The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you realize the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively recent computing patterns whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and a consequent need for massive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding very little data center space and power use. However this also means that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate large volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are replacing email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and disparate silos of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and combined they create a serious demand for a new class of switches that feature much more throughput, control, uptime and ease of management than previous platforms were built to provide.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus environments where office employees must be provided for by offering predictable high throughput, strict client access management, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and control with capabilities that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and twice that for each switching system, a comprehensive catalog of tools such as EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can handle real-time needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital data, and differentiate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, noiseless and low-power unit that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device powered by a single OS. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All models provide expandable QoS, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's FNF solution and advanced QoS features for an improved wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users on each stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in total isolation from one another. EVN speeds up the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds new technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with advanced load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-quality high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available with another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your information technology investment and enables you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or IT team training.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized administration to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to segment specific user groups and support the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise backbone networks that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience delivering online and onsite support services for early-generation Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current products, provide less capacity and fewer features, and for some situations can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent can help you to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to plan and execute seamless upgrades to newer models within the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 Line
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with up to 250 employees and deliver the dependability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides solid protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup networking for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small, stackable switches with 8 Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available models have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink connections, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform like a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE options for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital applications such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can activate network-wide intelligent features including QoS, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a robust set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing plus a full suite of STP improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup links to take advantage of the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.
Important routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of unified applications and accommodates evolving competitive environments by providing setup versatility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized systems.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable operation. Cisco StackWise combines as many as nine individual switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and software. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete old devices without service discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and data security and compliance assessment and remediation.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with key networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal support for your network security posture.
If you need ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and manage a transition to Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
To see more information concerning Progent's engineering expertise for Cisco networking products, select a topic:
To contact Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.