Cat5000/Cat6000 Architecture

Besides the ports, several other components make up the overall architecture of a switch. The switching engine makes decisions, and the switch memory buffers frames from port to port. The switching fabric connects all the components together. For example, devices such as the Catalyst 2900XL, 3500XL, and 4000 deploy a shared memory fabric where all ports share the same memory pool. The Cat5000 and Cat6000 are store-and-forward switches that use a switching bus architecture arbitration method where a central bus arbiter works with an arbiter on each line card to control queuing for each port. The 6500 with a fabric module installed deploys a crossbar fabric whereby hardware-based ASICs provide many switching paths; ...

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