The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Series, What’s New in 2015?

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We introduced the Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switches before (Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Series Review). This platform runs on the same architecture as the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and therefore offers stability with a proven operating system software. So the Catalyst 6880-X series also supports all features that Catalyst 6500 switches do.

Ideal for midsize campuses, the Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Switches provide scalability with eighty 10 or twenty 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports.

As an extensible fixed aggregation switch, the Cisco Catalyst 6880-X provides flexibility to build desired port density through two versions (C6880-X-LE with standard FIB/ACL/Netflow tables and C6880-X with larger FIB/ACL/Netflow tables) of base chassis along with optional port cards. The base chassis comes with 16 10G/1G ports, and each port card supports 16 additional 10G/1G ports. Each system can be built up to 80 ports in 16-port increments. The port interface on the base module and the port cards supports both 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 1 Gigabit Ethernet speeds allowing customers to use their investment in 1 Gigabit Ethernet SFP and upgrade to 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ when business demands change, without having to do a comprehensive upgrade of the existing deployment. The port cards are hot swappable.

Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Series Chassis with 4 Port Cards

Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Series Chassis with 4 Port Cards


16-Port Extensible Port Card

16-Port Extensible Port Card


The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Series offers primary features and benefits, including:

  • Platform Scalability: The platform supports up to 220Gbps slot capacity per port-card. It supports up to 2Tbps of switching capacity, which doubles up to 4Tbps with VSS technology.
  • Security: Support for Cisco TrustSec (CTS), to provide IEEE 802.1AE MACsec encryption and role-based ACL, CoPP to prevent DoS attacks and Cisco ISE to safeguard and manage end-to-end security for the enterprise.
  • Virtualization: Comprehensive suite of Virtualization features including L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VRF aware applications for NAT Netflow, GRE for v4/v6, L2 extensions with VPLS etc. to segment different user groups and serve unique security/QoS policy requirements of each of these diverse user groups.
  • Application Visibility and Control (AVC): Supports enhanced application monitoring such as Flexible and Sampled NetFlow for intelligent and scalable application monitoring.
  • Smart Operations: The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X supports Catalyst Instant Access*, which allows an Instant Access Client to act as a remote line card of the Cisco Catalyst 6880-X, as well as Smart Install Director, which provides zero-touch deployment of access switches.
  • High Availability: Two Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Series Switches can be combined into a VSS. In addition to high-availability VSS, provides ease of operation by providing a single point of management, eliminating the need for First Hop Routing Protocol (FHRP) and removing the reliance on Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) for link failure restoration.

* Support of Catalyst Instant Access is available on 15.1(2) SY2 and later releases.

The more System Specifications of Cisco 6880-X Series you can read the full data sheet of Cisco Catalyst 6880-X Series Extensible Fixed Aggregation Switch

What Does the Cisco Catalyst 6880-X look like? You can see more detailed info graphics below to read what the Catalyst 6880-X is.

Catalyst 6880-X: Mechanical View

Catalyst 6880-X-Mechanical View-01



Catalyst 6880-X–Base Board & System Controller

Catalyst 6880-X-Base Board & System Controller-001

Catalyst 6880-X-Base Board & System Controller-002

Enhanced Control-Plane Scale with new X86 2.0GHz Dual Core CPU


16-port SFP+ Multi-rate Port Card–Supports between 10Mbps – 40Gbps

16-port SFP+ Multi-rate Port Card-001

16-port SFP+ Multi-rate Port Card-002

MacSec, FEX, LISP, VSS, SGT, 1588 Capable on Every Port


Catalyst 6880-X: Environmental Overview

Catalyst 6880-X-Environmental Overview-01



Catalyst 6880-X-Fan Redundancy & Air Flow

Catalyst 6880-X-Fan Redundancy & Air Flow-01


Catalyst 6880-X-Fan Redundancy & Air Flow-02


Fan Redundancy & Air Flow


Fan-Tray Highlights:

  1. Has 4 variable-speed High-Efficiency Fans (500 CFM)
  2. Supports 4 speeds between 3000 & 4500 RPM per Fan
  3. Capable of cooling Slots operating up to 800W per Slot
  4. Can still operate with up to 1 individual fan failure
  5. Supports Fan-Tray “OIR” for minimum of 120 seconds 


Catalyst 6880-X: PSU Redundancy & Inputs

PSU Redundancy & Inputs-Cisco 6880-X-001


PSU Redundancy & Inputs-Cisco 6880-002


PSU Redundancy & Inputs


Power Supply Highlights:

  1. Hold-up time is ~ 20 msecs at 100% load
  2. Up to 92% Power Efficiency at 20-100% of load
  3. Max output is 3000W @ 220V (1400W @ 110V)
  4. Dual “Front to Back” Variable-Speed Cooling Fans
  5. Supports both Combined & Redundant (1:1) mode 


Catalyst 6880-X 1:1 PSU Redundancy

Catalyst 6880-X Can Utilize Two Power Supplies to Work in Either 1:1Redundant or Combined Mode

Redundant Mode


  • Each power supply operates at ~50% of its capacity
  • Neither PSU operates at >60% or <40% of its capacity
  • If one fails, the other PSU can power the entire system on its own
  • This is the default and recommended mode 


Combined Mode


  • Each power supply provides up to ~83% of its capacity
  • The total system power is ~167% of the capacity of a single PSU
  • If one fails, the other PSU may not be able to power the entire system
  • This is not a recommended mode



Catalyst 6880-X: Fabric Channel Distribution

Fabric Channel Distribution-Cisco 6880-X Series-001



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