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I'm looking for a device to use as PE in a provider network. It should have the following features:

  • MPLS
  • VPLS
  • Q-in-Q
  • BGP
  • Reasonable buffers
  • IGP (OSPF/ISIS)
  • VLAN rewriting

The perfect fit ideally would be ME3600/3800. However I'm concerned about:

  • Poor port density
  • Lack of 10GE ports
  • No redundant supervisor or equivalent

For that reason I have been contemplating the upcoming Catalyst 6880-X with SUP2T or even the Catalyst 6500 with SUP2T. I am a bit uncomfortable putting an "enterprise" switch as a PE device in a provider network though.

So the question is if SUP2T is suitable to use in a provider network?

Any operational input would be highly appreciated as well. If you are rolling ME3600/3800 how are you deplyoing it regarding redundancy and port density.

  • What equipment do you currently use now and what are the shortfalls that caused you to seek something new? – generalnetworkerror Aug 22 '13 at 8:19
  • The current network is based on Catalyst 4500 and it has no MPLS/VPLS. The current equipment has been in place for a long time and needs an upgrade. Cat 4500 is an enterprise platform but the way the network has evolved it's more of a metro/provider network today and need to support those kind of services to the customers. – Daniel Dib Aug 22 '13 at 9:02
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Aug 8 '17 at 9:13
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer. – Ron Maupin Aug 8 '17 at 14:21
5

I have first-hand knowledge of several large US service providers who are using the Catalyst 6500 in both Aggregation and Edge roles.

So the question is if SUP2T is suitable to use in a provider network?

Yes


Longer answer:

Don't let the enterprise heritage of the 6500 fool you...

  • The 6500 includes a Catalyst 6500 V-E chassis, which supports NEBS front-to-back airflow.
  • The Cisco 7600 (which was marketed to service providers) was heavily based on the Catalyst 6500, to the point that most people called it a 6500 with "new paint"
  • See this Cisco NSP thread when Sup2T was released. There was no fear of the system for service provider use
  • You may want to avoid netflow, I saw several comments like this.
  • Search the Cisco NSP archives and see if you like it

One thing I can't speak for are features / IOS questions... however, those are outside the scope of your question.

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