Progent's Expertise with Cisco Switches
Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants can provide expert online and onsite support and troubleshooting for Cisco's Catalyst, Nexus and Meraki families of managed switches for environments that range from small businesses and campus LANs to enterprise data centers and service providers. Progent can show you how to deploy Cisco's quickly evolving switching technology to achieve the performance, scale, availability, virtualization support, security and manageability required for your organization. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus Series of data center switches, refer to Nexus switch consulting and troubleshooting. To find out about Progent's remote consulting expertise for Cisco's Meraki line of cloud-managed switches, visit Cisco Meraki switch consultants. For information about Progent's support for Cisco's extensive portfolio of Catalyst switches, read on.
Cisco's Catalyst Series Managed Switches
Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offer intelligence and performance at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to help you design an efficient network topology that addresses your specific business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, streamline network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime. Progent can help you maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to the latest generation of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you maximize the business value of your investment in advanced infrastructure.
The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of recent computing trends whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of data traffic:
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and very low real estate and power demands, but this also means that relatively limited network resources must support large volumes of data traffic. The BYOD revolution has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that must be accommodated by business networks, and these clients run a high percentage of data-intensive HD video applications. Social business software is displacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine vast and varied repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Traffic. All of these trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a critical need for a new class of switches that offer significantly higher performance, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous solutions.
- Cloud computing and a consequent demand for massive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are engineered to handle the distribution and core layers of campus environments where stationary and mobile office workers must be supported with consistent high performance, strict user access control, secure segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for performance, segmentation, and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tb per switch, a comprehensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify network virtualization, Cisco Instant Access to simplify VLAN configuration, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for video traffic prioritization.
Cisco's Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes
Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can handle real time requirements, scale to support future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and manage processes to enhance network operations.
Catalyst 2960 and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted on the wall, under a desk, rack, DIN rail or virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L series are entry-level fixed-port managed switches designed for branch offices, crowded work areas, retail venues, and other out-of-wiring closet environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless operation for the 8-, 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
The Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the legacy 2690-S family by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot swappable module that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. The Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR offers Layer 3 dynamic routing for the convenience of Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing in a single switch.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series switches are fixed, stackable access switches powered by IOS XE Software and incorporating full-featured wireless controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for up to 9 switches in a stack. All models offer modular QoS, stateful switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.
Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and prioritize wireless traffic using Flexible NetFlow (FNF) and advanced QoS capabilities for an improved user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless speeds and standards on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac wireless products, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 Switch offers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 Switch has 480 Gbps stacking bandwidth and supports up to 50 access points and 2000 wireless clients. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering long-distance connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization through their support for Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other environments where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that must operate in total isolation from one another. EVN, or Easy Virtual Network, simplifies virtual network creation and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-VRF and adds new features including VNET Trunks, VNET Tags, and a streamlined technique for replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS (Virtual Switching System) technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports the Cisco Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired plus wireless services on a single Cisco IOS XE Software-based platform. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 advanced wired/wireless security, consistent QoS on wired and wireless networks, plus Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) extended to wireless traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Offered in chassis with three to 10 slots, 4500E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a multi-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series are fixed-configuration 10 Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10 GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10 GE ports. Eight 10 GE uplink ports are also available via a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system bandwidth capacity of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility and capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and IPv6 support in hardware for wire-rate forwarding for IPv6 networks.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that share the field-proven technology of the 6500 Series switches, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. The 6500 and 6800 series of switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and service modules. This protects your previous infrastructure investment and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal service interruption or IT staff training.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and 6800 switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point management to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to segment distinct user groups and serve the unique security and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VRF aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller for Catalyst 6500 and 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for enterprise, distribution and core aggregation environments that require world-class availability and high port densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, 10 GE, and 40 GE. Available versions have from three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU, 3-slot chassis and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 1-GE fiber ports, up to 34 10-GE ports, and up to 8 40-GE ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1-GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-GE ports, and up to 44 40-GE ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable campus backbone switches designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/1000/1000 or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and support 158 10/100/1000 or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 38 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 7-slot, 10-rack-unit (RU) form factor chassis and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards, and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gb of switching capacity per slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet or Gigabit fiber Ethernet ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of delivering 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet or Gigabit fiber Ethernet ports, 160 10-Gigabit or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive experience providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and maintain than current models, deliver less performance and functionality, and in some cases may expose businesses to compliance and liability issues. Progent can help you support and troubleshoot these older switches and can also help you to plan and carry out seamless migrations to newer models within the Catalyst family or to Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and feature set small businesses need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000 BASE-T ports plus optional backup power with automatic switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong security against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.
Catalyst 2940 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer basic workgroup networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches offer IOS Software functions for mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small, entry-level devices with 8 Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switches
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Available models offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink ports, and switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to act as a single switching unit capable of 40 Gbps stacking bandwidth. IPv6 First Hop Security protects against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks, and cross-stack QoS propagates QoS settings consistently across the stack.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or branch-office environments, offering both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of the key applications such a Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide smart features such as high-end QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a wide array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced availability via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus and Uplink Fast, combine with features like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on redundant connections to take advantage of the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Advanced routing protocols such as OPSF, EIGRP, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; PIM improves network resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite
protects data traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of converged technologies and adapts to changing competitive needs by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged networks, and automatic configuration of smart system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is optimized for high-volume Gigabit environments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the requirements of small to midsize access, aggregation, or backbone switching solutions.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise network functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. Cisco StackWise unites as many as 9 individual switches into a single logical unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The master switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new devices or remove existing switches with no service interruption.
How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience working with switching solutions for small and midsize business, branch office, data center, enterprise, Cloud, and service provider networks. Progent's expertise includes Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR, and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent for Cisco switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, migration planning and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning and performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and security and compliance assessments.
Progent has deep expertise with open standards as well with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including OSPF, ISIS, BGP, MPLS TE/LDP, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, vPC, OTV, HSRP, VRRP, OSPF, VSS and LISP. Progent is also expert with networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISA certified security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan and implement switches so as to help support your security strategy.
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