Catalyst 6500 Sup2T 802.1ae MACSec Throughput Performance

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November 30th, 2011

MACsec encryption has become increasing popular and important to campus network design, but previous switch performance degraded when encrypted traffic was passing through it. Here we show that the catalyst 6500 does not suffer a performance degrade while MACsec traffic is passing through it. We tested the Catalyst 6500 via the cPacket Networks cTap 10G passive probe to verify traffic flows were either MACsec encrypted or unencrypted. We found that there is no material difference in throughput performance, other than 802.1ae encryption key overhead, thanks to 16 additional bytes per packet. The cPacket passive probe also measured line rate throughput performance. This is a great short video that verifies how the old encryption performance penalty is now gone.

Download “A Comprehensive Testing of Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T” report here.

Catalyst 6500 Sup2T Network Virtualization via MPLS/VPLS Performance

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November 30th, 2011

Network virtualization, or the ability to divide a physical network into multiple logical networks with unique attributes, is a design that has grown in popularity as IT business leaders have sort ways to segment their network with different attributes for different user groups. This is popular in healthcare, education, travel and other industries. Network virtualization can be implemented either in IP, and/or MPLS. In addition connecting the Catalyst 6500 directly to service provider MPLS networks is another popular design; therefore we test throughput performance for both scenarios here.

For active-active data center operation, disaster planning and load balancing are best practices when connecting data centers via MPLS or VPLS. VPLS layer 2 connected data centers deliver LAN-like service over the campus and/or wide area network. Layer 2 connectivity is important as server-server communications expect layer 2 connectivity as most applications have been designed with this assumption. For connecting more than two data centers, VPLS offers mesh connectivity. Data centers connected via VPLS look and act as if they are on the same LAN. Therefore, we test that VPLS throughput performance rates are equally high performance in this scenario as MPLS.

Download “A Comprehensive Testing of Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T” report here.

Catalyst 6500 Upgrade From Sup720 to Sup2T

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November 30th, 2011

During the Lippis Report test of the Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 at Ixia’s iSimCity we perform an upgrade from Supervisor Engine 720 to 2T. What IT business leaders are looking for are incremental network upgrades with minimal disruption. Therefore, we swap out Sup720 for Sup2T and bring up existing service modules and line cards. Remember that line cards represent the largest investment in switching equipment, so we’ll demonstrate that older line cards interoperate at high performance when the new Sup2T replaces the Sup720. We find that the upgrade process is easy and smooth with compatibility of line cards, configuration code, service modules, transceivers and chassis.

Download “A Comprehensive Testing of Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T” report here.