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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Switch with 48 10gig interfaces

We were referring to an old discussion thread here .Which switch is better to get 48 10 gig interfaces, (24 ports first and an expansion option for another 24) 4500 with sup 7-E or Nexus 5020P-BF ? Can anyone compare these two? which one would be the cost effective solution? Your views/suggestions will help.


There is simply no comparison in terms of performance for 10Gbps (or much else) between the two switches.The 4500 even with a sup7 supports up to 48Gbps per slot. So whatever 10Gbps cards you purchased you could only use 4 of the ports on each cards before you oversubscribed that card. So lets say you purchased a 4510 chassis and had 8 slots to insert linecards.

8 x 4 = 32 so you can't reach your 48 port count. If you could use 9 slots (can't remember with the 4500 whether the spare sup slot can be used for linecards) you can still only reach 36 ports before over subscription.

The Nexus 5020 however is according to Cisco wire speed ie. from the Nexus 5000 datasheets -

Non-blocking Line-Rate Performance

#All the 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches can handle packet flows at wire speed. The absence of resource sharing helps ensure the best performance of each port regardless of the traffic patterns on other ports. The Cisco Nexus 5020 can have 52 Ethernet ports at 10 Gbps sending packets simultaneously without any effect on performance, offering true 1.04-Tbps bidirectional bandwidth. So you can have all 52 ports running with no over subscription.

Now, whether or not you need wire speed is the more important question. If you don't then yes you could look at the 4500 although i still don't see the 4500 as a 10Gbps switch and by that i mean you may well use 10Gbps ports in a 4500 but it's primary purpose is not to provide 10Gbps connectivity to the network. Basically these switches are providing very different things so they are not really comparable. The 4500 is a full L3 capable switch used in the access/distribution layer within your network. The Nexus 5020 is L2 only and is concerned with moving data as quickly as possible from A to B. If your primary concern is with 10Gbps throughput then out of these 2 switches the Nexus is the obvious choice.

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