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Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches

CISCO CATALYST 6500 SERIES CONTENT SWITCHING MODULE

Table Of Contents

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Content Switching Module

Content Switching Module Features

High Performance

Network Configurations

IP Protocol Support

Load-Balancing Algorithms

URL and Cookie-Based Load Balancing

High Availability

Connection Redundancy

User Session Persistence

High Performance Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection

Firewall Load Balancing

Quality of Service

Global Server Load Balancing

Configuration Limits

Cisco Catalyst 6500 CSM Ordering Information

data sheet

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Content Switching Module


The Cisco® Content Switching Module (CSM) is a line card for the Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series Switch that enhances the experience and response for client traffic to end points, such as groups of servers, caches, firewalls, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) devices, or VPN termination devices. The Cisco CSM provides a high-performance, cost-effective load-balancing solution for enterprise and Internet service provider networks, allowing these organizations to provide customers, employees, and business partners with the best possible online experience. The Cisco CSM meets the demands of high-speed content delivery networks, tracking network sessions and server load conditions in real time, and directing client requests to the appropriate device. Fault-tolerant Cisco CSM configurations maintain full state information and provide true hitless failover required for mission-critical applications.

The Cisco CSM provides the following benefits:

Market-leading performance—The Cisco CSM establishes up to 165,000 connections per second and provides high-speed content switching while maintaining 1 million concurrent connections.

Outstanding price-performance value—The Cisco CSM features a low connection cost and occupies a small footprint sliding into a slot in a new or existing Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series chassis.

Optimized data center performance—The Cisco CSM allows organizations to increase the scalability and performance of server farms, cache clusters and groups of VPN, SSL and firewall devices. In addition, the Cisco CSM provides organizations with the highest level of device redundancy for business critical applications and services.

Highly scalable solution—Multiple Cisco CSMs can be installed in the same Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series chassis to provide scalable performance as well as redundancy.

Ease of configuration—The Cisco CSM uses the same Cisco IOS® command-line interface (CLI) that is used to configure the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch.

Enhances existing infrastructure—By adding a Cisco CSM to a new or existing Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch, customers can enable every port in the Cisco Catalyst switch to perform Layer 2 to Layer 7 services, providing the capability to intelligently switch traffic.

Figure 1

The Cisco CSM

Content Switching Module Features

High Performance

The Cisco CSM performs up to 165,000 new Layer 4 TCP connection setups per second and up to one million concurrent connections. These connections can be sent to 4000 virtual servers through any of the available switch ports to up to 16,000 real servers or devices. The capability to use one or any switch port provides a benefit over products that use distributed architectures requiring the use of all ports to gain maximum performance.

Network Configurations

The Cisco CSM supports many different network topology types. A Cisco CSM can operate in a mixed bridged and routed configuration, allowing traffic to flow from the client side to the server side on the same or on different IP subnets.

IP Protocol Support

The Cisco CSM accommodates a wide range of common IP protocols—including TCP and User Datagram Protocol (UDP). Additionally, the Cisco CSM supports higher-level protocols, including HTTP, FTP, Telnet, Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), Domain Name System (DNS), and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

Load-Balancing Algorithms

The Cisco CSM supports the following load-balancing algorithms:

Round Robin

Weighted Round Robin

Least Connections

Weighted Least Connections

Source and/or Destination IP Hash (subnet mask also configurable)

URL Hashing

URL and Cookie-Based Load Balancing

The Cisco CSM allows full regular expression pattern matching for policies based on URLs, cookies, and HTTP header fields. The Cisco CSM supports any URL or cookie format—allowing it to load balance existing Web content without requiring URL or cookie format changes.

High Availability

The Cisco CSM continually monitors server and application availability using a variety of probes, in-band health monitoring, return code checking, and the Dynamic Feedback Protocol (DFP). When a real server or gateway failure occurs, the Cisco CSM redirects traffic to a different location. Servers are added and removed without disrupting service—systems easily are scaled up or down.

Connection Redundancy

Two Cisco CSMs can be configured in a fault-tolerant configuration to share state information about user sessions and provide hitless connection redundancy—an important requirement for e-commerce sites and sites where encryption is used. If an active Cisco CSM fails, open connections quickly are switched to a standby Cisco CSM without interruption, providing failover that is transparent to the user.

User Session Persistence

In many cases it is important that an end user consistently is directed to the same end device for the duration of a session. This is particularly important where SSL is employed for data encryption or where shopping carts are used, as in e-commerce environments. The Cisco CSM offers the following solutions to provide session persistence to ensure that a client request goes to the proper end device:

Stickiness based on SSL session ID, source IP address, cookie or HTTP redirection

Cookie insert enabling the ability to use cookies for stickiness even if the back-end application is not able to set a cookie

Cookie offset and length, allowing an administrator to define the static portion of a dynamic cookie to use for persistence

The Cisco CSM synchronizes persistence information from an active Cisco CSM to backup Cisco CSM to provide a failover that is transparent to a user.

High Performance Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection

The Cisco CSM provides a last line of defense for a data center with the ability to fend off malicious traffic, such as that typical of a SYN attack. In addition to protecting a data center from malicious traffic, the Cisco CSM continues to operate and forward valid client requests to ensure that services are not interrupted.

Firewall Load Balancing

The Cisco CSM allows organizations to scale firewall protection by distributing traffic across multiple firewall devices while ensuring that all packets belonging to a particular connection go through the same firewall. Both stealth and regular firewalls are supported.

Quality of Service

Using the robust quality of service capabilities of the of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series, the Cisco CSM provides the right level of service to customers, adding the ability to:

Correctly prioritize mission-critical packets based on Layer 7 rules

Direct higher priority customers to faster or less loaded servers

Global Server Load Balancing

The Cisco CSM offers multiple options for building a global or geographical load-balanced environment. The Cisco CSM can act as an authoritative DNS and perform Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) among geographically dispersed Cisco CSMs for disaster recovery for small GSLB environments with two to four locations. In addition, the Cisco CSM can report load information for its virtual IPs into the Global Site Selector (GSS), an appliance designed for advanced GSLB services, with the capability to support up to 128 sites. With many different GSLB options, the Cisco CSM offers the ability to scale GSLB capabilities to meet growth demands.

Configuration Limits

Total VLANs (client and server): 512

Virtual servers: 4000

Server farms: 4000

Real servers: 16,000

Probes: 4000

Access control list (ACL) items: 16,000

Table 1  Performance Summary 

Performance Summary
Connections

1 million concurrent TCP connections

165,000 connection setups per second—Layer 4

Throughput

Total combined throughput of 4 Gbps (client to server and server to client)

1.25 million packets per second

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switch Platform Requirements

Switches running only Cisco IOS Software

Switches running a combination of Cisco IOS Software and Cisco Catalyst operating system

Functions as a bus-enabled line card

Supervisor Engine 1A

Supervisor Engine 2

Supervisor Engine 720

Multilayer Switch Feature Card (MSFC) or MSFC2

Physical Specifications

Occupies slot in the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series chassis

Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.2 x 14.4 x 16 inches (3.0 x 35.6 x 40.6 centimeters)

Weight: 5 pounds (2.27 kilogram)

Operating Environment

Operating temperature: 32 to 104.5ºF (0 to 40ºC)

Nonoperating temperature: -40 to 158ºF (-40 to 70ºC)

Operating relative humidity: 10 to 90 percent (noncondensing)

Nonoperating relative humidity: 5 to 95 percent (noncondensing)

Operating and nonoperating altitude: Sea level to 10,000 feet (3050 meter)

Agency Approvals

Emissions: FCC Part 15 (CFR 47) Class A, ICES-003 Class A, EN55022 Class A, CISPR22 Class A, AS NZS 3548 Class A

Safety: CE Marking according to UL 1950, CSA 22.2 No. 950, EN 60950, IEC 60950, TS 001, AS/NZS 3260


Cisco Catalyst 6500 CSM Ordering Information

Product Number
Product Description

WS-X6066-SLB-APC

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Content Switching Module