Configuration differences between 4500/PIX/CSS and 6500/FWSM/CSM

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Aug 11th, 2009
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Hi there,


I'm getting ready to upgrade some of my infrastructure from a combination of 4500's, PIX's and CSS's to use 6500's, FWSM's and CSM's. Are there any major design differences I have to take into account with the 6500/FWSM/CSM combo that I didn't have to consider with the 4500 combo?


I've never used the 6500's before so I'm unfamiliar with their setup and configuration. I'm planning on running the 6500 with IOS for the both the switching and routing engines.


Thank in advance,


Brandon

Correct Answer by Jon Marshall about 7 years 7 months ago

Brandon


Fundamentally there isn't a huge difference between configuring a 4500 and a 6500 other than the 6500 has more functionality.


The FWSM has syntax that is very similiar to a pix and although there are additional steps to take with the FWSM you should be able to work most of it out from the docs.


The CSS however is a different matter. The CSM uses completely different syntax and don't assume that the CSM will support all the functionality you had on the CSS, or at least it will do it in a different way. If you get stuck on the CSM you should post into the Data Center -> Application Networking forum where the experts on these devices live.


From a design point of view - well it depends on what you are doing now. A classic setup with an FWSM and a CSM is to run the FWSM in routed mode and the CSM in bridged mode. I have done this before and it works quite well although it is dependant on the applications in use and the traffic flows.


However more likely you are currently running the CSS in routed mode - you can still do this on the CSM as well so you shouldn't have to look into redesigning your whole setup.


The Cisco docs for the 6500 service modules are very good so they should be your first point of call.


Jon

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Correct Answer
Jon Marshall Tue, 08/11/2009 - 08:22
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Brandon


Fundamentally there isn't a huge difference between configuring a 4500 and a 6500 other than the 6500 has more functionality.


The FWSM has syntax that is very similiar to a pix and although there are additional steps to take with the FWSM you should be able to work most of it out from the docs.


The CSS however is a different matter. The CSM uses completely different syntax and don't assume that the CSM will support all the functionality you had on the CSS, or at least it will do it in a different way. If you get stuck on the CSM you should post into the Data Center -> Application Networking forum where the experts on these devices live.


From a design point of view - well it depends on what you are doing now. A classic setup with an FWSM and a CSM is to run the FWSM in routed mode and the CSM in bridged mode. I have done this before and it works quite well although it is dependant on the applications in use and the traffic flows.


However more likely you are currently running the CSS in routed mode - you can still do this on the CSM as well so you shouldn't have to look into redesigning your whole setup.


The Cisco docs for the 6500 service modules are very good so they should be your first point of call.


Jon

branfarm1 Tue, 08/11/2009 - 08:53
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Thanks Jon.


I've been a little confused as I've read through mountains of design guides and reference sheets because they always refer to the MSFC ... so I wasn't sure if there were more pieces to 6500 to configure.


Thanks again,


--Brandon

Jon Marshall Tue, 08/11/2009 - 08:56
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Brandon


The MSFC is just the routing card on the 6500. If you are going to be using native on the 6500 ie. IOS to configure both the switch and the MSFC, and i recommend you do, then it will seem very similar to what you already have on your 4500 setup - assuming you have an IOS based version on that.


Jon

iyde Wed, 08/12/2009 - 08:00
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Brandon,

I don't know if you already have purchased the hardware yet? If not, then you should consider the ACE Module instead of the CSM for the Cat6500. CSM is not EOx yet but it is clearly on the ACE side that Cisco is putting in the development efforts.

And as Jon writes, there's a whole forum for CSS/CSM/ACE to which it is very recommendable to put any questions you may have in regard to those products.

HTH

branfarm1 Wed, 08/12/2009 - 08:07
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Thanks. I've thought about getting the ACE but since it is so new it is still cost prohibitive. I can get the CSM for almost nothing :) I'm working on shoe-string budget, so every penny counts.


I've used the CSS/CSM/ACE forum quite a bit during my use of the CSS and I'll be sure to post my CSM questions there too.


Thanks again for all the help,


--Brandon

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