September 10, 2009

Quality of Service on the Cisco Catalyst 4500

  • Cisco Systems
Envision a long-awaited vacation. You plan and thoroughly schedule a family vacation in another part of the country. Upon arriving at the airport you see several queues for domestic checkin, international checkin, and then of course the extremely long security queue. After you have checked the family in, you proceed to the security queue, knowing all too well how painful the wait in line will be. When you arrive at the security checkpoint, the security monitor quickly recognizes your premier status and escorts you quickly to the priority queue, passing up the delay of the general security queues. Here you are passed directly through security, and you hurry the family quickly off to the gate to enjoy your vacation.

Similar to the example above, quality of service (QoS) on the Cisco Catalyst 4500 Supervisor Engine 6-E (Supervisor Engine 6-E) is a tool that is used to provide preferential treatment to specific traffic as it passes through the switch. Over time and with the advancements in hardware and software technology, a number of QoS tools have become available. QoS in itself is not one feature, but a collection of features that when combined provide a powerful way to identify different classes of traffic, prioritize them, and then schedule the traffic based on this prioritization.

This document will provide a high-level overview of QoS capabilities of the Supervisor Engine 6-E which is part of the Cisco Catalyst 4500E family. It will explain what the features are and how they work.

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