliminates the dependence on First Hop Redundancy Protocols (FHRP) and Spanning Tree Protocol.

  • Non-Stop Communications

Delivers deterministic, sub-200 millisecond layer 2 link recovery through inter-chassis stateful failovers and the predictable resilience of Etherchannel.

  • Scalability

Doubles up system bandwidth capacity by activating all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 6800 switches.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches does not support Virtual Port Channel (vPC).




Thanks for the answer Amer.  That helps.  On another note, could you expand a little bit on the Catalyst 6800ia switch? what are the features, benefits, capabilities, etc? thanks


Hello Henry,

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Instant Access (6800ia) simplifies the design and deployment of the traditional enterprise network architecture by creating a single network touchpoint and single configuration across distribution and access-layer switches, fostering simplified operations and consistent features across distribution and access and ultimately helping reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO).

The Instant Access solution brings Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 features to the access layer. These include, but are not limited to, features such as:

• Layer 2: Advanced Virtual Private LAN service (A-VPLS), Multiprocotol Label Switching (MPLS), MPLS-VPN, Port Aggregation Protocol (PAgP), Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)

• Layer 3: IPv4, IPv6, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF-lite), multicast, medianet

• Security: 802.1x, Web-Auth, MAB, Security Group Tagging, Security Group Access List, VACL

• Network monitoring: Flexible NetFlow, SPAN/RSPAN/ERSPAN, Embedded Event Manager (EEM)

Hope this helps.




Hi Dear,


i have two core switches cisco 6807 xl with sup2t engine + 6800IA switches and when i tried to configure the port channel for IA switches access i could not find the command switchport mode  fex-fabric


kindly any support here?

please note that i am following official technical documents from cisco to configure my switches.


Dear do you help me with information When i use 6500 and when i use 6800? What i consider for this comparison?

Eli Kagan

Hi Amer,

What is your recommendation for new purchases Amer? 6500 or 6800?  I understand that feature wise they are the same, while 6800 has 10 times more backplane capacity. My primary concerns are reliability and platform longevity. Should 6500 even be considered in 2018?