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Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms FAQ

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Updated:April 12, 2022

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The documentation set for this product strives to use bias-free language. For the purposes of this documentation set, bias-free is defined as language that does not imply discrimination based on age, disability, gender, racial identity, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality. Exceptions may be present in the documentation due to language that is hardcoded in the user interfaces of the product software, language used based on RFP documentation, or language that is used by a referenced third-party product. Learn more about how Cisco is using Inclusive Language.

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Updated:April 12, 2022

Table of Contents

 

 

Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms

Platform

Q.  What are the Cisco ® Catalyst ® 8500 Series Edge Platforms?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are the evolution of the Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers, designed for Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), and 5G-based architectures. Within the Catalyst 8500 Series, two platforms (the C8500-12X4QC and C8500-12X) are powered by an all-new Cisco QuantumFlow Processor 3.0. The C8500L-8S4X platform is powered by a multicore System-on-Chip (SoC) engine using advanced flow-based forwarding algorithms. These platforms are purpose-built for high-performance SD-WAN and offer enterprise feature parity with existing ASR 1000 Series platforms.
Q.  What is the portfolio transition from the ASR 1000 Series to the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms?
A.   The C8500-12X4QC is the successor to the ASR 1002-HX. The C8500-12X is the successor to the ASR 1001-HX. The C8500L-8S4X is the successor to the ASR 1001-X.
Q.  What are the different models of the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series has three models:

   C8500-12X4QC: 12x 1/10GE + 2x 40GE + 2x 40/100GE (max 240GE total)

   C8500-12X: 12x 1/10GE

   C8500L-8S4X: 8x 1GE + 4x 1/10GE

Q.  What are the key differences between the Catalyst 8500 Series and the ASR 1000 Series?
A.   The table below describes the key differences between the Catalyst 8500 Series and ASR 1000 Series.

Table1.  Key differences between the Catalyst 8500 Series and ASR 1000 Series

 

C8500-12X4QC

C8500-12X

C8500L-8S4X

ASR 1000 Series

Data plane

Cisco QuantumFlow Processor 3.0

x86 SoC architecture with dedicated data plane cores

Cisco QuantumFlow Processor 2.0

Maximum memory

64 GB

64 GB

32 GB

Built-in 40/100GE ports

Yes

No

No

Expansion slots

No

No

EPA (ASR 1002-HX)

Q.  What are the key differences between the C8500L-8S4X and other models in the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The C8500L-8S4X uses a multicore SoC architecture. Other Catalyst 8500 Series models use a dedicated control plane CPU and Cisco QuantumFlow Processor Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) for the data plane. The data plane of the C8500L-8S4X uses an advanced flow-based forwarding algorithm to get optimal performance from the forwarding cores. Other Catalyst 8500 Series models use a load-based distribution method, while the C8500L-8S4X model hashes Layer 3 and Layer 4 packet information to assign all the packets from a given flow. By assigning all the packets for a given flow to a given core, the system maximizes efficiency in forwarding and evaluating stateful features.
Q.  What is the naming convention for the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms?
A.    

Naming convention

Table 2. Meanings of Catalyst 8500 Series SKUs

SKU character

Significance

S

1GE port

X

1/10GE port

Q

40GE port

C

100GE port

Q.  What are the available front-panel ports for the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms?
A.   The C8500-12X4QC model has 12x 1/10GE SFP+ ports, 2x 40GE QSFP+ ports, and 2x 40/100GE QSFP28 ports. The C8500-12X model has 12x 1/10GE SFP+ ports. The C8500L-8S4X has 8x 1GE SFP ports and 4x 1/10GE SFP+ ports.

Table 3. Front-panel port configurations

Platform

1 GE

1/10GE

40GE

40/100GE

C8500-12X4QC

12

2

2

C8500-12X

12

C8500L-8S4X

8

4

Q.  What is the maximum number of ports that can be enabled on the C8500-12X4QC?
A.   A maximum of 240GE total can be enabled simultaneously for the C8500-12X4QC. The following table highlights the maximum port configurations.

Table 4. Maximum port configurations for the C8500-12X4QC

Port type

Configuration

Max 1GE

12x 1GE

Max 10GE

12x 10GE

Max 10GE + 40GE

12x 10GE + 3x 40GE

Max 40GE + 10GE

4x 40GE + 8x 10GE

Max 100GE

2x 100GE*

Max 100GE + 10GE

1x 100GE + 12x 10GE

Max 100GE + 40GE

1x 100GE + 3x 40GE

Max 100GE + 40GE + 10GE

1x 100GE + 1x 40GE + 8x 10GE

*When bay 1 is set up in 100GE mode, no other ports are available in bay 0 or bay 1.
Q.  How do I change between 10GE, 40GE, and 100GE port configurations on the C8500-12X4QC?
A.   Use the following configuration command:

Router(config)#hw-module subslot 0/2 mode?

   100G  configure EPA to 100G mode

   10G   configure EPA to 10G mode

   40G   configure EPA to 40G mode

Q.  How do I see the current port configuration on the C8500-12X4QC?
A.   Use the show interface and show ip interface brief commands to get the interface mode.
Q.  What is the default port configuration for the C8500-12X4QC?
A.   The default configuration in each port bay of the C8500-12X4QC is:

   Bay 0: 8x 10GE

   Bay 1: 4x 10GE

   Bay 2: 3x 40GE

Ports can be changed according to the maximum port configurations table.
Q.  How do I configure the 1/10GE ports in 1GE mode or 10GE mode?
A.   The port speed will be determined by the type of transceiver plugged in. A 1GE SFP will enable the port in 1GE mode, and a 10GE SFP+ will enable the port in 10GE mode.
Q.  Do the 1/10GE ports support 10/100 Mbps speeds or auto-negotiation with GLC-TE?
A.   No, 10/100 Mbps speeds are not supported with GLC-TE. For 100 Mbps support, the GLC-GE-100FX can be used in the 1/10GE ports.
Q.  What is the maximum number of ports that can be enabled on the C8500-12X?
A.   All 12x 1/10GE SFP+ ports can be enabled on the C8500-12X.
Q.  What is the maximum number of ports that can be enabled on the C8500L-8S4X?
A.   All 8x 1GE SFP and 4x 1/10GE SFP+ ports can be enabled on the C8500L-8S4X.
Q.  What optics are supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Review the optics compatibility matrix for complete details on supported optics: https://tmgmatrix.cisco.com/?si=C8500
Q.  Can I enable port 0/2/4 and port 0/2/8 in 100GE mode on the C8500-12X4QC?
A.   No, ports 0/2/4 and 0/2/8 can be enabled only in 40GE mode.
Q.  Are Cisco ASR 1000 Series Shared Port Adapter (SPA) cards supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No. SPAs are not compatible with the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  Are Cisco ASR 1000 Ethernet Port Adapter (EPA) cards supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No. EPAs are not compatible with the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  Are Network Interface Modules (NIMs) supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No. NIMs are not compatible with the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  What flash storage options are available on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series is equipped with a 32-GB embedded USB (eUSB) device for default boot storage. An upgradable option to a 480-GB SSD is available. The C8500L-8S4X supports a 16-GB and 32-GB eUSB device for default boot storage.
Q.  What rack-mounting options are available for the Cisco Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Available options include 19-inch rack mounting, 23-inch rack mounting, and 4-post rack mounting.
Q.  Where can I find the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) information for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   MTBF information for the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms is available in the Catalyst 8500 Series data sheet. The C8500-12X4QC model has a predicted MTBF of 146,700 hours. The C8500-12X model has a predicted MTBF of 156,200 hours. The C8500L-8S4X has a predicted MTBF of 240,200 hours.
Q.  Is a console port available on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms include the option of a regular RJ-45 console port as well as a micro-USB console port.
Q.  Is an RFID tag available on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Yes, an RFID tag is available on the left side of the front panel on these platforms for externally collecting the inventory (product ID, serial number, version identifier, and unique device identifier [PID, SN, VID, and UDI]). These inventories can be used to help prepopulate the devices in the back-end system for zero-touch provisioning. They are also used to collect the inventory offsite.
Q.  What information is on the label tray?
A.   The label tray contains information regarding the PID, SN, Common Language Equipment Identification (CLEI), Top Assembly Line (TAN), MAC address, and hardware version number.
Q.  Is a QR code available?
A.   Yes. The QR code is located on the label tray and contains information regarding the PID, SN, CLEI, TAN, MAC address, and hardware version number.
Q.  What are the meanings of the status LED colors?
A.   The meaning of the status LED colors is as follows:

   No color or off: The port is not enabled by software

   Amber: The port is enabled by software, but there is a problem with the link

   Green: The port is enabled by software and the link is valid

Q.  Are the fans Field-Replaceable Units (FRUs)?
A.   Yes, the fans are part of a fan tray, which is a field-replaceable part.

Power

Q.  Are the power supplies in the Catalyst 8500 Series FRUs?
A.   Yes, the power supplies for the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms can be replaced in the field.
Q.  Are the power supplies of the Catalyst 8500 Series hot-swappable?
A.   Yes. You do not need to power down the chassis to insert or remove a power supply. The bezel and fan tray can remain in place while a power supply is replaced.
Q.  Are there redundant power supplies in the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Yes, redundant power supplies are the default.
Q.  What power supply options are available for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The C8500-12X4QC and C8500-12X models support a 750W AC power supply or a 950W DC supply. The C8500L-8S4X model supports a 400W power supply in AC, DC, and High-Voltage DC (HVDC) versions.
Q.  What is the airflow direction for the power supply?
A.   The airflow for the power supply in the Catalyst 8500 Series is front (port side) to back (bezel side).
Q.  Does the Catalyst 8500 Series support mixing the AC, DC, and HVDC power supplies in the same chassis?
A.   No. The power supplies need to be matching versions.

Software

Q.  What Cisco IOS ® Software is available for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms run a Cisco IOS XE unified image, which supports both Cisco IOS XE and Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN inside a single binary file.
Q.  Do the Catalyst 8500 Series models have feature parity with the ASR 1000 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms have enterprise feature parity with the ASR 1000 Series.
Q.  What software images are available for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support four types of images:

   Universal

   Universal with no payload encryption

   Universal with no lawful Intercept

   Universal with no payload encryption and no lawful intercept.

Images with no payload encryption do not offer any IPsec/MACsec encryption and do not support SD-WAN. Images with no lawful intercept also do not support SD-WAN.
Q.  Does the Catalyst 8500 Series support NETCONF and YANG?
A.   Yes, the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms provide support for NETCONF operations and YANG modeling using a combination of industry-wide common models and Cisco specific models.
Q.  Is In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU) supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No. ISSU is not supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  What Layer 2 tunneling mechanisms are available on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) v2 and v3, Ethernet VPN (EVPN), and Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) as the Layer 2 tunneling mechanisms.

Security

Q.  What features from Cisco Trustworthy Solutions are offered on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The security features of Trustworthy Solutions include:

   Secure Boot with signed images and hardware anchoring with Secure Unique Device Identifier (SUDI)

   Secure storage

   Run-time defenses

   Authentication and integrity verification

   Recovery mechanisms

   Management plane protections

Q.  Does the Catalyst 8500 Series have separate hardware to accelerate VPN operations?
A.   The C8500-12X4QC and C8500-12X models have hardware-accelerated encryption and decryption in the third-generation Cisco QuantumFlow Processor. The C8500L-8S4X model uses Intel ® QuickAssist Technology (QAT) to provide hardware acceleration for encryption operations.
Q.  Is SSL VPN supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No, SSL VPN is not supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms. The alternative would be to use Cisco FlexVPN for remote access.
Q.  Is the Cisco Easy VPN client supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No, the Easy VPN client is not supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms. The alternative would be to use FlexVPN for remote access.
Q.  What VPN technologies are supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support the following VPN technologies: FlexVPN, Dynamic Multipoint VPN (DMVPN), Group Encrypted Transport VPN (GETVPN), and Easy VPN Server.
Q.  Is WAN MACsec supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Yes, WAN MACsec is supported on all built-in ports of the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  Are NSA Suite B and Next-Generation Encryption (NGE) supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Yes, Suite B and NGE are supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  Is Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA) available on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Yes, the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support ETA.
Q.  Is the Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No, IPS is not supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  Is content filtering supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Yes, content filtering is supported on the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms using DNS/web layer security.
Q.  Does the Catalyst 8500 Series support Cisco Umbrella ® Secure Internet Gateway (SIG)?
A.   Yes, the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support Cisco Umbrella SIG.
Q.  Does the Catalyst 8500 Series support third-party SIGs?
A.   Yes, the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support third-party SIGs.
Q.  What other security solutions are offered on the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support:

   IPsec

   MACsec

   Zone-based firewall

   Network Address Translation (NAT)

   Virtual Route Forwarding (VRF)-aware security

   Anomaly detection and machine learning

   Cisco TrustSec®

   Identity-based networking (802.1X)

   Access Control Lists (ACLs)

   Control Plane Protection (CoPP)

   Role-based Command-Line Interface (CLI) access

   Source-based Remotely Triggered Black Hole (RTBH) filtering

   Secure Shell (SSH) v2

   Unicast Reverse Path Forwarding (RPF)

SD-WAN

Q.  Do all Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN?
A.   Yes. All of the models support Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN.
Q.  Is there SD-WAN feature parity with the ASR 1000 Series?
A.   With the exception of AppNav , the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms have SD-WAN feature parity with the ASR 1000 Series.
Q.  Is Smart Licensing supported with Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN?
A.   Smart Licensing will be the only supported call-home feature on Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms running on Cisco IOS XE or Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN.

Application visibility

Q.  How does a lack of visibility into applications impact overall IT operations?
A.   Applications and users are more distributed than ever, and the internet has effectively become the new enterprise WAN. As organizations continue to embrace internet, cloud, and SaaS, network and IT teams are challenged to deliver consistent and reliable connectivity and application performance over networks and services they don’t own or directly control.
Network teams often carry the burden of proving the network innocent when something goes wrong. Application issues might manifest as network issues. Finger-pointing and cycles wasted searching for the source issues can lead to prolonged service disruptions that ultimately damage the revenue and reputation of the business.
Q.  How does Cisco SD-WAN deliver greater application visibility?
A.   Cisco SD-WAN is fully integrated with Cisco ThousandEyes in a turnkey solution that enables greater visibility for IT operators to drive optimal digital experience across the internet, cloud, and SaaS. With this turnkey solution, you can:

   Gain hop-by-hop visibility into the network underlay, including detailed path and performance metrics

   Measure and proactively monitor SD-WAN overlay performance and routing policy validation

   Determine the reachability and performance of SaaS and internally owned applications

   Establish network and application performance baselines across global regions before, during, and after deployment of SD-WAN to mitigate risk and establish and validate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Q.  What are the benefits of this expanded visibility?
A.   With Cisco SD-WAN and ThousandEyes, IT managers can rapidly pinpoint the root cause of application and network disruptions, provide actionable insights, and accelerate resolution time.

   Lower the Mean Time To Identify (MTTI) the causes of issues: Fast root-cause isolation and intuitive, easy-to-understand visualization of the entire service delivery chain

   Eliminate wasteful finger-pointing: Correlated visibility across the application, hop-by-hop network path, underlay and overlay performance, and internet routing to immediately isolate issues to the right problem domain (network or application) and responsible party (internal team or external service)

   Enable effective escalation: Concrete proof to successfully escalate issues to providers and effectively manage Operational-Level Agreements (OLAs) and Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)

Q.  What is Cisco ThousandEyes?
A.   Cisco ThousandEyes enables enterprises that are increasingly dependent on internet, cloud, and SaaS to see, understand, and improve digital experiences for customers and employees. Its end-to-end visibility from any user to any application, over any network, enables enterprises to quickly pinpoint the source of issues, get to a resolution faster, and measure and manage the performance of what matters.
ThousandEyes collects multilayer telemetry data from vantage points distributed throughout the internet, as well as in enterprise data centers and cloud, branch, and campus environments, providing detailed metrics from between those vantage points and applications and services distributed throughout the globe. The result is real insight into application experience and every underlying dependency, whether network, service, or application related.
For more information, see https://www.thousandeyes.com.
Q.  How is Cisco SD-WAN integrated with ThousandEyes?
A.   Cisco SD-WAN is the only SD-WAN solution with turnkey ThousandEyes vantage points. This solution is supported on eligible Catalyst 8500 Series platforms. Existing customers can expedite ThousandEyes agent deployment with vManage integration and enable faster time to value for their IT operators.
Q.  What are the minimum requirements for ThousandEyes?
A.   ThousandEyes is natively integrated with eligible Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms with a minimum of 8-GB DRAM and 8-GB bootflash/storage. Additional memory and storage will be necessary for concurrently running a ThousandEyes agent with containerized SD-WAN security services.
Q.  How is ThousandEyes ordered?
A.   Customers can leverage existing ThousandEyes subscriptions with eligible Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.

   Existing ThousandEyes customers can use their available ThousandEyes license and units toward new tests.

   New ThousandEyes customers will need to purchase a ThousandEyes license to activate the ThousandEyes agent.

Licensing

Q.  What is the software packaging and traditional licensing model for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   The Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms include the following Cisco DNA license packaging:

   Cisco DNA Advantage with Network Advantage

   Cisco DNA Premier with Network Advantage

Q.  What is included as part of Cisco DNA Advantage versus Cisco DNA Premier?
A.   To learn about the features of each package, refer to Cisco DNA Software for SD-WAN and Routing at: https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/products/software/sd-wan-routing-matrix.html?oid=otren019258
Q.  Are Cisco ASR 1000 Series perpetual licenses compatible with the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No, the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms are Cisco DNA subscription-only platforms.
Q.  What are the applicable subscription tiers for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   Refer to the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms ordering guide.
Q.  What is an HSEC license?
A.   An add-on license above the security (SEC) technology package license, known as HSEC, provides export controls for strong levels of encryption. HSEC is always included as part of the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms.
Q.  Does the Catalyst 8500 Series support Smart Licensing?
A.   Yes, Smart Licensing is the only mode of licensing on the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms. Visit https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/ios-xml/ios/smart-licensing/qsg/b_Smart_Licensing_QuickStart/b_Smart_Licensing_QuickStart_chapter_00.html.
For a more detailed overview of Cisco Smart Licensing, go to cisco.com/go/licensingguide .
Q.  Are throughput performance and boost licenses available with the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No, throughput performance is based on Cisco DNA subscription tiers.
Q.  Are there port licenses for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No, all ports are available without port licenses in the platform.
Q.  Is Cisco ONE ® licensing available for the Catalyst 8500 Series?
A.   No.

Application hosting

Q.  How many CPU cores are available for Cisco IOx application hosting?
A.   One CPU core is available for Cisco IOx application hosting on the C8500-12X4QC and C8500-12X models. Up to four cores may be made available for Cisco IOx application hosting on the C8500L-8S4X platform.
Q.  Can applications be hosted on the bootflash?
A.   Yes, but we recommended using an SSD for Cisco IOx application hosting or M.2 storage for best results.
Q.  Is Docker supported in the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms?
A.   No. Docker is not supported.
Q.  Do the Catalyst 8500 Series Edge Platforms support Python programmability?
A.   Yes, the Catalyst 8500 Series supports Python programmability.
Python programmability provides users with the ability to control devices running the Cisco IOS XE operation system, by running Python code that makes use of APIs. It has multiple use cases, such as:

   Interactive Python prompts

   Running Python scripts

   Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager

   Zero-touch provisioning

 

 

 

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