1. The Supervisor engine is the heart of any modular catalyst switch. It provides centralised forwarding information and processing. The line cards provide port connectivity while the switch fabric will provide a high speed connection between the slots
2. As said above, modular switches like the 4500, 6500, 7600 require a supervisor engine.
The New Nexus 7000 too requires a supervisor engine
Just think of the supervisor engine as the brain of a modular-based switch. It stores all the forwarding information: routing tables, arp tables, mac-address tables. CEF tables, etc. That's what's meant by "centralised forwarding information and processing."
Now, you can have forwarding information distributed on individual line cards to increase the switch's forwarding rate, but that's another story.
We can write/speak volumes about the supervisor engine module. The best thing to do is read about them on Cisco's website.
Hi everyone, I would like to thank you in advance for any help you can provide a newcomer like myself!
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