Upgrading 6509..

Unanswered Question
Jul 25th, 2007

We have a pair of 6509's with the following...



2x WS-X6408-GBIC

I am now looking into upgrading them....wondered what opinions are out there as to what would be recommended?

The obvious thing would be to add more fibre ports as they are running out...but is there anything special that can be done?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.

I have this problem too.
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Jon Marshall Wed, 07/25/2007 - 06:56


You don't say what these are used for so it's a bit difficult to say.

You now have a choice of 2 supervisors

1) Sup32 which is primarily used in the access-layer. It only supports the 32Gbps shared bus for all modules so if you have servers, other switches etc. it may not be the best choice.

2) Sup720 - this is is the supervisor of choice for any other type of deployment. It supports dedicated per module connections to the switch fabric so there is a lot more potential throughput than the sup 32.

As for your GBIC blades you could go for

ws-x516A-GBIC which is a CEF 256 module.

Alternatively you can look to utilise the ws-6724-SFP or WS-6748-SFP which give 24 and 48 gigabit ports respectively. The fibre connectors are LC instead of SC.

Be aware that if you are looking to upgrade you will probably need to look at new power supplies and a new fan.

Perhaps if you came back with a set of requirements we can point you in a more suitable direction.



Urfan Khaliq Wed, 07/25/2007 - 07:13

Hi Jon,

Thanks for that, (and also very quick too!!)

OK so the 6509s are used as the core to our network. One of the two 6509s also has a 48port gigabit module in it (where all the servers are connected). The Gbics are being used for connection to the edge switches...

Im quite new to all of this and a recent CCNA so not really as clued up as I could/should be.

Could you expand on the difference between the Sup32 and Sup720 and how they will affect performance when compared to the current supervisor modules we have? (sorry to be a pain!) lol

As far as requirements are concerned, I wanted to know what can be done because we have a chance to upgrade and I wasnt sure what we can upgrade to (other then just putting in more of what we have etc)

Your help is much appreciated.


Amit Singh Wed, 07/25/2007 - 07:10

I would suggest you to upgrade the SUP and all the line cards. The SUP1A that you are running is already EOL/EOS. With it you can only add 6408A GBIC modules to your chassis.


There are two options that you can go for. Sup32 which is a 32Gbps shared bus Sup engine with upgraded MSFC2A and PFC3 which has enhanced capabilities and features.You can also look for 10Gb sup engine.


You can also go for Sup720 which has an integreated 720Gbps switch fabric and can give you 720Gbps switch backplane capacity. There are a wide variety of Mouldes which are supported on Sup720 and can give a lots of scalability on the box. For example 6724-SFP module with 24 SFP based fiber ports and 6748-SFP with 48 SFP based fiber ports. You can also use DFC on these module for complete distributed architecture across the whole chassis. You can also look for 10Gb cards for future 10G scalability.



HTH,Please rate if it does.

-amit singh

Urfan Khaliq Wed, 07/25/2007 - 07:47


Thanks for the info, I didnt know that the current Supervisor Engines are EOL/EOS. Had a look through the Q&A sheets for the sup720 and sup32.

Am I right in thinking that the current Supervisor Engines we have are only 1Gbps and the sup32 is 32Gbps? (sorry if this sounds silly).

Also can anyone point me towards a similar Q&A sheet for the current supervisor engines we have (so as to help me compare), although this might not be possible now seen as they EOL/EOS?


PS what do you mean by "32Gbps shared bus Sup engine "?

Amit Singh Wed, 07/25/2007 - 09:24


Nope you current Sup engine is also a 32Gbps shared bus capable sup engine. By shared bus architecture we mean that there is a 32Gbps Bus in the backplane and all the module connect to this bus and 32 gbps is shared across all the modules.

No Q&A available for Sup1A, but you can check the datasheet for more info on this:


HTH,Please rate if it does.

-amit singh

Urfan Khaliq Thu, 07/26/2007 - 00:29

Hi Amit,

So what you mean is with the current sup engine having a 32Gbps shared backbone, and we have 16 gbic fibre ports (at 1Gbps) and also 40odd RJ45 Gbps ports, with everything in all at once we cant get 1Gbps on everything plugged in??

And the fact that we have two 6509's connected to each other between the two sups in each 6509, does that increase the backbone overall?

Sorry to sound like a newbie but I am :-) LOL

Thanks for your help


Amit Singh Thu, 07/26/2007 - 00:41


As I mentioned that this will use only 32Gbps shared bus and all the modules will share this backplane connection. So you are some what closer to your calculation but it all depends how many ports are present active and also on the line card architecture for forwarding the traffic.

I would recommend to read the link below for understanding the 6500 architecture.


HTH,Please rate if it does.

-amit singh

jwdoherty Wed, 07/25/2007 - 09:26

Assuming you don't expect to use 6500 service modules, don't expect to need the full up performance of a sup720 with DFCs, and also might be able to use some copper instead of fiber, you might want to look at a stack of 3750s or 3750-Es.


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