Cisco delivers 10 Gigabit Ethernet to the closet
Paired with Catalyst 4506, stellar supervisor engine boasts wire-rate speedFollow @pvenezia
I then adapted the test on a per-VLAN basis, assigning several VLANs to each active port to simulate a VoIP/workstation scenario, this time limiting the bandwidth in a similar fashion on one specific VLAN, and reran the tests. Again, the 4506 performed with aplomb, successfully keeping up with the traffic flow at the highest levels that I could push it.
In another test run, I began the meshed streaming test with QoS disabled on the 4506 and then enabled QoS halfway through the test. There was a several-second hesitation in the CLI but no other ramifications of popping the clutch in this fashion, as might be necessary in production. The limiting began immediately and performed as expected.
I performed further testing using EtherChannel to bond the two 10 Gig uplinks between the switches and again running meshed 16-port Gig throughput and forwarding tests. The balancing between the uplinks is fully configurable and dealt well with the load presented. Using that test bed and 802.1q trunking between the two switches with the 4948-10GE as a switching core, I spanned the test links across eight VLANs and again ran throughput tests. Again, the resulting packet loss was measured in hundredths of a percent, or basically indistinguishable from wire-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
Ready to roll
Try as I might, I couldn't get the Supervisor Engine II-Plus-10GE in the 4506 to stumble, even when presented with oversubscribed workloads and heavy QoS overhead. The port density offered by the 4506 chassis is substantial: My evaluation unit came with 48 10/100 copper ports, 48 SFP (Small Form-Factor Pluggable) 10/100 fiber ports, and 18 SFP/copper gigabit interfaces. The 4506 can handle a maximum of 240 gigabit copper interfaces, each supporting 802.3af power over Ethernet. Also, 240 gigabit fiber ports are supported, making the 4506 with the Supervisor Engine II-Plus-10GE a large distribution layer possibility.
With redundant 1,000W power supplies, the power consumption isn't as substantial as one might think -- and I ran all my tests using a single power supply.
For use in a redundant configuration, the Cisco 4507R chassis is required, and two Supervisor II-Plus-10GE supervisors may be used in a fail-over fashion. Although four 10-Gig ports are present between the two supervisors, only two may be utilized in this configuration.
The Supervisor Engine II-Plus-10GE supports CLI and SNMP management but doesn't support Web management of a useful sort. However, Cisco's Network Assistant will work with the Supervisor Engine II-Plus-10GE and provide SNMP-driven GUI management for most common functions, such as VLAN port changes and general switch management.
So, given a solid fiber plant, pushing 20Gbps each way to closets or other buildings on a campus or within a MAN (metropolitan area network) is easily possible with this switch. Cisco's Supervisor Engine II-Plus-10GE and the 4506 chassis are meant to perform some heavy lifting, and together they stand as another nail in the coffin for ATM as an enterprise interconnect.