To assure 100% throughput, that is no packet loss or network performance degradation takes place during an inter-chassis switch over, Cisco invested in its third generation of Virtual Switch System or VSS. It introduced support for four Supervisors within a VSS, which it calls VS4O for short. VS40 supports a VSS pair to be resilient to up to three simultaneous supervisor failures; providing deterministic and automated recovery from failures and increases network uptime tremendously in the campus backbone. Sudeep Padiyar Senior Product Manager at Cisco Systems and Charles Okochu, Network Engineer at MarketAxess join me to discuss Cisco’s new additions to the Catalyst 6500 and the resiliency network design options it affords to Cisco customers.
At the last Open Networking User Group (ONUG) meeting in Boston organized with partner Fidelity Investments, it became very clear that there are two killer SDN applications: network virtualization and visualization. Some argue that network virtualization used for VM-VM networking is not an SDN technology, but I beg to differ. Sure, there are closed and open approaches to network virtualization, but over the next business cycle, the integration of OpenStack and OpenFlow will make it clear that network virtualization is an SDN application, especially as it’s extended to physical networks. The second killer app is network visualization—that is, the ability to monitor network traffic and tweak application performance. At ONUG Rich Groves, Principal Architect at Microsoft presented his SDN based approach to network visualization he designed with Big Switch Networks, cPacket, IBM, Arista and other suppliers that everyone is now using. Why is network visualization an SDN killer app? Because it uses SDN technology, and most importantly, lowers the capital cost significantly from existing network visualization approaches while also delivering an entirely new level of self-server flexibility. Companies, such as Big Switch Networks, Gigamon, Arista, Cisco, NetScout, Ixia/Anue, cPacket and others, are now positioning their network visualization offers within an SDN context and for good reason. In this Lippis Report Research Note, I focus on network visualization as an SDN killer app.
One of the most impressive network design options available on the Catalyst 6500 is the use of VSS. Connecting two Catalyst 6500s equipped with Sup2Ts creates a virtual switch, adding each switch’s performance while operating as a single switch thus eliminating spanning tree in favor for active-active links. We configure two Catalyst 6500s via VSS. We measure throughput performance to verify that VSS throughput rates are equally high performance as the MPLS and VPLS scenarios. Check out the two-Catalyst 6500 configurations we deployed for this test.
Download “A Comprehensive Testing of Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T” report here.