L3 Switch

Unanswered Question
Apr 13th, 2008

What does Supervisor Engines do ?

I have this problem too.
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Jon Marshall Sun, 04/13/2008 - 12:05


The supervisor engine in Catalyst switches such as the 4500 / 6500 is basically the "brains" of the switch. It is responsible for forwarding both L2 and L3 packets between modules within the switch and with the built in MSFC it is responsible for building the L3 routing tables.

Without a supervisor the switch is just a very expensive door stop :-)


Jon Marshall Sun, 04/13/2008 - 13:17

MSFC = Multi Switch Feature Card. On a 6500 switch it is responsible for control plane functions.

The control plane is responsible for building the L3 forwarding tables, establishing peerings with other L3 neighbors etc.

The supervisor is responsible for the data plane ie. actually forwarding the data, both L2 and L3 data.



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