There is one area where I cannot complain about Cisco, “Documentation” Cisco unlike other companies does of a good job of making available relevant docs about a product and the product line it belongs to. After all, information should not be restricted by hiding it or failing to produce it in the first place.
To be specific, I like their Portable Product Sheets which are intended to provide a reference on the raw performance of a Cisco product, helpful if you need to make a decision on how to size your purchase. Keep in mind the Portable Product Sheets assume no services are enabled. The use of ACL’s, encryption, or compression will impact the numbers given in the sheets.
All of the avaible sheets can be found in PDF format at the following link: Portable Product Sheets
Each product line has its own sheet, the first example refers to routers and the second to switches.
Example 1: Routers like the 2500s, 2600s series and so on are grouped in the same sheet, values found in this sheet are: Process Switching and Fast/CEF Switching.
Example 2: L2 and L3 switches like the 2690s and 3750s are grouped in the same sheet, the values found in this sheet are: Switch Performance (Mpps) and Switch Fabric (Gbps).
While I don’t believe Cisco is inflating their numbers, they are not what you will see in the real world. Due to the potential for endless configuration options the numbers are bound to change.
Below are the links to the sheets I tend to refer the most: