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New Member

6509 vs 4507R-E Series

We have a spare 6509 (purchased 2004) chassis and I had assumed that by upgrading the 6509 to Supervisor 32 and buying new GB line modules I would gain better performance than say purchasing a new Catalyst 4510.

But from investigation of the data sheets it seems that the E Series of the 4510R offers better performance than the 6509 with Sup32.

Could someone please help me with this?

If you had spare 6500 series chassis what would you do in terms of upgrade? Is it cost effective?

As you would expect I am trying to get the best performance but by keeping costs down.

We require 300+ ports, PoE possibility, basic routing capabilities.


New Member

Re: 6509 vs 4507R-E Series

non e 4500 switches have crappy 6Gbps connection to the fabric per slot.

New 4500-E have 24 Gbps for their 48 port cards, so you have a 2:1 oversubscription. Only POE models!

Old 6500 (non e) have a similiar crappy oversubscription.

If your gonna waist the money, buy the 4500-e atleast so you gte better performance.

Super Bronze

Re: 6509 vs 4507R-E Series

The 6509 with Sup32 provides 15 Mpps and 32 Gbps bus. The 4510R-E with sup6-E provides 250 Mpps and 320 Gbps fabric (24 Gbps per slot).

It appears the 4500 wins the performance race hands down. However, if the chassis is being used as an user edge device, where the bottleneck is likely the uplinks, then all the extra performance of the 4500-E is wasted.

Also consider the difference in feature sets and supported line cards and service modules between the two series. Here the 6500 likely wins hand down.

You really need to consider usage to find the best fit.

For instance, even better performance is found within the 6500 using the sup720 and dCEF720 line cards.

Or, for instance, a stack of seven 48 port 3750s and/or 3750-Es, might provide even a better cost ratio when compared to a chassis with dual sups. (Believe there's a pricing special on the 3750-Es with POE at the moment.)

"If you had spare 6500 series chassis what would you do in terms of upgrade? Is it cost effective?"

Just subtract out the price when shopping for what you need.

New Member

Re: 6509 vs 4507R-E Series

When compared the the total price of a Cat 65xx outfitted for real performance, the cost of the actual chassis is pretty small.

The L2 performance of the Sup32 is not really better than a Sup2. It is cheaper for them to build and has more uplinks to help drain the backplane. They share the same 16G/32G backplane capacity.

I think you could make a case for nearly any of the solutions mentioned, 6K-Sup32, 6K-Sup720, 4K-E Chassis, 3750 stacks...

It really boils down understanding what you are needing to support and grow into and what the clients and traffic flows need to do.

Regardless of the chassis backplane performance, nearly all of Cisco's switch line cards are oversubscribed, so it is not so simple or cheap as we might hope. There are a very few that are not oversubscribed and they are expensive and have their own quirks (like no PoE in the 6K for the non-oversubscribed line cards). Do you really need 300 simultaneous line rate GigE ports? If so, there are no uplinks to get that much data out of the chassis to send it anywhere.

In most business/productivity environments, the lowly Sup32 in a 9-slot chassis with 8:1 oversubscribed GigE ports provide more than sufficient bandwidth for an edge switch device. The 45xx series can do the same thing, as can the 3750 series...

Once you can define what you really need and what the criteria are for design/selection, the Cisco parts catalog can let you go shopping for the right items, but that is really the last step, not the first, second or even third. Then you can see if having a spare chassis is a big help or not. You can always use it as a test bed for flashing other Sup cards, testing IOS updates, trying out a new line card or whatever...

New Member

Re: 6509 vs 4507R-E Series

Thanks for those replies

I had read the data sheet regarding the shared 32Gbps bus; compared to even the 4507Rs 64Gbps. I had almost decided to buy new.

Another forum mentioned that as we have Supervisor 2 and some WS-X6548-GE-TX cards already we could just buy the Switching Fabric Module WS-C6500-SFM and that would upgrade the backplane to 256Gbps and would then need nothing else then?

What do you think?

Super Bronze

Re: 6509 vs 4507R-E Series

The sup2 with SFMs (or SFM2s), as you note provides a 256 Gbps bandwidth; 8 Gbps per slot (or 16 Gbps for 6816). The SFMs also double the sup2's PPS rating from 15 Mpps to 30 Mpps. Further the dCEF256 cards with DFCs normally provide 15 Mpps (or 24 Mpps for 6816) on the card.

Discounting the 6500 DFC cards additional Mpps, the original 4500 chassis and later sups, such as the sup4 and sup5, provide less fabric bandwidth, but can provide a higher Mpps. Between this two configurations then, the 4500 has the advantage of higher Mpps and the 6500 more bandwidth.

With DFC equipped line cards, the 6500 pulls ahead both in Mpps and bandwidth.

The sup5-10GE provides additional Mpps and bandwidth on the sup to support the dual 10 gig links. 10 gig, I believe, isn't available for the 6500 using a sup2.

The newer 4500-E and its sup6-E would be a step up in general performance vs. 6500 sup2/SFM.

So, addition of just the SFM/SFM2, with other preexisting CEF256 or dCEF256 cards, can provide an inexpensive (compared to purchase of a whole new chassis and line cards) and possible notable performance upgrade.

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