mailing list archives
RE: Cisco 7200 PCI Limitations
From: "Holmes,David A" <dholmes () mwdh2o com>
Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 17:55:18 -0700
For users with private DS3-based network links between sites, for the case where 2 or more of these DS3's are to be
bundled together in a multi-link PPP connection, Cisco will not support this configuration due to insufficient 7200 cpu
resources, so packet-by-packet load sharing must be used which could result in packets arriving out of sequence. Cisco
will not support VoIP over packet-by-packet load sharing. Additionally, PIM multicast uses only a single DS3 under the
packet-by-packet load sharing scenario, so all available bandwidth with 2 or more DS3s is not available.
The 7200 will support 8 T1s in a logical multilink bundle, though, so for low speed circuits, the 7200 still provides
complete IOS feature functionality.
The 7200s have some very limited uses, but in my view they have no place in today's wire speed backbone networks,
particularly when 3 or more 7200 GiGE interfaces can be used as a logical bundle. The biggest problem is the tendency
of some to treat the 7200 as an Ethernet switch, define a portchannel with 2 or more GiGE interfaces, connect the 7200
portchannel to a modern Ethernet switch, and by this action define a network bottleneck where packets can be dropped
due to a serious backplane/wire speed mismatch.
From: PC [mailto:paul4004 () gmail com]
Sent: Monday, August 06, 2012 10:05 AM
To: david peahi
Cc: nanog () nanog org
Subject: Re: Cisco 7200 PCI Limitations
While I agree it may not be suitable for transit GigE purposes, it is
certainly acceptable for many WAN aggregation scenarios and CPE scenarios
well in excess of T1 speeds.
There are still many out there in DS3, Fast-E, subrate ethernet subscriber,
ATM, (DSL/L2TP/PPPOE), DMVPN, and other similar scenarios. For this, while
often not ideal, they continue to work fine.
On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM, david peahi <davidpeahi () gmail com> wrote:
The 7200 architecture dates from the late 1990s, and is basically modeled
on a PCI-bus UNIX workstation from that era. The 7200 is usable today as a
WAN aggregation router for T1 access, and nothing else. Using it as a GiGE
transit router will place a non-deterministic node in the network, unable
to scale to the 4 GiGE full-duplex throughput. Even worse is creating a
portchannel out of the 7200 GiGE interfaces and using dot1q sub-interfaces
to emulate an Ethernet switch in 7200 software, then connecting the 7200
dot1q trunk to a modern Ethernet switch with a wire speed backplane (for
example a Cisco 3560X Ethernet switch).
Long since considered an unacceptable best practice (due to the 7200
backplane limitation vs adjacent, directly connected modern Ethernet
switches), Cisco is still teaching portchannel in its router configuration
classes, so relatively new network engineers have actually been known to
use this ill-considered configuration.
If a 4 port GiGE Cisco router is needed, then the ASR1001 is the modern
version of the 7206, with wire speed throughput.
On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:36 AM, shthead <lists () shthead com> wrote:
I have a 7200 series router (7204) here and I am trying to figure out
something with it. Currently the router has a NPE-G1 card in it, giving
3 gig interfaces but I need an extra gig interface on it to make 4.
Having a look around the available options are either get a PA-GE card
that fits into one of the slots on the router or to get a C7200-I/O-GE+E
(I/O controller with a gbit port on it).
The PA-GE wouldn't be suitable as looking at the Cisco site the PCI bus
will limit it to 300mbit full duplex (and it goes on further to say it
be limited to approx 200mbit in best case scenario due to the design of
The other option left is the I/O controller. I found that you can get a
port adaptor jacket card  for the 7200's that let you stick a normal
interface card into the I/O controller slot (instead of the I/O
My main concern is if the jacket card uses its own PCI bus I am assuming
the C7200-I/O-GE+E also connects via PCI which means it would be subject
the same limitations as the PA-GE.
Does anyone have any idea if that would be correct and the only option
another gbit port would be to get another device?
Thanks for the help
This communication, together with any attachments or embedded links, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s)
and may contain information that is confidential or legally protected. If you are not the intended recipient, you are
hereby notified that any review, disclosure, copying, dissemination, distribution or use of this communication is
strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by return
e-mail message and delete the original and all copies of the communication, along with any attachments or embedded
links, from your system.