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N5k w/L3 or 4506-E w/VSS

We're planning a big UCS upgrade and are trying to decide if we should move the datacenter networks off of a pair of 4506-E Sup7Es to a pair of N5Ks. I heard that the 5K loses a lot of throughput with a L3 card though. Would it be better to get a pair of 10G line cards and stick with the 4506 with VSS? I'm trying to justify purchasing a Nexus bundle with 4 FEXs but I have plenty of room to grow on our 4506s.

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3 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: N5k w/L3 or 4506-E w/VSS

A lot depends on things you haven't said:

- is your UCS using a SAN?
- what's your access layer connectivity?
- are you running bgp (or other egp) on your 4k?
- etc.

Those considerations give context and make any recommendation better-informed

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Community Member

Re: N5k w/L3 or 4506-E w/VSS

We run iSCSI SAN, no FC. (Dell EQ 1G and 10G mixture)

We have a campus routed access layer and everything connects to our two 4506s with layer 3 except for the data center and some data, voice and wireless.....thats layer 2 (collapsed core??).

We use EIGRP. I was going to go with the N5K L3 card with Base since we'll only need EIGRP Stub.

Another issue with moving all of our SVIs from the 4506s to N5K is we have all of our routed access layers in this tolopolgy 10.10.x.x, 10.20.x.x, 10.30.x.x etc. So if we move SVIs for our building that has the data center to the N5K, that means the entire subnet would move. There are data, voice, wireless SVIs within that range so i wouldn't want them on the N5K. Does that make sense? Thanks for the advice.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: N5k w/L3 or 4506-E w/VSS

Yes your explanation makes sense.

I'm not hearing a compelling reason in what you've said that would make me incline to the 5k. Your main downside in sticking with the 4k core is the lack of 10 Gbps growth capacity. I've done a couple of installation with 4500X's that fix that nicely.

It might be worth your while to look at keeping the 4k core, making it into a VSS and connecting the four supervisor 10 Gbps ports to a new Nexus 6k.

I'd suggest having a partner run some configurations for you to compare cost vs. expandability (and taking into account limitations). they would also have insight into current promotions that might sway you one way or another based on compelling cost factors.


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