Network upgrade

Answered Question
Aug 25th, 2010

Hello,

I'm searching for advice regarding network equipment upgrade, as I don't have much experience with Cisco. I maintain LAN with 2 core switches (1x4500, 1x4006, 1 Cisco 3621 router on the stick, 16 access switches including 2950, 3650 units, 10 VLANs configured). My priority is to upgrade both core switches, so I'd like to know what would you guys recommend as a replacement for 4500 and 4006 units?

There are still some clients on the network with static IP config. I'd like to eliminate this as well as the need for router on the stick for VLAN routing. I was thinkin about running 2 fibre links for each access switch (1 for each core switch) and configuring VLANS with DHCP. Is there a way to achive redundancy, so if one core goes down the other will take over? I'm trying to find some config examples to achive this and eliminate router on the stick. I know that I could use 4500 core for to perform layer 3 switching. Could someone help me with config examples please?

Does above sounds like a good plan and direction to go to achive scalable and 1Gb backbone down the road?

thanks

lf

I have this problem too.
0 votes
Correct Answer by Leo Laohoo about 6 years 2 months ago

Firstly, I want to know if your finances will allow you to move up to 6500E.  Next question will be your timeline.

Let me let you "in" in a secret.  In the next 18 months, a new 6500E supervisor engine, called the Sup2T, will come out.  If you are interested in this, DO NOT get the 6708-10GB blade.

(4506 end of life perhaps?)

4500, like the 6500, has around 5-10 years worth of "life".

18 x 10Gb fiber ports to accommodate access switches

Hmmm ... you have a choice of the Sup7E for the 4500E and the new Sup2T.  Personally, if I can stall the project, I'd go to the Sup2T.  If management comes down and ask you why you don't want to purchase NOW, tell them it makes common sense to wait for the new product to arrive rather than buy a product which will be superseded with something else.

1 x 48 Gb module with PoE

3 x 48 Gb modules

All Supervisor Engines for the 4500 and 6500 will support PoE.  All you need is to get the right 10/100/1000BaseTx blade.  Also for the non-PoE 10/100/1000BaseTx blade, what are you going to use it for?  For servers connected to the 6500 the 6748 is recommended.
Correct Answer by Leo Laohoo about 6 years 4 months ago

By the way, there's one additional feature that I've forgotten to mention:

The new switches that were un-veiled recently were the 3560X, 3750X and the 2960S.  Each has it's own "thing".  But what caught my interest is the USB port.

We've already played with the 3750X and the 2960S.  I can upgrade IOS, copy file(s) to and from the USB stick all by using the USB port.

But we confirmed another feature:  Boot IOS from the USB stick.

Another thing we did was format the switch flash and let the switch boot into ROMmon.  Next (still in ROMmon), we instructed the switch to boot the IOS that was stored in the USB stick.  It works!

So, if you have these models and suddenly one of your switch dies because of corrupt IOS, you know what to do!

If you are interested in this feature, make sure your USB stick don't go more than 8Gb (I have tested up to 2Gb but couldn't go beyond that because we don't have any 8Gb USB stick available, maybe someone can test the 8Gb and let us know).   Also, format the USB stick using the switches.

Hope this helps.  Please don't forget to rate our useful posts. 

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 5 (2 ratings)
Loading.
Leo Laohoo Wed, 08/25/2010 - 15:34

Does above sounds like a good plan and direction to go to achive scalable and 1Gb backbone down the road?

I hope it's a type-o when you said you want to achieve "1Gb backbone down the road" because what ideally you should be looking (with multi-media voice and video streaming) is 10Gb "down the road".

Replace 3600 router:  It is unknown to use what modules and functions your current router is doing.  If it's just a router-on-a-stick then I guess a Layer 3 switch can do it.  If it's doing more than this then you really can't replace a router with a Layer 3 switch because there are just so many things a router can do that a Layer 3 switch can't like network module support.

Access Switch replacement:  If Layer-2-only switch is your requirement then take a look at the new 2960S.  The "D" suffix support 1Gb and 10Gb.  The "P" models support PoE.  Be extra careful with the number of PoE ports each model can support as alot of people have run into trouble with them (this is applicable if you are using the 48-port, PoE switches).

Core Switches:  The most affordable Core switch that can support 10Gb is the 6500E with Sup720 cards.  There are three 10Gb blades and they can support 4, 8 and 16 ports of 10Gb with a 40Gb (half duplex or 20 Gb full duplex) backplane on the chassis.

You need to think about firewall if your network has outside-facing interface (like internet) and wireless access points too.

Let us know if you need more information.

Please don't forget to rate useful posts.  Thanks.

forman102 Tue, 08/31/2010 - 10:52

Thank you for the advice, Leaolaohoo.

There's missing 0 there I meant 10Gb of course.

There's lots of work ahead of me, so I might have more questions.

2960S suits my needs perfectly. I was researching this specific model:

WS-C2960S-48FPD-L48 PoE+2x10G915W740W PoE

Could you tell me about the problems with PoE ports?

thanks

Leo Laohoo Tue, 08/31/2010 - 17:28

WS-C2960S-48FPD-L

Don't misunderstand this particular post's intention.  It's not meant to be condescending on anyone.

Firstly, you have chosen the 2960S, now what do those letters mean:

48 - number of ports, in this case it's 48 10/100/1000 BaseTx plus 2 SFP

P - means it supports PoE

D - supports 10Gb SFP interface (in this case SFP+) OR two 1Gb SFP OR 1 of each

F - means that it will support PoE (15.4w maximum) to all 48 ports.  The new 2960S also supports PoE maximum power of 20.0w but NOT to all ports (first-come-first-server-until-full basis).

L - means LAN Base IOS feature set

The "traps" (not really a problem) is that some people will say, "I want a 48-port switch with PoE" and dealers will sell you the cheapest model which supports 24-PoE, at 15.4w, or 48-ports at 7.7w.  I've met a number of people personally (and in the forums) who fell into this trap.

So it's good to ask alot of questions, particularly the most obvious ones.  If you don't ask, dealers will presume (most of the time, wrongly) that you know what you are doing/buying.

forman102 Thu, 10/28/2010 - 11:59

Leolaohoo,

Regarding core switches: I'm currently running 2 cores: 1x 4006 and 1x 4506. I'm looking into replacing 4006 first. From your answer I understood that to achive 10Gb backbone I should be upgrading to at least 6500E (Sup 720). How about 4506-E? Will it not support 10Gb fiber modules? Are there any reasons to skip directly to 6500E? (4506 end of life perhaps?).

My min requirments for this upgrade would be at least

18 x 10Gb fiber ports to accommodate access switches (currently running 1Gbase SX)

1 x 48 Gb module with PoE

3 x 48 Gb modules

What combinations of chassis/supervisor/modules would work?

Thank you.

Correct Answer
Leo Laohoo Thu, 10/28/2010 - 14:48

Firstly, I want to know if your finances will allow you to move up to 6500E.  Next question will be your timeline.

Let me let you "in" in a secret.  In the next 18 months, a new 6500E supervisor engine, called the Sup2T, will come out.  If you are interested in this, DO NOT get the 6708-10GB blade.

(4506 end of life perhaps?)

4500, like the 6500, has around 5-10 years worth of "life".

18 x 10Gb fiber ports to accommodate access switches

Hmmm ... you have a choice of the Sup7E for the 4500E and the new Sup2T.  Personally, if I can stall the project, I'd go to the Sup2T.  If management comes down and ask you why you don't want to purchase NOW, tell them it makes common sense to wait for the new product to arrive rather than buy a product which will be superseded with something else.

1 x 48 Gb module with PoE

3 x 48 Gb modules

All Supervisor Engines for the 4500 and 6500 will support PoE.  All you need is to get the right 10/100/1000BaseTx blade.  Also for the non-PoE 10/100/1000BaseTx blade, what are you going to use it for?  For servers connected to the 6500 the 6748 is recommended.
Correct Answer
Leo Laohoo Tue, 08/31/2010 - 17:43

By the way, there's one additional feature that I've forgotten to mention:

The new switches that were un-veiled recently were the 3560X, 3750X and the 2960S.  Each has it's own "thing".  But what caught my interest is the USB port.

We've already played with the 3750X and the 2960S.  I can upgrade IOS, copy file(s) to and from the USB stick all by using the USB port.

But we confirmed another feature:  Boot IOS from the USB stick.

Another thing we did was format the switch flash and let the switch boot into ROMmon.  Next (still in ROMmon), we instructed the switch to boot the IOS that was stored in the USB stick.  It works!

So, if you have these models and suddenly one of your switch dies because of corrupt IOS, you know what to do!

If you are interested in this feature, make sure your USB stick don't go more than 8Gb (I have tested up to 2Gb but couldn't go beyond that because we don't have any 8Gb USB stick available, maybe someone can test the 8Gb and let us know).   Also, format the USB stick using the switches.

Hope this helps.  Please don't forget to rate our useful posts. 

Actions

This Discussion