Cisco 6500 Series Switches: What Are the Features & Applications?

As modular chassis network switches, the Cisco catalyst 6500 series switches are optimized choices for network investment protection for enterprises and service providers. It delivers high security, resiliency, and port density for data center, LAN and WAN. Cisco 6500 series switches was researched and developed from 1999, and now they have been widely used in campus, data center and some large size enterprises. This article would mainly talk about their features and applications.

About Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch

Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switches provide multiple slot choices—3-, 6-, 9-, 9-Vertical and 13-slot of different chassis. They offer the broadest range of interface modules with industry-leading performance and advanced feature integration. Catalyst 6500 Series switches feature an unparalleled range of integrated services modules, including multi-gigabit network security, content switching, telephony, and network analysis modules. There are five available 6500 series switch models in total, which would be mainly presented in the following.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches

Figure1: Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches(Resource:

  • Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Switch
  • Cisco Catalyst 6509-E Switch
  • Cisco Catalyst 6506-E Switch
  • Cisco Catalyst 6504-E Switch
  • Cisco Catalyst 6503-E Switch
Features & Benefits
—High security

The 6500 Series switches integrate proven, multi-gigabit Cisco security solutions, including intrusion detection, firewall, VPN, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) into existing networks.

—High scalability

They provide up to 400-mpps performance with distributed forwarding architecture.

—High flexibility

By integrating advanced services such as security, wireless LAN services, customers would experience the the widest range of interfaces and densities, from 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet to 10 Gigabit, and from DS-0 to OC-48, and performs in any deployment from end to end.

—Operational Consistency

A common set of modules are shared among all chassis configurations, and any network management tool can be used in the network.


With Cisco IOS Software Modularity and platform, power supply, supervisor engine, switch fabric, and integrated network services redundancy. They deliver applications and services continuity in a converged network, minimizing disruption of mission-critical data and services, which offer the maximum network uptime to save your time.

—Network investment protection

The Cisco 6500 series provides extraordinary investment protection for your network, for they support three generations of interchangeable, hot-swappable modules in the same chassis, optimizing IT infrastructure usage, maximizing ROI, and reducing TCO.

Applications of Cisco 6500 Series Switches

The Cisco 6500 series switches are mainly deployed in campus networks, metro edge, Internet service provider (ISP) and grid computer networks. Owing to time and space limiting, we would only clarify the first two in this passage.

Campus Networks

As we mentioned in the first paragraph, the Cisco 6500 series switches have been widely applied to campus network. The 10/100 and 10/100/1000 autosensing modules provide inline power for the wiring closet. Besides, they are equipped with the work-class networking software and 1/10 Gigabit interface modules, which feature as robust high-availability, security and manageability. All in all, that would be of high performance for your distribution and core network in campus.

Deployment of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches in campus network

Figure2: Deployment of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches in campus network

Metro Edge

The Cisco 6500 switches provide point-to-point and multipoint Ethernet services, which is rather suitable for metro and intermetro network deployments. It has edge, distribution, and core network-layer interfaces, which is compliant with Network Equipment Building Standards (NEBS). They offer high performance 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks that is of security, availability, and manageability.

Deployment of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches in Metro Edge

Figure3: Deployment of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches in Metro Edge

Cisco Catalyst 6509-E Switch

As one of Cisco 6500 series switches, Cisco Catalyst 6509-E switch is of eye-catching recently. The 9-slot Cisco Catalyst 6509-E Switch provides high port densities that are ideal for many wiring closet, distribution, and core network as well as data center deployments. It supports1G and 10G Gigabit Ethernet network connection, along with 386 1G SFP ports and 32 10G XENPAK/X2 ports respectively. There are four compatible 1000BASE transceivers in total for the 6509-E switch, 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP, 1000BASE-SX SFP, 1000BASE-T SFP and 1000BASE-ZX SFP. You can plug any of the four transceiver types into the SFP port on this switch to make 1G network connection. The 6509-E supports 10G X2/XENPAK ports, you could connect 10GBase LR X2 module or any other compatible X2/XENPAK modules to the switch.

Other Economic Choices for 1/10G Switch

For 1/10G switch, you can take FS.COM for a try, we offer network Ethernet switches with high performance and high quality. The following is our S3700-24T4S Ethernet switch, which is deployed at the access layer of an enterprise network to deliver cost-effective packet switching capability. It provides 24*10/100/1000Base-T Ports and 4 10G SFP+ ports to extend your home or business network at gigabit speeds.

FS 1 10G enterprise switches

Figure4: FS 1/10G enterprise switches


Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches are inevitable choices for network investment of Multigigabit Ethernet services. They feature as high security, scalability, flexibility, operational consistency, time-saving, and network investment protection. Nowadays, they have been deployed in campus networks, metro edge, ISP and grid computer networks.


Intel Network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 Servers

With the growing prevalence of Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell PowerEdge R710 servers gradually caught Ethernet users’ eyes for its competitive price, superb quality and low power consumption. As one part of the Dell PowerEdge Select Network, Intel Ethernet Network Adapters are high performance adapters for 1/10/25/40GbE Ethernet network connections. This article would give a brief introduction to Dell R710, Intel NDC for Dell R710 and optics for Intel NDC.

About Dell PowerEdge R710

The Dell PowerEdge R710 is a 2U rack server that can support up to two quad- or six-core Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors and to eight SATA or SAS hard drives, giving you up to 18TB of internal storage. It has 18 memory slots allow for a maximum of 288GB of memory, allowing the R710 to support and memory-intensive task you can throw at it. It has low power consumption and high performance capacity, which helps you save both money and time. We would provide detailed information about Dell PowerEdge R710 in the next two parts.

Dell R710 2U Rack Server

Figure1: Dell R710 2U Rack Server(Resource:

Dell R710 Dimensions

Dell R710 Dimensions

Main Features:

Dell PowerEdge R710 adapted Intel’s E5-2600 processors, which have up to 20MB cache and up to 8 cores versus the 5500 and 5600 processors which max out at 12MB Cache and 6 cores. These 8-core processors are ideal for increased security, I/O innovation and network capabilities, and overall performance.


The R710 supports a high level of internal storage maxing out at 18TB. That includes up to six 3.5″ hard drives or eight 2.5” hard drives. It provides support for 6Gb/s SAS, SATA, and SSD drives.


The R710 sports Dell’s new iDRAC6 management controller, which has a dedicated network port at the rear of the server. It provides a web browser interface for remote monitoring and viewing the status of critical server components, and the Enterprise upgrade key brings in virtual boot media and KVM-over-IP remote access.

—Remote Management

Based on Symantec’s Altiris Notification Server, the Management Console takes over from Dell’s elderly IT Assistant and provides the tools to manage all your IT equipment, instead of just Dell servers. Installation is a lengthy process, but it kicks off with an automated search process that populates its database with discovered systems and SNMP-enabled devices.

Intel network Adapters for Dell PowerEdge R710 servers

According to Dell PowerEdge R710 datasheet, the Dell PowerEdge R710 servers support dual port 10GB enhanced Intel Ethernet server adapter X520-DA2. This Dell Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520/I350 provides low cost, low power flexibility and scalability for the entire data center. The Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2/1350-T2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports as shown in Figure 2 to support 1GbE/10GbE Ethernet network connectivity.

Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Figure2: Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2

Cables And Optical Modules for Intel NDC X520-DA2

As we mentioned before, the Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 provides two 1000BASE-T ports and two 10G SFP+ ports respectively. We can plug two Intel compatible SFP transceivers into the two 1G ports on the Intel NDC X520-DA2 respectively to achieve 1G network connection. Likewise, we can also connect Intel compatible SFP+ transceiver to the 10G port on the Intel card for making 10G data transferring. In addition, we can also use Direct Attach Cable (DAC) to achieve 10G network connectivity, such as 10Gb fibre optic cable, Intel 10G SFP+ DAC cable. DAC cables are suitable for data transmission over very short link length while optical modules are more appropriate for longer transmission distance.

Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules

Figure3: Intel NDC X520-DA2 with 10G optical modules


The Dell PowerEdge R710 server with the high performance of Intel Ethernet Network Daughter Card X520-DA2 offers you a 2U rack to efficiently address a wide range of key business applications. With the great Intel NDC card, it also provides you a perfect solution for 1G and 10G Ethernet network connectivity. You can rest assured to enjoy a low consumption but high capacity server to keep your business.

1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet Over Category 5 Copper Cabling

1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet over Category 5 copper cabling is an attractive option for network managers for several reasons. It addresses the exploding bandwidth requirements on current networks that are the result of implementation of new applications and the increasing deployment of switching at the edges of the network. Gigabit Ethernet leverages the organization’s existing investment in Ethernet and Fast Ethernet infrastructures, and it provides a simple, cost-effective performance boost while continuing to use the dominant horizontal/floor-cabling medium.

1000BASE-T Key Specifications

1000BASE-T is specified to run over four pairs of Category 5 balanced cabling. The 1000BASE-T standard leverages the existing cable infrastructure as it is specified to operate up to 100 meters on Category 5 cabling. The other key specifications of 1000BASE-T make it a cost-effective, non-disruptive, and high-performing technology. First, it supports the Ethernet MAC, and is thus backward compatible with a 10/100 Mbps Ethernet. Second, many 1000BASE-T products will support 100/1000 auto-negotiation, and therefore 1000BASE-T can be incrementally deployed in a Fast Ethernet network. Third, 1000BASE-T is a high-performing technology with less than one erroneous bit in 10 billion transmitted bits. This bit error rate of less than 10 – 10 is the same error rate as that of 100BASE-T.

Why 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet Over Category 5 Copper Cabling?
  • Exploding bandwidth requirements

New bandwidth-intensive applications are being deployed over Ethernet and Fast Ethernet networks. These applications include the following:
Internet and intranet applications that create any-to-any traffic patterns with servers distributed across the enterprise, and users accessing web sites inside and outside the corporate network; these applications tend to make traffic patterns and bandwidth requirements increasingly unpredictable. Data warehousing and backup applications that handle gigabytes or terabytes of data distributed among hundreds of servers and storage systems. Bandwidth-intensive, latency-sensitive groupware applications, such as desktop video conferencing or interactive whiteboarding.

  • Significant investment in Ethernet/Fast Ethernet infrastructure

Ethernet is the dominant, ubiquitous LAN technology. According to industry analyst International Data Corporation (IDC) in Framingham, MA, more than 85 percent of all installed network connections were Ethernet at the end of 1997, representing more than 118 million interconnected PCs, workstations, and servers. The deployment of Ethernet/Fast Ethernet networks involves investment in network interface cards (NICs), hubs, and switches, as well as in-network management capabilities, staff training and skills, and cabling infrastructure.

  • A simple, cost-effective performance boost on existing Category 5 cabling

1000BASE-T offers a simple, cost-effective migration of Ethernet/Fast Ethernet networks toward high-speed networking and also has the following benefits:
1000BASE-T scales Ethernet 10/100 Mbps performance to 1000 Mbps. 1000BASE-T is the most cost-effective, high-speed networking technology available now. 1000BASE-T leverages existing, proven Fast Ethernet and V.90/56K modem technologies and will experience the same cost curve as the Ethernet/Fast Ethernet technologies. 1000BASE-T is significantly more cost-efficient than 1000BASE-SX (Fiber Gigabit) among all LAN technologies. 1000BASE-T preserves Ethernet equipment and infrastructure investments, including the investment in the installed Category 5 cabling infrastructure. There is no need to undergo the timeconsuming and high-cost task of replacing cabling located in walls, ceilings, or raised floors.

Fiberstore 1000BASE-T Copper SFP Transceiver

Fiberstore’s 1000BASE-T copper small form pluggable (SFP) transceivers are based on the SFP Multi Source Agreement (MSA). They are compatible with the Gigabit Ethernet and 1000BASE-T standards as specified in IEEE Std 802.3. For instance, HP J8177C X121 compatible 1000BASE-T SFP copper RJ45 transceiver for 100m reach over Cat 5 UTP cable uses the SFP’s RX_LOS pin for link indication and supports 1000BASE-T operation on the host system. Another example is Brocade XBR-000190 compatible 1000BASE-TX SFP copper RJ45 transceiver which offers the same function with Brocade E1MG-TX/XBR-000190 and fully compatible with Brocade devices.

1000BASE-T – an Essential Technology in Gigabit Ethernet

Due to more and more internet users, the new applications become more various, such as Storage network, Internet data center, CAD/CAM, Multimedia and video order programs, Tele medicine, Distance learning course and other applications, all these applications need a lot of bandwidth. It is quite strict to the bandwidth of MAN and access network at the first kilometer. High speed data transmission means that the speed of a PC or server LAN ports need to be improved to meet the new applications. At the same time, because of the rapid developments of semiconductor, 1000Base-T instantly become a boom.

Once we talk about 1000Base-T (also called IEEE 802.3ab), is a standard for Gigabit Ethernet over copper wiring. Each 1000BASE-T network segment can be a maximum length of 100 meters (330 feet), and must use category 5 cables or better (including Cat 5e and Cat 6). 10Base-T and 100Base-T are required to be mentioned, 100 Base-T, also Fast Ethernet, is simply 10Base-T running at 10 times the bit rate. Related product: 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet SFP. Since we know that 100Base-TX standards are compatible with 10Base-TX networks, the Fast Ethernet can make 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps bit rates on the line. Nodes with 100Mbps capabilities can communicate at 100 Mbps, and they also can communicate with slower nodes at 10 Mbps, so Fast Ethernet is the natural process of standard ethernet, and then make the existing ethernet to be easily updated.

Fast Ethernet has been developed to 1000 Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet) on UTP cables. Gigabit Ethernet, specified as 1000Base-T, operates today over category 1 and category 5e cabling. When the ratification of 1000Base-T was done, migration of the installed base of category 5 to a higher speed Ethernet was the primary concern for network managers because they wanted to future proof their network infrastructures. While 1000Base-T was specified to run over category 6 cabling, most of the cabling installed that time was category 5. So the IEEE has to ensure the operation of 1000Base-T standard over the category 5 cabling systems installed according to the specifications of ANSI/TIA/EIA 568 A. The mainly goal of the IEEE 1000Base-T standard is to support the legacy category 5 cabling so that there should be no need to replace existing category 5 cabling to use 1000Base-T. According to the tack force, any link that is currently using 100Base-TX should easily support 1000Base-T. Related Product: 1000BASE-T SFP

fast ethernet
How 1000BASE-T Works in Gigabit Ethernet Applications

As an extension of standard Ethernet technologies to gigabit-level network speeds, 1000BASE-T is normally implemented using the commonly installed category 5 cabling or enhanced category 5 cabling version of UTP cabling (for example, category 5e). Unlike using only two pairs of wires in 10BASE-T and 100BASE-T networks, 1000BASE-T uses all four cable pairs for simultaneous transmission in both directions through the use of adaptive equalization and a five-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-5) technique.

In the process of transmitting a 1000 Mb/s data stream over four pairs of Category 5 twisted pair cables, there are certain associated problems caused by factors as attenuation, crosstalk, and echoes arising from full-duplex transmission over single wires. To solve these problems, special filters, the PAM-5, forward error correction techniques and pulse shaping technologies are specified to make 1000BASE-T a functional and reliable networking technology. The special filters are for hybrid circuits used in full-duplex transmission over single wires. The PAM-5 provides better bandwidth utilization than binary signaling. Forward error correction techniques provide a second level of coding that helps to recover the transmitted symbols in the presence of high noise and crosstalk. Pulse shaping technologies match the spectral characteristics of the transmitted signals to those of the channel in order to maximize the signal-tonoise ratio.

Nowadays the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance has been held in order to promote and accelerate the introduction of 10 Gigabit Ethernet into the fiber optic networking market. It was built by fiber optic networking industry leaders, such as 3COM, Cisco Systems, Extreme Network, Intel, Nortel Networks and other famous companies. Related product: Cisco GLC-T 1000BASE-T. Additionally, the alliance support the activities of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet committees, more force the development of the 802.3 ae (10 Gigabit Ethernet) standard, and promote interoperability among 10 Gigabit Ethernet products. The IEEE standards association unanimously approved the IEEE 802.3ae specification for 10 Gigabit Ethernet as an IEEE standard. I believe that in the near future, Ethernet will have a more comprehensive development as with continuous improvement of the system.

Related Article: A Quick Overview of Cisco 1000BASE-T GLC-T SFP Copper Module

1000BASE SFP Transceiver for Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet, which is standardized by the IEEE as the 802.3z standard, is a term describing various technologies for transmitting Ethernet frames at a rate of a Gigabit per second. It is currently used as the backbone in many enterprise networks. The 1000BASE SFP transceiver is an important part in Gigabit Ethernet applications, which is a hot-pluggable input/output device that plugs into a Gigabit Ethernet port/slot, linking the port with the network. There are a number of 1000BASE SFP transceivers that are available in Gigabit Ethernet in accordance with the customer application and distance capability required.

Classification of Gigabit Ethernet

Depending on the cable material, Gigabit Ethernet can be classified into fiber-based Gigabit Ethernet and copper-based Gigabit Ethernet.

  • Fiber-based Gigabit Ethernet

In fiber-based Gigabit Ethernet, 1000BASE-X is used in industry to refer to Gigabit Ethernet transmission over fiber. 1000BASE-X is a group of standards for Ethernet physical layer standards. These standards include: 1000BASE-SX (A fiber optic Gigabit Ethernet standard for operation over multi-mode fiber), 1000BASE-LX (a fiber optic Gigabit Ethernet standard using a long wavelength laser and a maximum RMS spectral width of 4 nm), 1000BASE-LX10 (which is very similar to 1000BASE-LX, but achieves longer distances over a pair of single-mode fiber), 1000BASE-BX10 (which is capable of up to 10 km over a single strand of single-mode fiber) or the non-standard 1000BASE-EX ( a industry accepted term to refer to Gigabit Ethernet transmission) and 1000BASE-ZX (a multi-vendor term to refer to Gigabit Ethernet transmission) implementations.

  • Copper-based Gigabit Ethernet

In copper-based Gigabit Ethernet, 1000BASE-CX, 1000BASE-KX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-TX are four standards for Gigabit Ethernet over copper wiring. 1000BASE-CX uses copper cables as a medium. 1000BASE-KX is part of the IEEE 802.3ap standard for Ethernet Operation over Electrical Backplanes. 1000Base-T uses four pairs of Category 5 unshielded twisted pair cables to achieve Gigabit data rates. 1000BASE-TX is similar to 1000BASE-T but uses two pairs of wires rather than four for data transmission.

1000BASE SFP Transceivers for Gigabit Ethernet

1000BASE SFP transceiver (Small form-factor pluggable) is a device that interfaces a network device motherboard to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. It is designed to support Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel and other communications standards. Since Gigabit Ethernet can be classified into fiber-based Gigabit Ethernet and copper-based Gigabit Ethernet, there are 1000BASE SFP transceiver and 1000BASE copper SFP transceivers used in Gigabit Ethernet.

As there are different physical layer standards for fiber-based Gigabit Ethernet, Different 1000BASE SFP transceiver may be used for different standards of Gigabit Ethernet. These 1000BASE SFP transceiver can be used for single-mode and multi-mode fibers of different reaches. For example, the 1000BASE-LX SFP transceiver can operate on standard single-mode fiber-optic link spans of up to 10km and up to 550m on any multi-mode fibers. When it is used over legacy multi-mode fiber type, its transmitter should be coupled through a mode conditioning patch cable.

1000BASE SFP transceiver

1000BASE Copper SFP transceivers use copper lines for linking. In copper-based Gigabit Ethernet, the 1000BASE-T SFP module is the most commonly-used transceiver. Be compatible with the Gigabit Ethernet and 1000BASE-T standards, it operates on standard Category 5 unshielded twisted-pair copper cabling of link lengths up to 100m.


As Gigabit Ethernet has been demonstrated to be a viable solution for increased bandwidth requirements for growing networks, the market is flooded with various 1000BASE SFP transceiver. Fiberstore supplies many kinds of 1000BASE SFP transceivers including the aforesaid 1000BASE-LX SFP transceiver and 1000BASE-T copper transceiver.