[c-nsp] ME3600/3800 query

Waris Sagheer (waris) waris at cisco.com
Tue Dec 20 06:42:19 EST 2011

BGP AD and PW IGMP Snooping are supported on both the platforms in the
latest release 15.1(2)EY1a.


-----Original Message-----
From: cisco-nsp-bounces at puck.nether.net
[mailto:cisco-nsp-bounces at puck.nether.net] On Behalf Of Mark Tinka
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 9:35 PM
To: cisco-nsp at puck.nether.net
Cc: Jeff Bacon
Subject: Re: [c-nsp] ME3600/3800 query

On Tuesday, December 20, 2011 12:39:05 AM Jeff Bacon wrote:

> Anyway. 6500s are kind of pricey to drop everywhere, and they don't 
> come in convenient form factors (tried to find an ME6524 on the refurb

> market lately? Oh wait, you wanted 10G? Priced a 6503-E chassis 
> lately?).

Yeah, if you want 10Gbps ports at a decent price, the ASR9000 or
MX-series are your best bets, to be honest.

> I could use ASRs, but I need switching-level performance
> - I have high microburst rates, don't want to wait 100-150micros for 
> the quantumflow to process the packet, and can live with lower-touch 
> on the packets. Plus an ASR with enough ports to matter... ugh.

ASR1013 is about as many ports as you can get, but that doesn't make any
sense as an ASR9000 or MX quickly becomes a better option if port
density is your issue.

> So I'm looking at the ME3600/3800X. They would seem to do what I want 
> - MPLS and L3 routing, MP-BGP. Wish they had multicast MPLS VPN but 
> that looks like a no-go. That could be a problem, but I guess I can 
> use VRF-lite + VLAN trunks to carry that. (We have an internal 
> multicast-based data distribution system that pushes multicast, well, 
> everywhere. Or we want it to.)

Rosen is not planned until Q2'12.

We're also waiting for Multicast to arrive on this platform, but of the
NG-MVPN variety. That will be farther out than Rosen.

We considered various interim options for Multicast using VPLS or
EoMPLS, e.t.c., but it simply isn't scalable. The Multicast would end up
becoming Unicast, and that isn't good :-). That said, Cisco do plan to
support VPLS LSM, which would be a good thing, as well as VPLS-aware
IGMP Snooping.

> What's the difference between a 3600 and a 3800, anyway? 
> They look a heck of a lot like the same box with a different label???

	o Until recently, only the ME3800X supported VPLS.
	  However, VPLS support has been included in the
 	  software for the ME3600X as well. As of the latest
	  shipping IOS release for the platform, native VPLS
	  is now supported (I haven't tested it, but I see
	  signs of BGP-AD support in there). Early versions
	  of the code supported only H-VPLS.

	o The ME3800X has bigger buffers than the ME3600X.

	o The ME3800X has more TCAM space than the ME3600X.

	o The ME3800X has different scaling licenses as

	o Cisco are pushing the ME3800X as more of a pre
	  -aggregation device, and the ME3600X as a pure
	  Access device. Of course, all this is meaningless
	  to operators and you can choose to do whatever you
	  want with the device as it makes sense to you :-).

	o The ME3800X doesn't require you to pay for the
	  additional 10Gbps license for the uplinks.

Otherwise, either model of the platform supports the same forwarding
performance levels.

> Any major gotchas with this platform?

Tons, but only because it's a new platform. The list has a good archive
on that so far - I and Reuben had a good discussion about this last

Basically, lack of features and bugs in existing ones. 
Expect these to be ironed out over the next 2 to 3 years, from my

Overall, I think it's a platform worth investing in. It has a very, very
bright future.



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