Choice of Cisco 3550 or Nortel 470 switches

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by Jim, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Jim

    Jim Guest

    I Have a client trying to decide between a Cisco 3550 48 port switch
    and Nortels Baystack 470 480 port switch. Both provide two gigabit uplinks.
    Given that the client uses a generic snmp based management/monitoring package
    (ie not ciscoworks), what are the pros and cons of these two choices?
     
    Jim, Oct 29, 2003
    #1
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  2. In article <>,
    Jim <> wrote:
    :I Have a client trying to decide between a Cisco 3550 48 port switch
    :and Nortels Baystack 470 480 port switch. Both provide two gigabit uplinks.
    :Given that the client uses a generic snmp based management/monitoring package
    :(ie not ciscoworks), what are the pros and cons of these two choices?

    The 3550 is a "multilayer switch" -- i.e., it is a router with
    restricted functionality. With it, you can define VLANs, assign
    IP addresses to them, put in ACLs (Access Control Lists) controlling the
    flow between them. It can also do rate-limiting based upon layer 4
    information.

    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps646/products_data_sheet09186a00800913d7.html

    The Baystack 470 are Layer 2 switches. The 48 port version has the
    full QoS support that the BPS2000 had; the 24 port version is stackable
    with Baystack 410 and Baystack 450, but does not have the full QoS.
    Speaking of which, the Baystack 470's are stackable, but the Cisco 3550 is
    not (you need a 3750 to be stackable.) The 470 can do rate-limiting,
    but I don't think it can do it on Layer 4 information.

    The 470 can do Split Multi-Link Trunking (SMLT) to Passport 8600's;
    if I understand correctly, that's a proprietary feature. Both the
    470 and Cisco 3550 do Distributed Multi-Link Trunking (DMLT), but
    that's the Nortel name for the feature; Cisco calls it something
    different.

    http://a368.g.akamai.net/7/368/5107...s/baystack_470/collateral/nn100100-050203.pdf
    --
    And the wind keeps blowing the angel / Backwards into the future /
    And this wind, this wind / Is called / Progress.
    -- Laurie Anderson
     
    Walter Roberson, Oct 29, 2003
    #2
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  3. In article <bnnhuu$c2g$>,
    Walter Roberson <-cnrc.gc.ca> wrote:
    |In article <>,
    |Jim <> wrote:
    |:I Have a client trying to decide between a Cisco 3550 48 port switch
    |:and Nortels Baystack 470 480 port switch. Both provide two gigabit uplinks.
    |:Given that the client uses a generic snmp based management/monitoring package
    |:(ie not ciscoworks), what are the pros and cons of these two choices?

    |http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps646/products_data_sheet09186a00800913d7.html

    |http://a368.g.akamai.net/7/368/5107...s/baystack_470/collateral/nn100100-050203.pdf

    Also, check the performance figures carefully. The Baystack 470
    is rated at 3.2 Mpps forwarding rate for 64 byte packets. The slowest of
    the 3550 models (the 3550-24 series) is rated at 6.6 Mpps forwarding
    for 64 byte packets. [Cross-comparing, the implication is that the switching
    fabric of the 470 is about 4.3 Gbps.] You are looking at the 3550-48,
    the forwarding rate for which is 10.1 Mpps, about 3 times faster
    than the Baystack 470-48T.

    Also, the 470 supports a maximum of 1522 bytes per packet (802.1Q Tagged); the
    3550-24 and 3550-48 support up to 1546 bytes per packet for MPLS
    switching.


    Some of our people had a Baystack 470-48T arrive today, intended
    as a pure layer 2 switch for their Beowulf cluster, and it'll probably
    do fine at that task. Meanwhile, one of the 3550 series with several
    gigabit ports is a serious contender as our next core LAN router.
    We wouldn't have put an expensive 3550 in for them -- they don't
    need it. We wouldn't put a 470 in for our LAN router, as it simply
    isn't the right kind of device for that task.
    --
    Pity the poor electron, floating around minding its own business for
    billions of years; and then suddenly Bam!! -- annihilated just so
    you could read this posting.
     
    Walter Roberson, Oct 29, 2003
    #3
  4. Jim

    Erik Guest

    You should certainly have a look at Java Device Manager which is a nice
    configuration and monitoring tools for the Nortel switches. And it's free !
    With Baystack you buy good stackability (resilient stacking, without using
    your gigabit links) and full QoS. And while some people will focus on the
    number of pps, you will not need wire rate on all ports at the same time in
    an edge switch (get real !!). And even a switch with 1000Mpps will be
    limited to sending 2 gbps over the uplinks.
    Viking.

    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I Have a client trying to decide between a Cisco 3550 48 port switch
    > and Nortels Baystack 470 480 port switch. Both provide two gigabit

    uplinks.
    > Given that the client uses a generic snmp based management/monitoring

    package
    > (ie not ciscoworks), what are the pros and cons of these two choices?
    >
     
    Erik, Oct 29, 2003
    #4
  5. In article <f9Tnb.1630$-ops.be>,
    Erik <> wrote:
    :With Baystack you buy good stackability (resilient stacking, without using
    :your gigabit links)

    I see the 470 finally got rid of the cascade modules; those weren't
    cheap for the 450 series.
    --
    csh is bad drugs.
     
    Walter Roberson, Oct 29, 2003
    #5
  6. Jim

    Jim Guest

    -cnrc.gc.ca (Walter Roberson) wrote in message news:<bnp029$1kn$>...
    > In article <f9Tnb.1630$-ops.be>,
    > Erik <> wrote:
    > :With Baystack you buy good stackability (resilient stacking, without using
    > :your gigabit links)
    >
    > I see the 470 finally got rid of the cascade modules; those weren't
    > cheap for the 450 series.


    Thanks Walter and Erik for the informative replies to date. Regarding the
    stacking ability of the Baystack 470 - do they still require proprietry
    cables? (last Baystack I used was a 102 hub) Or do they use something more
    generic?
     
    Jim, Oct 30, 2003
    #6
  7. "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I Have a client trying to decide between a Cisco 3550 48 port switch
    > and Nortels Baystack 470 480 port switch.


    If IPV6 is in their future, the 3750 hardware is IPV6 ready, and packed with
    some really sexy custom silicon that does QoS and large frames. Extremely
    cool.

    But I don't know about the Bay/Nortel, sorry.
     
    Phillip Remaker, Oct 30, 2003
    #7
  8. Jim

    John Smith Guest

    Proprietary, however one comes with each switch.

    You also have to buy the MDA's for the cascade modules, depending on your
    cabling type this could be expensive. Make sure you order the right type, they
    have several types.

    They are managable via TELNET, HTTP or Nortels Device Manager.


    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > -cnrc.gc.ca (Walter Roberson) wrote in message

    news:<bnp029$1kn$>...
    > > In article <f9Tnb.1630$-ops.be>,
    > > Erik <> wrote:
    > > :With Baystack you buy good stackability (resilient stacking, without using
    > > :your gigabit links)
    > >
    > > I see the 470 finally got rid of the cascade modules; those weren't
    > > cheap for the 450 series.

    >
    > Thanks Walter and Erik for the informative replies to date. Regarding the
    > stacking ability of the Baystack 470 - do they still require proprietry
    > cables? (last Baystack I used was a 102 hub) Or do they use something more
    > generic?
     
    John Smith, Oct 30, 2003
    #8
  9. In article <YW7ob.4325$>,
    John Smith <> wrote:
    [with regard to Baystack 470 cascade cables]

    :proprietary, however one comes with each switch.

    :You also have to buy the MDA's for the cascade modules, depending on your
    :cabling type this could be expensive. Make sure you order the right type, they
    :have several types.

    That doesn't sound at all right, John. The Baystack 470 uses the
    same [proprietary] cascade cable as the 410/450, but the product
    literature specifically says,

    The BayStack 470-48T Switch has built-in stacking ports for
    simpler, quicker, and more cost-effective stacking, as cascade
    modules are not required.

    If you examine the product literature, you will find that 'mda' is
    not mentioned at all -- there is no MDA slot on the 470-48T, and
    the list of parts that go with the 470-48T does not include any
    MDA-type interface options. The 470-48T has two (regular-size)
    GBIC slots instead. GBIC's are -supposed- to be relatively
    standard... they aren't really, of course, but you can often find
    a few different kinds that work in any particular equipment.
    --
    Those were borogoves and the momerathsoutgrabe completely mimsy.
     
    Walter Roberson, Oct 30, 2003
    #9
  10. Jim

    John Smith Guest

    Sorry, I you're right, it's GBIC not MDA.

    They have single mode, multimode GBIC adapters.
    I know we had a fun time getting the exact one for a 450 at one time.
     
    John Smith, Oct 30, 2003
    #10
  11. Jim

    Hansang Bae Guest

    In article <264ob.3850$>,
    says...
    > If IPV6 is in their future, the 3750 hardware is IPV6 ready, and packed with
    > some really sexy custom silicon that does QoS and large frames. Extremely
    > cool.
    > But I don't know about the Bay/Nortel, sorry.


    This isn't directed at you Phillip! It's just general bitchin.

    I wish Cisco's IOS team would concentrate on fixing some notorious IPSec
    issues (among other) before moving on to making IPv6 a standard fair on
    IOSes. While we may have bigger than most networks, the constant issues
    faced with IPSec causing boxes to keel over is getting annoying at best.

    The IOS quality seems to have gone out the window lately.


    --

    hsb

    "Somehow I imagined this experience would be more rewarding" Calvin
    *************** USE ROT13 TO SEE MY EMAIL ADDRESS ****************
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    Due to the volume of email that I receive, I may not not be able to
    reply to emails sent to my account. Please post a followup instead.
    ********************************************************************
     
    Hansang Bae, Oct 31, 2003
    #11
  12. Jim

    latenight Guest

    BayStack switches can have one port in more than one VLAN, this is very
    useful if you want i.e. some server(s) in all VLANs.


    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I Have a client trying to decide between a Cisco 3550 48 port switch
    > and Nortels Baystack 470 480 port switch. Both provide two gigabit

    uplinks.
    > Given that the client uses a generic snmp based management/monitoring

    package
    > (ie not ciscoworks), what are the pros and cons of these two choices?
     
    latenight, Nov 1, 2003
    #12
  13. Jim

    Erik Guest

    Guys, it's this way:
    Stacking connectors are built in (2 of them for redundant stacking). One
    stack cable is supplied with each unit you buy; that also means you can
    stack 2 or 3 whithout buying anything "extra" at all. If you make a bigger
    stack you can buy 1 (one only) longer stack return cable to connect the top
    and bottom unit. The gig GBICs are not needed for the stacking; you allways
    keep your 2 Gig uplinks per unit.

    "Jim" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > -cnrc.gc.ca (Walter Roberson) wrote in message

    news:<bnp029$1kn$>...
    > > In article <f9Tnb.1630$-ops.be>,
    > > Erik <> wrote:
    > > :With Baystack you buy good stackability (resilient stacking, without

    using
    > > :your gigabit links)
    > >
    > > I see the 470 finally got rid of the cascade modules; those weren't
    > > cheap for the 450 series.

    >
    > Thanks Walter and Erik for the informative replies to date. Regarding the
    > stacking ability of the Baystack 470 - do they still require proprietry
    > cables? (last Baystack I used was a 102 hub) Or do they use something more
    > generic?
    >
     
    Erik, Nov 1, 2003
    #13
  14. Another consideration is availability of reasonably priced, local
    design/operations assistance. I inherited some Nortel switches and
    routers at a mid-sized company in the US; even in medium-sized cities it
    is hard to find people who can help with configuration. As a result I
    have had to spend a lot of long evenings with the (not always helpful)
    Nortel documentation trying to teach it to myself. Whereas you can find
    people standing on roadway medians holding "will configure Cisco kit for
    food" signs just about anywhere these days.

    sPh
     
    Steven Healey, Nov 1, 2003
    #14
  15. In article <FHQob.202293$>,
    Steven Healey <> wrote:
    :Another consideration is availability of reasonably priced, local
    :design/operations assistance. I inherited some Nortel switches and
    :routers at a mid-sized company in the US; even in medium-sized cities it
    :is hard to find people who can help with configuration. As a result I
    :have had to spend a lot of long evenings with the (not always helpful)
    :Nortel documentation trying to teach it to myself.

    The BayStack 450 documentation isn't bad, so I presume that the
    BayStack 470 documentation (similar interface) is not bad either.

    The Nortel routers are a different issue. :(

    :Whereas you can find
    :people standing on roadway medians holding "will configure Cisco kit for
    :food" signs just about anywhere these days.

    Some people get food out of it?? You mean that it's not just one
    of those Civic Duties like cleaning up the back alley before someone
    hurts themselves?
    --
    Tenser, said the Tensor.
    Tenser, said the Tensor.
    Tension, apprehension,
    And dissension have begun. -- Alfred Bester (tDM)
     
    Walter Roberson, Nov 1, 2003
    #15
  16. In article <a7Mob.5069$>,
    latenight <> wrote:
    :BayStack switches can have one port in more than one VLAN, this is very
    :useful if you want i.e. some server(s) in all VLANs.

    True for port-based VLANs, not true for protocol-based VLANs.

    As I recall, older versions of the Baystack software only allowed
    ports to be in one port-based VLAN, but the Baystack 470 being
    discussed here should have new enough software to allow this
    feature.
    --
    Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie.
    A bird can't whistle and neither can I. -- Pooh
     
    Walter Roberson, Nov 1, 2003
    #16
  17. Jim

    latenight Guest

    BayStack sw supports this feature for a very long time.


    "Walter Roberson" <-cnrc.gc.ca> wrote in message
    news:bo0pa8$jcu$...
    > In article <a7Mob.5069$>,
    > latenight <> wrote:
    > :BayStack switches can have one port in more than one VLAN, this is very
    > :useful if you want i.e. some server(s) in all VLANs.
    >
    > True for port-based VLANs, not true for protocol-based VLANs.
    >
    > As I recall, older versions of the Baystack software only allowed
    > ports to be in one port-based VLAN, but the Baystack 470 being
    > discussed here should have new enough software to allow this
    > feature.
    > --
    > Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston pie.
    > A bird can't whistle and neither can I. -- Pooh
     
    latenight, Nov 1, 2003
    #17
  18. Walter Roberson <-cnrc.gc.ca> wrote:
    > The 470 can do rate-limiting, but I don't think it can do it on
    > Layer 4 information.


    I believe you can do rate-limiting on Layer 4 info. The QoS
    classification filters certainly support Layer 4, and you can apply a
    policer to that.

    > The 470 can do Split Multi-Link Trunking (SMLT) to Passport 8600's;
    > if I understand correctly, that's a proprietary feature. Both the


    Split MLT is indeed proprietary, however, the edge switches only need
    standard MLT/802.3ad Link Aggregation, and should work with any
    vendor's switch that does standard Link Aggregation. The idea is to
    dual-home the edge switch (appears as an MLT to the edge switch) to
    two core Passport 8600 switches which appear logically as a single
    switch, providing full-box redundancy with sub-second failover for
    bridged and routed traffic.

    > 470 and Cisco 3550 do Distributed Multi-Link Trunking (DMLT), but
    > that's the Nortel name for the feature; Cisco calls it something
    > different.


    DMLT is simply MLT across different units of a single stack, providing
    uplink (or server trunk) redundancy to a stack. It is standard Link
    Aggregation, and should work as such with any vendor using standard
    Link Aggregation/802.3ad.

    Note that Nortel MLT doesn't implement the LACP part of 802.3ad yet
    (i.e. it is "statically compliant"). The only vendor i am aware of
    that does LACP is Riverstone.
     
    Charles R. Anderson, Nov 2, 2003
    #18
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