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What is Cisco Chassis, Backplane, and Line Card?

December 30 2011 , Written by Cisco & Cisco Router, Network Switch Published on #Cisco Routers

  Chassis, You Know Here:

A Chassis is a frame/housing for mounting the circuit components for Cisco Switches and Routers or any type of devices that provides power and a high-speed backplane. The frame also protects all of the vital internal equipment from dust, moisture, and tampering.









Making the Chassis to define even easier is;
A chassis is an enclosure; a container that holds things together... i.e. an egg carton holds eggs together inside. A chassis does the same thing; it holds the important things inside like wiring, power supplies etc.








General info of BackplaneCisco-Backplane.jpg

Backplane is a circuit board with sockets that allows Supervisor engines Cards or modules to be inserted into these sockets and connect them to each other. Backplane is mounted on the Chassis.

Modules or line cards provide different types of interfaces, but the processing of packets is usually done in the Supervisor engine. Backplane is the medium for data flow between modules and Supervisor engines.

Additionally, most high-end switches off-load processing away from the supervisors, allowing line cards to switch traffic directly between ports on the same card without using any processing power or even touching the backplane. Naturally, this can't be done for all traffic, but basic layer-2 switching can usually be handled exclusively by the line card, and in many cases also more complex operations can be handled as well.

What is Line Card?
The line cards provide interfaces to the network.

A line card can terminate a line supporting voice POTS service, ISDN service, DSL service, or proprietary ones. Some line cards are capable of terminating more than one type of service.

Since an access network element is usually intended to interface many users (typically a few thousands) some exchanges have multiple line terminations per card. Similarly, it is common to have many line cards in the same network element.


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Comment on this post

Cisco Line Cards and Modules 02/26/2017 11:55

It was really informative information here.It was hard but nice blog post here.we are really need this types of information.thanks...

Eric Manns 04/16/2015 21:20

This information should be added to basic CCNA exam blueprint, if it has not already in the latest update.


Eric Manns 04/16/2015 21:19

Very good information. Thank you.


Cisco Seminare 03/06/2013 14:11

Thanks a lot for explaining these terms regarding to Cisco. I have to admit that I didn´t hear about it before, but I will ask about this terms when I visit the Cisco Workshop. You explained it
very well.
Thanks for that.