I am debating whether to go with the 7600 or the 6500. Are there any differences in the backplane? I know there are differences in some of the modules that are supported, but other than the modules... is there a performance difference?
There is no difference in Backplane as both can be loaded with SUP-720 and will deliver 720Gbps Switching Fabric with 400mpps throughput.
I understood that both use different IOS trains, so i think that you have to search for the feature set that satisfies your needs and make sure for its support on both platforms.
depends on what are you want to do?
The 7600 is primary a router, and the 6500 is primary a switch with a lot of services.
the supervisors seams the same. so you wont have major performance differences. and the supervisor defines the backplane speed.
I suggest you talk to your local Cisco rep/SE because I believe there are some upcoming changes to the 7600 and 6500 product ranges that might make your decision easier.
I don't recall the details, but I think the currently blurry lines between the products will be sharpened up.
While they do share many common supervisors, cards, and features, the distinction becomes obvious when you start to look at the features in the IOS software.
7600 would have more of the WAN & Service Provider features, and 6500 would be more targeted to an Enterprise backbone, or Data Center deployment.
Take a look at the release notes for the 12.2SRA software train on CCO to see what kinds of features you can expect in the 7600.
As patrick said, the cisco 7600 is basically a high end router while the cisco 6500 though also capable of multi-layer switching is more of a high end switch.
As defined by Cisco, the 7600 Series combines optical WAN/MAN networking and high-volume Ethernet aggregation with a focus on the delivery of high-touch services for the IP and MPLS edge. It combines Layer 2 and Layer 3 networking capabilities with a high-bandwidth, high performance architecture including hardware-based forwarding of MPLS, IPv4 and IPv6. Each router can deliver DS0 to OC-48 WAN and Nx10-Mbps Ethernet to Nx10-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity into service provider edge, metropolitan-area and enterprise networks for a variety of triple-play and aggregation solutions.
On the other hand, the 6500 family delivers highly available secure converged network services for Enterprise and Service Provider networks. It is designed to address increased requirements for gigabit scalability, high-availability, rich services, and multilayer switching in backbone distribution, and wiring closet topology as well as datacenter environments.
Generally, both supports several modules and supervisor cards so probably, to be able to decide on which to use is to identify your purpose. If you are a service provider setting up an IP core network, the 7600 well suites your needs. But for an enterprise setting up a core network or a datacenter, the 6500 series is very well enough. The high-availability features of the 6500 series switches is also a plus for datacenters or networks where resiliency and availabilty is a big factor.
Hope this helps, regards,
I will look into the release notes and speak with a Cisco SE to see if there are upcoming changes because I really do not see a big difference between the two with the exception of module capability. It would seem that if standard service provider services are required, ie BGP/MPLS/10G, then either would do just fine becuase they both support identical sup cards. I really do not need WAN interfaces other than ethernet.