Catalyst 6500 Hardware Configuration

Unanswered Question
Dec 17th, 2008
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I just got curious with the 6500 series switches. I've been handling 6500 switches for the past years and now, I want to know how to assemble one. Meaning the Supervisor Engine. We have really old 6500 switches. What are the requirements to assemble a supervisor engine?

For example:

I have an old Supervisor 2 engine. I only want layer 2 functionality. If I bought only the engine, I don't have an SP yet right? I need a daughter card something like the one below. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Mod Sub-Type Sub-Model Sub-Serial Sub-Hw Sub-Sw

--- ----------------------- ------------------- ----------- ------ ------

1 L2 Switching Engine II WS-F6020A SAL0713AVL3 2.0

But what if I bought WS-F6K-MSFC2. This includes both SP and RP? CatOS for the SP and IOS for the RP (talking about the hybrid ones)? Is the PFC optional? I know that in the Sup720 series, the MSFC3 and PFC3 are not optional anymore. I just want to be familiar with the old ones.

Now, I am thinking that the supervisor engine is more of like a motherboard. with nothing else on it (aside from the switch fabric). If you want sound only (layer 2) then install a sound card (L2 SE), but if you want sound and video (layer 2 and 3), install a card that holds sounds and video (something like MSFC). Then if you need more horsepower for the dataplane, go get a PFC.

From the MSFC perspective, I can see that it can be a separate entity if it's running hybrid and runs as a single entity when running native IOS.

Now, what about the flash types and memories. I read that the SP and RP has separate flash or bootflash (whatever you call it). If I'm running hybrid mode. If I issue dir bootflash: in CatOS, it will display the SP bootflash right? Then on the IOS (MSFC), if I issue dir bootflash:, it will display the RP bootflash?

Then if I'm running native mode, dir sup-bootdisk will display the SP bootflash and dir bootflash: will display RP?

What about the DRAM? Will it combine in native mode?

Sorry for asking too many questions but I think this is a good starting point to understand its design.

Thanks in advance guys.


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glen.grant Wed, 12/17/2008 - 11:27
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If you have a sup2 card then yes you have a layer 2 only switch . If you ad a msfc then you have a l2/3 switch with routing capabilities. The msfc card is the layer 3 card that does the routing.

On the sup 2 card it will be bootflash unless you have a optional flash card in slot0 : The supervisor and the msfc have there own flash called bootflash: .

The new 720's are really not much different they have a layer 2 side and a layer side except they are just combined a one IOS (native) . The older sup2/msfc2 can also be converted to native so it runs IOS only.


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