What is the Cisco 6509 Enhanced?

cisco 6509-e graphicRecently I was on a project to upgrade our current Cisco 6509 core switches and came across some new changes to the Cisco 6509 chassis.

The switches that were being upgraded were just doing basic switching duties, populated with Sup II’s in Slot 1 and primarily had 10/100/1000 switching module scattered throughout.

The plan was to upgrade these switches to Sup 720’s and add a couple more 10/100/1000 blades. My initial thoughts were that we would need to upgrade the fan tray and most likely the power supplies too.  The current power was provided by a pair of 2500W power supplies and due to the increased power requirement for a fully loaded chassis and the newer supervisor card we would most definitely need bigger power supplies.

I had priced newer power supplies and found that 4000W or 6000W power were both about the same price.  Since 6000w was about the same as the 4000W lets get the bigger power!  But to my surprise the current chassis would not take the 6000W power.  We needed the 6509-E chassis for these big boys.

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It seems the Cisco elves have been hard at work keeping up with the demand for power over ethernet (PoE) for their VoIP line as well as the many other power demands put on it by the Cisco ACE load balancing system, FWSM, IDS, etc that the internal power couldnt handle it. So they came out with the 6509-E.

From Cisco’s website:

The Cisco Catalyst 6509-E supports both Cisco Catalyst OS and Cisco IOS Software. It also supports up to a 6000W power supply, thus providing the ability to support large numbers of IEEE 802.3af PoE devices.

The Cisco Catalyst 6509-E provides maximum uptime with redundancy and rapid (1 to 3 seconds) stateful failover across supervisor engines. It supports modular Cisco IOS Software to minimize unplanned downtime through self-healing processes and simplifies software changes through subsystem in-service software upgrades.

The Cisco Catalyst 6509-E Firewall Security System is a 9-slot model providing an easily deployed solution that integrates a Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 720 (with integrated policy and multilayer switch feature cards [PFC3/MSFC3] for system control, routing services, and dual Gigabit Ethernet ports); a Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Firewall Services Module providing 5 Gbps of firewall services; and 7 additional open slots for further customization.

Well needless to say I wasn’t too happy that I would need to upgrade the entire chassis. Luckily I found out that I wouldn’t need to upgrade the power after all. The chassis configured with only switches modules and one sup720 sufficient for the 2500W power even if one were to die, the remaining 2500W power supply would handle it. I would however still need the high speed fan trays to keep things cool.

NOTE: While researching this article I found out that Cisco has made even more changes to the 6509 line and have introduced the 6509-V-E Chassis. This is a vertical NEBs compliant chassis similar to the 7600 chassis. It provides capabilities to support system bandwidth capacity (80 Gbps per slot) up to 1440 Gbps and enhanced cable management capabilities. It also provides front-to-back airflow that is optimized for hot and cold aisle designs in co-located data center deployments.

1440Gbps in a 6509? —- Dear Santa, I would like a new switch please!



About Joe

Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of RouterFreak.com as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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  1. Dear, Could you please provide me a full datasheet for the Cisco “6509” switch, specifying the slots/modules supported. I am not able to find such clear datasheet even on the cisco web page.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Thanks for the information. We are looking for a new switch and I cam use your comments exactly.


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