NPE-G2 vs. Sup720-3BXL

Aaron Millisor aaron.millisor at
Fri May 15 11:44:18 CDT 2009

We ran into a similar quandary and have about the same amount of traffic as your 
network. When purchasing gear a year ago we decided against 7200's with an 
NPE-G2 as insufficient for the load.  Have you looked at the 7304?

The Cisco 7304 with an NSE-150 processing engine on it offloads a lot of the 
packet processing to dedicated hardware, and doesn't have TCAM limitations for 
routes. You can hold several full feeds and do the amount of traffic you're 
talking about without breaking a sweat.

It is capable of supporting both legacy port adapters (from your Flexwan or 7200 
routers) and SPA cards with the right add-in modules, which IIRC is only a few 
hundred dollars.

I'd be glad to answer any questions you have about our implementation.


David Storandt wrote:
> We're stuck in an engineering pickle, so some experience from this
> crew would be useful in tie-breaking...
> We operate a business-grade FTTx ISP with ~75 customers and 800Mbps of
> Internet traffic, currently using 6509/Sup2s for core routing and port
> aggregation. The MSFC2s are under stress from 3x full route feeds,
> pared down to 85% to fit the TCAM tables. One system has a FlexWAN
> with an OC3 card and it's crushing the CPU on the MSFC2. System tuning
> (stable IOS and esp. disabling SPD) helped a lot but still doesn't
> have the power to pull through. Hardware upgrades are needed...
> We need true full routes and more CPU horsepower for crunching BGP
> (+12 smaller peers + ISIS). OC3 interfaces are going to be mandatory,
> one each at two locations. Oh yeah, we're still a larger startup
> without endless pockets. Power, rack space, and SmartNet are not
> concerns at any location (on-site cold spares). We may need an
> upstream OC12 in the future but that's a ways out and not a concern
> here.
> Our engineering team has settled on three $20k/node options:
> - Sup720-3BXLs with PS and fan upgrades
> - Sup2s as switches + ISIS + statics and no BGP, push BGP edge routing
> off to NPE-G2s across a 2-3Gbps port-channel
> - Sup2s as switches + ISIS + statics and no BGP, push BGP edge routing
> off to a 12008 with E3 engines across a 2-3Gbps port-channel.
> Ideas and constructive opinions welcome, especially software and
> stability-related.
> Many thanks,
> -Dave

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