The Cisco® 7600 Series/Catalyst® 6500 Series Enhanced FlexWAN module (Enhanced FlexWAN) enables high-performance, intelligent metropolitan-area network (MAN) and WAN services. Enterprises and service providers can take advantage of the many types of the Cisco 7000 Series common port adapters for their WAN aggregation and connectivity options, as well as the increased scalability, performance, and rich quality of service (QoS) features offered by the Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module.
Figure 1. The Cisco 7600 Series/Catalyst 6500 Series Enhanced FlexWAN module
The Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module (Figure 1) enables high-performance, intelligent WAN and MAN service scalability for both enterprises and service providers. The Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module supports a variety of clear-channel and channelized WAN interfaces, including T1/E1, T3/E3, High-Speed Serial Interface (HSSI), T3/E3 ATM, OC-3 ATM, and OC-3 packet over SONET (POS), with the ability to directly interface with high-speed SONET equipment for MANs and WANs.
The Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module accepts up to two WAN port adapters commonly used with the Cisco 7200 and 7500 Series Routers, providing an easy migration path for Cisco customers from the Cisco 7500 Series to the Cisco 7600 Series. In addition, the Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module adds switch fabric connectivity, offers increased performance and memory compared to the existing FlexWAN module, and supports advanced features targeted at Metropolitan (Metro) Ethernet markets. This new innovative architecture is designed to deliver numerous media options and enable scalable, distributed, intelligent network services for the next generation of applications.
WAN, MAN, and LAN Service Convergence
A hallmark of the Cisco 7600 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is the flexibility to support multiple applications on the same platform, delivering "no-compromise" convergence for a range of applications, including data center, MAN, and WAN edge. The Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module simplifies network design and deployment by allowing consolidation of LAN, WAN, and MAN interfaces into a single, highly scalable platform. The Cisco 7600 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series deliver advanced flexibility, supporting any mix of media or traffic within a common system, software, and chassis, thereby easing and simplifying network configuration and installation tasks, and speeding service delivery. Converged data, voice, and video traffic can be transported transparently from end to end across an interconnected LAN, WAN, or MAN, with the ability to manage thousands of simultaneous traffic flows at wire speed with granular QoS and security control.
The Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module enables the Cisco 7600 Series Router and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch to do high-end WAN aggregation, including that based on point-to-point circuits, Frame Relay, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC), ATM, or POS. The rich QoS features and distributed processing attributes of the Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module make it a cornerstone of a highly scalable WAN aggregation solution. Higher-layer applications can easily be supported on this end-to-end network to allow intelligent data, voice, video, and security services-all on the same platform to provide integrated easy-to-use application delivery and control. Figure 2 illustrates a Cisco 7600 or a Cisco Catalyst 6500 deployed as a head-end router for WAN aggregation.
Figure 2. WAN Aggregation
Key Features and Benefits
The Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module offers the ability to consolidate LAN, WAN, and MAN services into a single platform and lowers the total cost of ownership of the network through simplified design and ease of network management and maintenance.
Scalable Bandwidth with Intelligent Network Services for Next-Generation Applications
The unique value proposition of the Cisco 7600 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is the convergence supported from the physical layer to a highly scalable application layer. These two platforms can scale from 10 Megabit Ethernet to 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the LAN and DS-0 to OC-48/STM-16 in the WAN. Differentiated Services (DiffServ) and IP Precedence priority packet marking along with QoS classification, policing, queuing, intelligent packet discard, and security access control on every port ensure that the platform will meet the demands of any network environment.
Included in the rich QoS features is the capability to guarantee bandwidth to business-critical applications; limit bandwidth to non-critical applications; drop selective, low-priority packets to avoid congestion; and mark packets to control QoS for any type of traffic flows. In addition, the Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module supports several key features required for low-speed WAN aggregation, such as compressed Real-Time Protocol (cRTP) and distributed link fragmentation and interleaving (LFI).
Lower Cost of Ownership
A major benefit of LAN, WAN, and MAN consolidation on the Cisco 7600 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is the reduction in the number of platforms to deploy and manage in any given network. This service convergence not only simplifies network design and configuration, it also decreases rack space and power requirements as well as the training and administrative burden associated with managing many different platforms. Additionally, such integration eases the support burden placed on a maintenance staff because spare parts for multiple platforms do not need to be stocked or managed.
The Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module also provides considerable investment protection for the large installed base of Cisco 7200 and 7500 Series Routers. These same WAN port adapters can be deployed on the Cisco 7600 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series for immediate service delivery and scaling to much higher levels of system performance and bandwidth.
These benefits directly translate to reduced costs of ownership-reduced capital costs of procurement and reduced ongoing operational costs of network management, such as training, element management, and inventory and configuration management. In addition to requiring fewer platforms to manage, a converged solution from Cisco Systems® provides management of all LAN, WAN, and MAN functions with the same network management tool set, easing the number of management platforms required.
Table 1. Features and Benefits of Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN Module
Targets the granular DS-0 to the high-end OC-3 market
Number of CPUs
2 CPUs, one per bay
2 CPUs, one per bay
Offers a high-performance, independently scalable solution across the 2-port adapter bays
Memory upgrade option
64 MB per bay
Total 128 MB per FlexWAN module
128 MB maximum per bay
256 MB per bay
Total 512 MB per Enhanced FlexWAN module
512 MB maximum per bay
Enables support of large routing tables, rich QoS features, and increased scalability
Switch fabric connectivity
Enables the use of 256- or 720-Gbps switch fabric modules for data forwarding
Online insertion and removal (OIR) of module
Increases high availability, and provides operational ease of use
Table 2. Product Specifications
Cisco Catalyst Supervisor Engine 2 and Supervisor Engine 720 systems
Minimum software compatibility
Cisco IOS® Software Release 12.2(17a)SXA or later releases for Supervisor Engine 720; Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(17a)SXB or later releases for Supervisor Engine 2-based systems
TCP, IPv4, IPv6, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Ethernet over MPLS (EoMPLS), Frame Relay over MPLS (FRoMPLS), ATM over MPLS (ATMoMPLS)
2-port adapter bays per Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module
Features and benefits
• Higher performance-Doubles the packet forwarding performance over the previous-generation FlexWAN module
• Switch fabric connectivity-Allows system scalability up to 720 Gbps by offering switch fabric connectivity
• Increased packet memory-Increases the memory to 512 MB per bay, from 128 MB per bay supported in the previous-generation FlexWAN; this enables support of large routing tables, rich QoS features, and increased scalability
• OIR of the Cisco Enhanced FlexWAN module
QoS, ACLs, and Low-Speed Aggregation Features
• Standard, extended, dynamic, reflexive, and time-based access control lists (ACLs)
• IP Precedence
• Differentiated services code point (DSCP) (IPv6 and IPv4)
• MPLS experimental values (MPLS EXP)
• Weighted Random Early Detection (WRED)
• Per-virtual circuit queuing
• Low-latency queuing (LLQ)
• Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ)
• Class-Based Weighted Fair Queuing (CBWFQ)
Traffic classification, shaping, and bandwidth policing
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