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John Kim

LAN network design - Core/access with Cisco 6513


I have been tasked with setting up a new branch office, with 100+ users, a stack of servers (1Gb-based) and some wireless access points, WAN block (ASA 5520 and a couple of routers.)

At the moment, port requirement is around 400. 

As there's not enough space and it's only a single floor office, I'm thinking to go ahead with one of Cisco 6500 models, specifically Catalyst 6513-E, as a core and access switch. This way, there won't be any need to try to install 48-port switches around the small office area.


I'm not too sure about the pricing at the moment. It may be a better/cheaper option to go with a couple of 3750s as core/aggregation and 2960s for access switch installed all in the same rack. If I go with small switches, it would be roughly x7 48-port access switches and one stack of two 3750s, which gives about 450-60. 


I believe I won't utilise half of the capacity if I go ahead with 6513, however my manager wants to minimise the overhead managing this branch office hence this all-in-all one switch option has resurfaced.


Is there anyone using this kind of similar setup in the environment? If so, can you please share your opinions?

Also, would there be a huge difference in terms of pricing?



Catalyst 6503-ECatalyst 6504-ECatalyst 6506-ECatalyst 6509-ECatalyst 6513-ECatalyst 6509-V-E
Slots3469139 vertical
Max 10/100/1000 ports97145241385529385
Max 1 GE ports199147243387534387
Max 10 GE ports2345082130180130
Max 40 GE ports81220324432
Maximum forwarding performance (IPv4)150 Mpps210 Mpps330 Mpps510 Mpps720 Mpps510 Mpps
Height (RU)4511141921
Weight (chassis)33 lbs
(15 kg)
40 lbs
(17.8 kg)
50 lbs
(22.7 kg)
60 lbs
(27.3 kg)
79.1 lbs
(35.9 kg)
121 lbs
(54.9 kg )




Joseph W. Doherty
Hall of Fame Expert


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Will you need PoE?  If so, in current 6500 series, believe you'll need IAs.  If you go with them, you could use the 6807 or 6880.

You might find the 6500 (especially with dual sups [for redundancy]) pricy compared to using a 2960 stack with a 3750 stack.  (BTW, rather than 3750 series, you might want to look at the 3650 or 3850 series, the latter supporting WLAPs.)

Also if you really want to minimize the logical device count, and allow for better performance, you might want to have just a single L3 stack.

Or, another option might be to use 4510.  With as many ports as your looking to set up, you might find this even less expensive than some L3 stacks and its performance can be much better.

Thanks a lot for your input, Joseph.

I was just going over 4510R+E for a potential winner; It seems to have 10 slots, which gives me about 390 Gig ports, with two dual sups. Given that a single sup 8E can provide throughput as below table, I should think about going forward with a single sup.

Given that most users will be on 100Mbps at peak time and all other miscellaneous traffic, it would come down to around 20Gbps.

ModelSupervisor 8ESupervisor 7ESupervisor 7LESupervisor 6ESupervisor 6LESupervisor V 10 GE
DocumentationData SheetData SheetData SheetData SheetData SheetData Sheet
PerformanceSupervisor 8ESupervisor 7ESupervisor 7LESupervisor 6ESupervisor 6LESupervisor V 10 GE
Switching Capacity928 Gbps848 Gbps520 Gbps

320 Gbps

280 Gbps136 Gbps
IPv4 Throughput250 Mpps250 Mpps225 Mpps250 Mpps225 Mpps102 Mpps
IPv6 Throughput125 Mpps125 Mpps110 Mpps125 Mpps110 MppsSoftware Switched
Bandwidth/Slot48 Gbps48 Gbps48 Gbps24 Gbps24 Gbps6 Gbps
ScalabilitySupervisor 8ESupervisor 7ESupervisor 7LESupervisor 6ESupervisor 6LESupervisor V 10 GE
Number of Routes256K for IPv4
128K for IPv6
256K for IPv4
128K for IPv6
64K for IPv4
32K for IPv6
256K for IPv4
128K for IPv6
64K for IPv4
32K for IPv6
128K for IPv4
1K for IPv6
Number of Packet Buffers128K128K128K64K64K32K
NetFlow Entries128K128K128K--85K
MAC Learning Rate per Second20K20K14K13K8K8K
Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) Snoop Entries12K12K12K12K3K6K
Number of 10/100/1000 PortsUp to 384 accessUp to 384 accessUp to 240 accessUp to 384 accessUp to 240 accessUp to 384 access
10 GE and 1 GE Uplinks8 10 GE / 1 GE4 10 GE / 1 GE2 10 GE / 4 1 GE2 10 GE / 4 1 GE (TwinGig)2 10 GE / 4 1 GE (TwinGig)2 10 GE + 4 1 GE
1 GE Non-Blocking Fiber Ports19219212013812048
10 GE Fiber Ports9696603030-