Set-Based Switched vs. CatIOS

Discussion in 'Cisco' started by David Jones, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. David Jones

    David Jones Guest

    OK, I'm a pretty green newbie when it comes to Cisco equipment. That's
    why I'm learning it, right? ;) Well, I have waht may be an obvious
    question. I did search both this NewsGroup and

    What is the difference between a Set-based switch and a CatIOS-based

    From what I have read, the CatIOS switch runs the IOS for switches.
    Duh! :) This would be like the Cat1900 series, right?
    And I've also read that the Set-Based tend to cost a bit more.

    So what's the difference, and can someone maybe post some examples of

    Thanks A Bunch ~ Dave
    David Jones, Oct 21, 2003
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  2. David Jones

    SD Guest

    The main difference is (if I understand the question) the switches like the
    2900XL, 3550's run a full IOS (CatIOS) almost identical to one you'd find on
    a router. Same command configuration syntax. Set based is a bit older, while
    still widely implemented (ie cat 5000's), the command syntax is completely

    hope this helps
    SD, Oct 21, 2003
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  3. :What is the difference between a Set-based switch and a CatIOS-based

    I have never heard of 'set-based' with respect to Cisco equipment.

    What I have heard of is this:

    - a small amount of Cisco equipment uses CBOS.
    - older switches use CatOS; this included the -switch- part of the
    wide-selling Cat5000 series
    - routers Newer switches and newer switches use IOS
    - for a few of the devices that were designed for CatOS, Cisco has
    developed IOS, as a "hybrid" image or a full image
    - the Cisco PIX firewall series has an operating system named Finesse,
    as does the Firewall Services Module for the 6500 series.
    Walter Roberson, Oct 21, 2003
  4. Program ended abnormally on 21/10/2003 10:36, Due to a catastrophic
    David Jones error:
    CatOS switches use commands like:

    set port name 3/1 To Router1
    set port speed 3/1 100
    set port duplex 3/1 full
    set vlan 12 3/1

    CatIOS switches us commands like:

    interface fastethernet3/1
    description To Router1
    speed 100
    duplex full
    switchport access vlan 12
    1900s running the Entreprise version of the code do have a CatIOS-like
    front-end, along with the menu-driven interface.
    CatOS runs on bigger switches. The difference in price is not due to the OS,
    but the hardware.
    Francois Labreque, Oct 21, 2003
  5. Program ended abnormally on 21/10/2003 12:25, Due to a catastrophic
    Walter Roberson error:
    IIRC, the only time I've seen the term used was on the CCNP switching exam.
    Francois Labreque, Oct 21, 2003
  6. David Jones


    Sep 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Brooklyn, NY
    CatIOS and Switches!

    Hello Dave,

    I am sure if all your questions were answered, since it was some time ago since your thread was made. However, “Cisco Systems has migrated chassis-based Catalyst switches to the CatIOS, which permits a single image to be used on a Supervisor Engine. This is the case for a Catalyst 6000 family switch with an MSFC or MSFC2. Further, this is also the case for the image used on the Catalyst 4006 and 4500 switch with the Supervisor Engine III or IV, which has an integrated route processor.” In particular, the 4006 with Supervisor Engine II, the 5000 and 6000 Families of switches running CatOS are being replaced by the 4000 and 4500 with Supervisor Engine III or IV, and the Catalyst 6000 Family of switches running CatIOS. Additionally, “CatIOS commands which are used on 7600 series Internet routers, serve as an evolutionary upgrade to Cisco 7200 and 7500 series routers, comprehensively support for optical MAN and WAN functionality.”

    Just so you know, there are/have been a convergence taking place with the list of commands used by various Cisco devices. It makes the use of all Cisco devices much easier in general and does not require the customer to learn multiple operating systems and command sets. Minor changes in commands have been implemented on the 2950 and 3550 (which are not end-of-life, as are the others) to synchronize their command sets with the chassis-based switches running CatIOS.

    “One side effect of this evolution is the demise of CatOS. Although CatOS devices will remain in the system and field for some time, eventually the use of this O/S on these devices will end, or the devices will be replaced by CatIOS devices.”

    Hope this clears up some stuff.
    marlhole, Sep 23, 2008
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