I would like to get some input as to the best switch to use at the access layer. I am considering both the 6500 with a Supervisor 32 and the 4500 with a Supervisor 5. I am using the Sup 720 in the data center so staying with a single platform is appealing although the 4500 clearly appears to out perform the Sup 32.
Does anyone have experience with the Supervisor 32? Any feedback would be much appreciated.
One of the main benefits of the Sup 32 is its ability to provide MPLS in hardware. This is supposed to be a stepping stone for companies to work up to the cost of a 720. The use of a 4500 or 6500 in the access layer will depend on the type and amount of traffic you are going to pass. What type do you currently anticipate?
Go with the 6500 with the Sup32. Cisco has a bundle with a chassis, Sup32, and a Fan for the reduced price.
Few reasons the Sup32 is a better choice.. (engage your Local Cisco account team for a overview to compare architectures)
Same Layer2 engine as the Sup720. This means you will receive the same Layer2 performance as the Sup720 would using classic line cards
Modular IOS and the Same IOS as your core. This allows you to only have to test and maintain one code for the network
Can upgrade to a Sup720 later if your needs change. (or the next version line cards as well without replacing chassis)
higher density POE support in the 6500 chassis.
Many more features are supported in Hardware on the Sup32 due to the PFC3B.
Control Plane Policing. Hardware policiers
Service module support
Dont let PPS fool you on the spec sheets. Look at the architecture as a whole. The Sup V on the 4500 is a shared memory architecture and has a limited "punt path". The Sup32 has a 1Gbs punt path and the SupV is under 250k pps. The Sup V also does not have a dedicated L2 engine like the Sup32 does (PFC3B vs asic)
Your profile also lists you as with a financial firm. With multicast in the equation, the 6500 is always the best bet. The Multicast features/policers support in hardware to insure reliability and low latency switching is a perfect fit for the Sup32/Sup720.
With the Sup32 you can have the same reliability you have in the core. Also, the 6500 bundle cost comes to roughly the same cost as the 4500.
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