Cisco may double Catalyst 6500 switch capacity

Cisco may double Catalyst 6500 switch capacity

Cisco is readying a Catalyst 6500 switch upgrade that will double the bandwidth on the device, allowing for greater support of 10G Ethernet, a report says.

Cisco is planning to launch its Supervisor 1440 module for the Catalyst 6500 in the next two months, according to a report by UBS. The new module will reportedly support 1.4T bit/sec of bandwidth to the switch, doubling the capacity of the previous Supervisor 720 module.

Cisco said it does not comment on unannounced products and would not confirm or provide details on the Supervisor 1440 product.

"Cisco has not done an update for almost two years," says Long Jiang, a UBS Warburg analyst. "And now that they are doing it, it's going to make them more competitive. It's going to create more competitive pressure to a tier 2 vendor. All vendors will feel some increased pressure from Cisco."

The new Supervisor module, which provides the switching backplane for all ports on a Catalyst 6000 chassis, is the first major upgrade to the backplane of the Catalyst 6500 since the Supervisor 720 module was introduced in 2003.

Cisco has packed all kinds of services into the Catalyst 6500 over the years, with modules ranging from VPN concentration, firewall, IDS, WLAN management, content switching and most recently XML traffic acceleration. But Cisco has been playing catch-up in terms of its pure high-end switching capacity for years; rivals Extreme, Force10 and Foundry have had terabit switches for over a year.

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