Selecting a Processor
All three processor options on the Cisco 7304 offer unique benefits. The high-performance NSE-100 and NSE-150 provide up to 3.5-Mpps performance for application-specific features. The list of features that are hardware-accelerated continues to evolve, but currently includes numerous QoS, MPLS, and MPLS VPN services. Features that are not in the PXF path are still supported on the route processor on the NSE-100, but at a lower throughput. In addition, the NSE-100 and NSE-150 can support line-rate interfaces of up to OC-48/STM-16 speeds.
The Cisco 7304 NSE-150 has the same route processor as the NPE-G100, so it offers up to 800,000-pps performance on Cisco IOS Software. The Cisco 7304 NSE-100 has a 350-MHz RM7000 MIPS microprocessor offering approximately 450,000-pps performance on software features, which is less than the performance of the control-plane feature on the NPE-G100 and NSE-150.
Compared to the Cisco 7304 NSE-100, the Cisco 7304 NSE-150 has the following major improvements:
• Offers improved processing power for the control-plane functions (for example, routing protocols and statistics collection)
• Offers improved processing power for route processor-processed data traffic (for example, traditional protocol traffic such as X.25)
• Provides increased route-processor and PXF memory to enable more scalability (routing table, FIB table, etc.)
• Adds port density through onboard Gigabit Ethernet ports (two more onboard Gigabit Ethernet ports)
• Introduces USB interfaces to the Cisco 7304 Router
• Supports up to 16,000 interface descriptor blocks (IDBs), whereas the NSE-100 supports 4,000 IDBs and the NPE-G100 supports 8,000 IDBs; With scalability improvement of IDB, more interfaces can be supported in a system: Cisco 7304 with NSE-150 can support up to 16,000 VLANs, 8,000 Frame Relay DLCIs and 4, 000 ATM VCs per system.
The Cisco 7304 NPE-G100 comes with 1 GB of SDRAM and 256 MB of Compact Flash memory by default, and it can archieve better than 1-Mpps switching performance with full support for Cisco IOS Software. In addition, it has three onboard Gigabit Ethernet ports providing high-density LAN connectivity (three fixed 10-/100-/1000-Mbps ports copper or fiber). The network processing engine can deliver all Cisco IOS Software-based services at high performance, thus providing maximum versatility. The NPE-G100 supports the same interfaces as the NSE-100 and NSE-150, but there will be a performance difference between it and the NSE-100 or NSE-150 when deploying higher-speed interfaces such as OC-48/STM-16.
When selecting which processor to deploy, customers should consider the following:
• What features does the deployment require and at what performance level?
• What interfaces does the deployment require and at what performance level?
• Which processor best meets these requirements in the desired timeframe?
The Cisco 7304 NSE-150 supports a redundant-processor option that allows the Cisco 7304 Router to be deployed as a fully redundant, high-availability solution. It is recommended that the same hardware configuration be deployed for both the active and standby processors to ensure consistent and predictable route-processor operations after switchover.