Campus Access and Server Access

Unanswered Question
Oct 12th, 2007

If you had to write a reference architecture document where you had to delineate the architectural and operational requirements for a user access switch and a server farm access switch, what would be the main differences?

The way I look at it, for any environemnt where I had more than 200 connections in a mission critical office, I would not use the 3750 stacks. I would go for a chassis-based switch with dual SUPs and redundant power supplies.

I would go for a dual 4507 switches for the user access layer.

But what about the server farm? I think I would need something more robust, like a 6509 (same architecture though -- dual SUPs, dual power supplies, chassis based, etc).

Any input?

I have this problem too.
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Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 10/12/2007 - 16:55

Usually the two main differences between user facing edges and servers edges, user edges often don't generate as much traffic per port and user edge also might warrant additional security to/from the port.

I wouldn't exclude a 3750 (or 3750-E) stack so quickly from consideration. The primary advantage of the chassis solutions with dual everything is much quicker failover especially if running NSF. This though is usually much more expensive than a 3750 stack. With the stack, you implicitly have extra "sups" with each member unit. Power redundancy can be addressed with RPS units. 3750 stacks are also nice sizing for what you need now with easy growth or reduction. (Often it's expensive per port to have a large chassis with dual everything supporting only one or two line cards. Also it's annoying to need just one more slot when the chassis is full.)

Consider with the current move to gig and 10 gig, the 4500 architecture is showing its age with only 6 gig to line cards.

3750 stacks make nice port aggregators to/from 6500s.

lamav Fri, 10/12/2007 - 17:13

You make some goo dpoint, Thomas.

The thing is that this client has had several bad exoeriences with the 3750, so I dont think they are going to go for it in their Tier 1 sites (300 - 3000 USERS -- MISSION CRITICAL).

They will keep the 3750s for the field offices with 50-100 users.

As fo rmoney, they have millions they need to burn...Ive been told not to worry about making expensive suggestions.

For the server farm, I was going to suggest the more robust 6509 with dual SUP 720s.

What do you guys think?

Joseph W. Doherty Fri, 10/12/2007 - 18:37

If money isn't an issue, 6500 series is a fine choice. For server farms (or anywhere to provide NSF), dual sup720s sounds good. Keep in mind to use cef720 cards and the possibility of placing DFCs on the line cards. Also keep in mind the fabric connections differences between the 6513 and the other 6500 models.

For user edge, again if money isn't an issue, also go with the 6500. The hard decision is whether to use the sup720 or the sup32-PISA. Besides the performance and features of the 6500 series sups, you also can use the various service modules.

While buying all the edge 6500s, assume they will also want distribution and core 6500s. Think dual sets with dual sups and 10 gig connections.

lamav Sat, 10/13/2007 - 03:03

Thanks....Ill think about what you said.....

Anyone else?


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