• United States

Best of the Tests: Cisco Catalyst 6500

Feb 25, 20042 mins

Latest Cisco news.

Best of the Tests: Gigabit and 10G Ethernet switches and routers, blade servers

By Christine Burns and Keith Shaw

Network World, 02/23/04

Winning company: Cisco

Winning product: Catalyst 6500 with 10G Ethernet line cards

Bigger, faster, better.

That description pretty much sums up why we chose the Cisco Catalyst 6500 switch with attached 10G Ethernet line cards as this year’s winner in the network infrastructure category.

The much-anticipated mid-2002 ratification of the 10G Ethernet standard meant we started lining up our product testing based on that specification. When we published the results of our first test in February 2003, Force10 Networks’ E1200 switch was the only product of five tested to fill the 10G pipe.

Because vendors were still working to ship standard 10G gear at the time we conducted this inaugural review, we issued them a standing challenge to pony up their products for testing – using an identical base test methodology – at a future date.

Cisco took us up on our offer last fall, as soon as it was ready to ship the standards-based 10G Ethernet blades for the Catalyst 6500 chassis. The company gave us an exclusive look at the new hardware and software – a combination that nailed every test we threw at it.

The switch achieved line-rate throughput with low delay and jitter. It set record recovery times. It was the only product tested at that point that could protect high-priority traffic while simultaneously rate-limiting low-priority traffic. In the first-ever public test of IPv6 routing, the Catalyst 6500 moved traffic at line rate even when handling 250 million flows (see review).

“Simply put, this is the highest-performing 10G Ethernet product we’ve tested to date,” says Lab Alliance member David Newman, who’s in charge of our rolling test of 10G products. “Cisco may be a relative latecomer to the 10G Ethernet game, but it’s making an impressive debut.”

To read this story in full, please go to: