Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cisco Briefing Bytes - New Cisco 4500 Life Cycle

This morning I was able to attend a small conference regarding the future for the Cisco 4500 platform along with the present. The 4500 series currently comes in 3 flavors, small (4503), medium (4507), and big (4510). Below I'll highlight briefly what I've learned and what I thought of the presentation.

The presentation was in a small conference room at my local Cisco office featuring models of all the latest and greatest offerings from the Unified Communications world. Our presenter was very knowledgeable, it was only me and two other guys who attended but the questions we shot to him he was able to handle with out skipping a beat. The presentation was the perfect amount of length for the product, 30-45 minutes long with Q&A time.

4500 New Features:
There are a ton of new features but I'll quickly list what caught my attention below:
  • Software WLAN Controller using a Supervisor Slot
  • Supervisors now use Dual Core CPU's
  • Internal VRF's (Allows multiple independent routing tables to be created) up to 64
  • Energywise Power Management
  • UPoE (Universal PoE) 60 Watts per port to power not only phones but also other network, computer equipment that are becoming PoE enabled such as monitors, Thin Clients, etc
4500 will use the new IOS-XE for its operating system, it sits on top of a Linux Kernel which allows it to take advantage of the dual core CPU and allows separate software to be run. WireShark comes installed by default and allows packet capture for not only the Control Plane but for also the Data. Also new to the new chassis and supervisors is the VSS (Virtual Switching System) that behaves very similar to HSRP on routers in which there's one IP to manage multiple switches in an active active state. the endpoint isn't aware that there are 2 or more physical switches and only sees it as one; this allows for  very High Availability.

Current Capabilities:
The presenter went over things the current 4500 chassis can do, in our case we use 1 WS-4510-E. There's a feature called ISSU that allows upgrades on the Supervisors without having to physically reload the chassis or Sup which causes downtime. Something else I had no idea about is what's called EEM which is a built in editor that seems to be pretty feature rich. There's even a GUI that can be used for the editor.

Like everything else that's moving to the new version 15 IOS, the new IOS has every feature set installed but you're unable to use them until you license them.  By default the 4500 IOS comes with LAN Base but in order to enable IP services you'll have to purchase a license to turn on the IP Base features.


  1. Actually it does NOT support some features they told you.
    Maybe in the future.
    Currently there is NO WLAN controller functionality, no wireshark, no trustsec and no VSS.
    So, it's all but promises.

  2. Thanks for the comment, I didn't know that