I have a question regarding choice of Layer-3 devices on a mid-size network. This network averages about 1200 client machines and there are 100 servers.
Which is a better choice for core and distribution-layer routing? Should I go with four Catalyst 4500s with Supervisor-5 for Layer-3 routing. Two 4500s for Core-Layer and two 4500s for Distribution-Layer.
Or should I collapse the Layer-3 routing using only two Catalyst 6500 with Sup720s? The servers will connect to regular Layer-2 4500 switches with Sup2+ and all routing will be on two Catalyst 6500s with Sup720s.
So, should I separate my Core and Distribution routing or should I collapse it all? Again, there are only 1200 clients and 100 servers. Which routing option would give me the best performance and best feature-set?
Technically the 6500 with sup720 is a better choice for raw performance and additional features. The primary advantage of the sup5 for a 4500 is preservation of the rest of chassis and existing line cards saving $.
If you do go for 6500 with sup720 (and DFC line cards), I would not be concerned about running a collapsed model for your size.
Since 6500s support redundant sups, without a special chassis, you also need to consider whether you really want dual boxes.
With only 100 servers, also consider attaching them directly to the 6500.
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