I frequently see people asking if 3550s are sufficient for CCIE lab preparation, or if 3560s are a must. Of the top of my head I know that QoS differs between the 3550 and 3560, and also that the 3550s do not support Private VLANs. Beyond that, I can’t say much. Today I stumbled across a comparison from Internetwork Expert. This is really great information. Here’s what they’ve laid out:

Catalyst 3560 Only Features [12.2(25)SEE2]

Access Switch Device Manager (SDM) Template
IEEE 802.3af Power over Ethernet
IGMP Throttling
IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6)
MLD Snooping
Private VLANs
VLAN-Based QoS on Physical Ports
SRR (Shaped Round Robin)
Weighted Tail Drop (WTD)

3560 Only Commands [12.2(25)SEE2]

clear dot1x
clear eap
clear ipc
clear mac address-table move update
exception crashinfo
ipv6 access-list
ipv6 mld snooping
ipv6 mld snooping last-listener-query-count
ipv6 mld snooping last-listener-query-interval
ipv6 mld snooping listener-message-suppression
ipv6 mld snooping robustness-variable
ipv6 mld snooping tcn
ipv6 mld snooping vlan
ipv6 traffic-filter
ip vrf (global configuration)Not Documented
ip vrf (interface configuration)Not Documented
mdix auto
mls qos queue-set output buffers
mls qos queue-set output threshold
mls qos rewrite ip dscp
mls qos srr-queue input bandwidth
mls qos srr-queue input buffers
mls qos srr-queue input cos-map
mls qos srr-queue input dscp-map
mls qos srr-queue input priority-queue
mls qos srr-queue input threshold
mls qos srr-queue output cos-map
mls qos srr-queue output dscp-map
mls qos vlan-based
power inline consumption
renew ip dhcp snooping database
radius-server dead-criteria
show cable-diagnostics tdr
show controllers power inline
show eap
show ipc
show ipv6 access-list
show ipv6 mld snooping
show ipv6 mld snooping address
show ipv6 mld snooping mrouter
show ipv6 mld snooping querier
show link state group
show mac address-table move update
show mls qos input-queue
show mls qos queue-set
show mls qos vlan
srr-queue bandwidth limit
srr-queue bandwidth shape
srr-queue bandwidth share
switchport mode private-vlan
switchport private-vlan
system env temperature threshold yellow
test cable-diagnostics tdr

3550 Only Commands [12.2(25)SEE2]

access-list hardware program nonblocking
boot buffersize
ip dhcp snooping information option format snmp-ifindex
ip igmp snooping source-only-learning age-timer
mls qos cos policy-map
mls qos min-reserve
show fm
show fm interface
show fm vlan
show forward
show tcam
show tcam pbr
show tcam qos
wrr-queue bandwidth
wrr-queue cos-map
wrr-queue dscp-map
wrr-queue min-reserve
wrr-queue queue-limit
wrr-queue random-detect max-threshold
wrr-queue threshold

Additional Notes

3560 – IPv6 routing is not documented in the 3560 command reference
3560 – IPv6 QoS not supported as of 12.2(25)SEE2
3560 – The SDM needs to be changed to support IPv6 routing.  This will require a reload to take affect.  More…
3560 – Support for bits per second when using Storm Control
3560 – Ports are set by default to dynamic auto as opposed to dynamic desireable.  This means that two 3560′s will not automatically trunk but a 3560 will trunk if connected to a 3550. More…
3560 – The SMI image is now called IP Base and the EMI image is now called IP Services
3550 – IPv6 can be bridged using fallback bridging

Big thanks to INE for this.


Colby Glass has been in IT since 2002. He is currently a Systems Engineer (presales) with a Cisco Gold partner and holds the CCNP R/S, CCNP DC, CCDP, CCIP, JNCIA-ER.

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