Cisco® Catalyst® Instant Access simplifies the design and deployment of traditional enterprise network architecture. It creates a single network touch point and single configuration across distribution and access-layer switches, fostering simplified operations and consistent features across distribution and access and ultimately helping reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO).
This document addresses some of the frequently asked questions.
Q. What are the different components of the Instant Access solution?
A. The Instant Access solution requires new Cisco Catalyst 6848ia Instant Access clients and Cisco Catalyst 6500 or 6800 Series Switches (Instant Access parents) with Supervisor Engine 2T and WS-X6904-40G/10G-2T line cards. It is recommended to have a pair of Cisco Catalyst 6500 or 6800 series switch configured in Virtual Switching System (VSS) mode as Instant Access parents, providing a high level of network redundancy. In networks where a pair of Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 are not available, a single Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 can also be used as Instant Access parent when configured with VSS enabled. Note: It is recommended to have a redundant supervisor engine in Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 chassis with single-chassis Instant Access parent configuration.
Q. With what protocol and how exactly does the Instant Access client communicate with the Instant Access parent?
A. Instant Access client and parent communicate over four control protocols: Satellite Discovery Protocol (SDP), Satellite Registration Protocol (SRP), Satellite Configuration Protocol (SCP), and Inter Card Communication (ICC). These are at the heart of the Instant Access solution, enabling automatic provisioning and a single point of management for distribution and access layers. For more information, refer to the Instant Access white paper available here.
Q. How are new Instant Access clients provisioned? Must any configuration and image provisioning be done at the Instant Access client?
A. Instant Access clients are provisioned automatically when they are connected to an Instant Access parent. The Instant Access parent automatically does an image check on the newly connected Instant Access client. If the Instant Access client image is different from the image on the Instant Access parent, the Instant Access client is automatically upgraded with the newer Instant Access client image. Instant Access client uplinks are also configured automatically by the control protocols running between Instant Access parent and Instant Access client, thus making the access layer truly plug and play. Additionally, Instant Access client stack members are automatically provisioned when connected.
Q. Can the Instant Access solution and a traditional campus deployment coexist in the same Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 VSS at distribution?
A. Yes, both traditional network deployments i.e Cisco Catalyst 2k/3k/4k access switches and the Instant Access solution with Cisco Catalyst 6848ia can coexist when connected to one Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800VSS at the distribution, using the existing Supervisor Engine 2T and WS-X6904-40G/10G line cards thus providing true investment protection.
Q. Can some ports of the WS-X6904-40G/10G line card be used for the Instant Access solution and other ports used for traditional network trunk and or IP routed access?
A. Yes, The WS-6904-40G/10G line card can support Instant Access (fabric link) connectivity to a Cisco Catalyst 6848ia simultaneously with the traditional L2/L3 connectivity to Cisco Catalyst 2k/3k/4k switches. The line card can operate in 10G and 40Gmode simultaneously, with some port groups configured in 40Gbps mode and others in 10Gbps mode, enabling different solutions to coexist.
Q. Does the Cisco Catalyst 6848ia support Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+)?
A. Yes, the Cisco Catalyst 6848ia supports PoE (15W) on all 48 10/100/1000 ports and PoE+ (30W) on any 24 of the 10/100/1000 ports. Refer to the Cisco Catalyst 6848ia data sheet for more details and a complete list of capabilities. Click here.
Q. What is the oversubscription on the Cisco Catalyst 6848ia?
A. Each Cisco Catalyst 6848ia supports 48 10/100/1000 host ports and two 10Gbps uplinks, offering a subscription ration of 2.4:1 (48/20) across the fex-fabric links to the Instant Access parent. All forwarding decisions are made on the Instant Access parent (Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800).
Q. Will there be local switching on the Instant Access Cisco Catalyst 6848ia?
A. The Cisco Catalyst 6848ia does not support any local switching. All the Layer 2 switching, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and Layer 3 routing happens on the Instant Access parent. For more details about packet walks, refer to the Instant Access white paper posted here.
Q. Will there be local multicast replication on the Instant Access Cisco Catalyst 6848ia?
A. The Cisco Catalyst 6848ia supports local replication of multicast flows to allow for a scalable, distributed multicast solution. While multicast lookups are performed on the Instant Access parent, the replication of the multicast flows destined for the host on that particular Instant Access client occurs locally on the Instant Access client.
Q. What is the code upgrade process for an Instant Access client?
A. The Instant Access solution support Enhanced Fast Software Upgrade (eFSU) An additional CLI is introduced (issurunversion [fex [range] <num> | all>]) to allow upgrade of Instant Access clients during the eFSU process. It supports the capability to do rolling upgrade of all Instant Access clients or do it one at a time.
Q. What optics are supported across Instant Access client and Instant Access parent 10Gbps fabric links?
A. The Cisco Catalyst 6848ia has two 10Gbps uplink ports, which support Short-Reach (SR), Long-Reach (LR), Long-Reach Multimode (LRM), and Extend-Reach(ER) Small Form-Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+) optics across fabric links between Instant Access client and Instant Access parent. The Cisco-FET-10G is not supported in the Instant Access solution.
Q. How many Instant Access clients can be stacked, and what is the stacking bandwidth?
A. When first shipped, the Instant Access solution supports a stack of up to three Instant Access clients with bi-directional stack bandwidth of 80Gbps.
Q. How many Instant Access clients can an Instant Access parent support?
A. When first shipped, the Instant Access parent can support up to 21 Instant Access clients. Newer code versions will scale this number higher, so check the latest software release notes for these numbers.
Q. How many ports we can deploy in a single Instant Access domain?
A. When first shipped, an Instant Access parent can support up to 1008 ports across 21 Instant Access clients distributed over a maximum of 12 Instant Access stack IDs (FEXIDs).
Q. How many 10Gbps uplinks can be bundled in a Multichassis EtherChannel (MEC) from Instant Access client stack to Instant Access parent?
A. When first shipped, up to six 10Gbps uplinks can be bundled (two 10Gbps per stack member) from Instant Access client stack to Instant Access parent.
Q. Can a compact switch be connected to an Instant Access client?
A. Yes, a compact switch, or any other switch, can be connected to an Instant Access client host port. It is important to note that connected switches will be independently managed and not part of the Instant Access domain.
Q. Does Instant Access support MEC across Cisco Catalyst 6848ia host ports?
A. Yes, up to eight host ports can be bundled into an EtherChannel. Host port EtherChannel is supported across Instant Access stack members. EtherChannel across different Instant Access stacks (FEX IDs) is not supported with initial release.
Q. Will Cisco Prime™ infrastructure support the Instant Access solution?
A. Yes, Cisco Prime infrastructure will support the Instant Access solution in its subsequent releases.
Q. Is quality of service (QoS) supported over fabric links?
A. The Instant Access solution uses a trust differentiated services code point/class of service (DSCP/CoS) model between the Instant Access client and the Instant Access parent. The frame's original DSCP/CoS values are maintained, and the frame is queued for transmission over the fabric link according to its DSCP/CoS markings. The DSCP/CoS to queue table maps are configured by default in both the Instant Access client and Instant Access parent and cannot be changed. For more details, refer to the Cisco Catalyst Instant Access white paper.
Q. What features are supported at Cisco Catalyst 6848ia client host ports?
A. The Instant Access solution brings Cisco Catalyst 6500/6800 features to the access layer. These include, but are not limited to, features such as:
• Layer 2: Advanced Virtual Private LAN service (A-VPLS), Multiprocotol Label Switching (MPLS), MPLS-VPN, Port Aggregation Protocol (PAgP), Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP), Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)