Cisco introduces the Cisco
® ME 6524 Ethernet Switch, a next-generation, fixed-configuration switch built to meet the requirements of Carrier Ethernet networks. Based on ground-breaking and industry-leading Cisco Catalyst
® 6500 Series technology, the Cisco ME 6524 cost-effectively delivers on the stringent performance, reliability, and quality of service (QoS) requirements of triple-play services, as well as VPN services for Ethernet-to-the-Home (EttH), Ethernet-to-the-Business (EttB), and DSLAM aggregation deployments. The space- and power-optimized 1.5-rack-unit (1.5RU) Cisco ME 6524 enhances the industry-leading Cisco Carrier Ethernet solution portfolio by extending highly advanced Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), QoS, multicast, and IPv6 features into Ethernet access and aggregation networks, facilitating scalable and service-rich Gigabit Ethernet access for both fiber and copper deployments.
The Cisco ME 6524, equipped with the Policy Feature Card 3C (PFC3C) and Multilayer Switch Feature Card 2A (MSFC2A), extends the Catalyst 6500 Series innovations to the service-provider access network. The PFC3C offers hardware-based MAC learning and increases the MAC address table capacity by 50 percent in comparison to the PFC3B and PFC3BXL. It strengthens security by protecting network resources and by intelligently granting access to subscribers, with features such as port-based and VLAN-based access control lists (ACLs), CPU Rate Limiters, Port Security, Private VLAN, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Snooping, and IEEE 802.1x. These security features are hardware-based and can be enabled concurrently without compromising system performance as traffic levels increase.
The support for Software Modularity ensures maximum high availability, boosts operational efficiency, and minimizes downtime through evolutionary software infrastructure advancements. By enabling modular Cisco IOS
® subsystems to run as independent, self-healing processes, this innovation minimizes unplanned downtime through fault containment and stateful process restarts, simplifies software changes through subsystem In-Service Software Upgrades (ISSU), and enables process-level, automated policy control by integrating Embedded Event Manager (EEM), all key benefits necessary for Carrier Ethernet and Broadband Aggregation deployments. Software Modularity images require a minimum of 512 MB DRAM on the switch processor.
Furthermore, the PFC3C offers scalable support for multicast applications with protocols such as Internet Group Management Protocol Version 3 (IGMPv3), Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM), PIM Sparse Mode (PIM-SM), PIM Source Specific Multicast (PIM-SSM), and PIM Snooping, which optimize triple-play delivery at the network edge.
The Cisco ME 6524 can scale to support MPLS and IPv6 applications for Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN services integration.
There are two models of the Cisco ME 6524:
• Cisco ME 6524 with 24 Gigabit Ethernet Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) downlinks and 8 Gigabit Ethernet SFP uplinks (part number ME-C6524GS-8S), as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Cisco ME 6524 with 24 Gigabit Ethernet SFP Downlinks
• Cisco ME 6524 with 24 Ethernet 10/100/1000 downlinks and 8 Gigabit Ethernet SFP uplinks (part number ME-C6524GT-8S), as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Cisco ME 6524 with 24 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Downlinks
The Cisco ME 6524 is a space- and power-optimized Ethernet access switch with the following specifications:
• 1.5 RU rack space
• Dimension: 2.625 inches height x 17.45 inches width x 19 inches depth (6.7 x 44.3 x 48.3 cm)
• 400W AC or DC power supplies
Because it comes standard with the PFC3C, the Cisco ME 6524 offers architecture and feature consistency with the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 720 and Supervisor Engine 32.
Table 1 summarizes the key features available on the Cisco ME 6524. Tables 2 and 3 provide ordering information.
Table 1. Key Features of the Cisco ME 6524
Layer 2 switching
Port Aggregation Protocol (PAgP) / IEEE 802.3ad
IEEE 802.1Q Tunneling
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
Cisco Discovery Protocol
VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP)
Unidirectional Link Detection (UDLD)
Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
OSPF Graceful Restart (RFC 3623)
Enhanced Interior Group Routing Protocol (EIGRP)
Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System (IS-IS) Protocol
Border Gateway Protocol Version 4 (BGPv4)
Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP)
Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)
Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP)
Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for OSPF, IS-IS, and BGP
Port Security on access, 802.1Q trunk, and 802.1Q tunneling ports