Identify the Cisco Route Switch processors and explain how they are implemented
Understand the function of the Content Addressable Memory (CAM) and Ternary CAM (TCAM) within a Catalyst switch
Describe how network analysis modules on Catalyst switches can be used to improve network traffic management
Be able to convert CatOS to native IOS on Catalyst switches and manage native IOS images using best practice methods
Describe the operation of both the Content Addressable Memory (CAM) and Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) as implemented in different Catalyst switches
Cisco switches are at the forefront of modern technology, and comprise some of the most flexible devices on the market. But the changing nature of applications' demands upon switching is reflected in the variety in the range. Some of the older switches still use a bus technology on the backbone, whereas newer switches use a shared memory forwarding engine. The most modern employ a matrix fabric at the heart of the switch.
The reason for this is the continuing growth of multimedia applications. Voice and video place unique demands upon the network that can be satisfied only by a combination of high availability and configurable QoS. High availability means that the switches have to be non- blocking. In other words, we don't want them to get in the way!
In this chapter, you will learn what the different switch architectures are, and which type relates to which Cisco switch. I will explain how the switch memory functions, and how the bridging tables are stored and accessed. We will look at the different Cisco switches currently offered, and see how these technologies are implemented.
We end the chapter with a discussion of the techniques that can be used to manage and troubleshoot an integrated switch network.