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Cisco Live! Catalyst 6500 Reaches 40 GE

February 1, 2012 - 0 Comments

Cisco Live! It’s always an exciting time – real customers, sharing real world experiences, looking for news that will make their networks stroCisco Catalyst 6500 Series 40 Gigabit Ethernet Interface Module nger, faster, more capable, more efficient. And for this Yank, visiting ExCeL London in the heart of London’s Royal Docks for the first time, it’s a special treat.

There are a number of announcements coming out of Cisco Live this week – two that build on the story we’ve been telling about the Catalyst 6500… a new 40 Gigabit Ethernet module and 160 Gbps per slot performance in existing Catalyst 6500 E-Series chassis.

At Cisco Live, we’re talking about 40 GE as a new switching inflection point. It has been ratified by IEEE as part of the 802.3ba standard, which also covers 100 GE. Too soon for 40 G you say? True, it is only being deployed today to meet selected use cases. But it is coming.

You can initially deploy the new Catalyst 6904 40 Gigabit Ethernet Interface Module in 10 GE mode, resulting in sixteen 10 GE ports. When you are ready for 40 G, simply swap the optics and you’ll have 4 ports of 40 G, with minimal disruption and a reasonable investment.

The 160 Gbps per slot announcement speaks to the future of the Catalyst 6500. This doubles the 80 Gbps performance the platform delivers today. Just as it took time for interfaces and modules to fully exploit 80 Gbps, higher port densities are a bit of time away, but on the roadmap.

Back to the show… London is calling. Wish I could stay on for the London motorcycle show, but one technology at a time…

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This is Part 2 of a four-part blog series on switching innovations and how they address the 3Cs: capacity, complexity, and cost.

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