Cisco introduced multiple innovations into its flagship Catalyst 6500 Series Switches, providing Catalyst 6500 customers with the capability to evolve their network infrastructure for the proliferation of connected devices, growth of video traffic, cloud computing business models and increasingly mobile workforces, without requiring "rip and replace" upgrades.

Awarded more than 500 patents, the Catalyst 6500 is the switching platform at the heart of myriad campus, data center, WAN, and Metro Ethernet networks since its introduction in 1999 and has a $42 billion installed base, nearly 700,000 systems/110 million ports deployed and more than 25,000 customers worldwide.

Key highlights of the upgrade:

  • More than 200 new technical features have been added to Cisco IOS software to meet growing security, mobility, application, voice/video, and virtualization demands.
  • New L4-7 mobility, security, network analysis and load balancing service modules allow customers to reduce the number of L4-7 devices in their network, improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon footprint.
  • Without penalizing the overall performance of the system, the new Supervisor 2T includes many technologies that ease the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.
  • Native support for technologies that simplify the LAN/WAN boundary for service providers and customers – called Virtual Private LAN Services support and Bridged Domain Technology – enable rapid and flexible service provisioning because the service bandwidth is not tied to the physical interface.
  • System-comprehensive and multiprotocol NetFlow to assist customers as they seek to increase the accuracy of capacity planning and resource allocation.
  • The Cisco Supervisor Engine 2T provides up to a 16-fold increase in multicast route scalability. It also delivers major improvements to the way the Catalyst 6500 selectively forwards multicast traffic to only the links that have solicited them. Called IGMPv3 and MLDv2 Snooping, these enhancements help ensure that multicasting does not cause an unnecessary load on the host device, and they are especially useful for bandwidth-intensive IP multicast applications such as IPTV.

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