The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network architecture that meets your unique business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance plan, automate system management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you receive the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of relatively new networking trends whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of data:
- Cloud computing and a consequent requirement for massive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy use. But this also means that relatively sparse resources have to support substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and combined they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that offer much higher throughput, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, secure access control, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per switch and twice that for each system, an extensive collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can deal with current requirements, scale to support future growth, guard sensitive information, and separate and control tasks to enhance network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet 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 intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching throughput of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by one OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and support for up to nine switches in a stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can spot and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced Quality of Service features for an improved user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a common resource pool is used by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to cover wireless data traffic for world-class high availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each chassis, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a multi-switch deployment without a standalone wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available via a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include FNF solution for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement protects your information technology investment and allows you to upgrade your network with minimal downtime or IT team re-education.
Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point management to put in place consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core environments that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models include three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, holds 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40GE access ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor chassis that has 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
Legacy Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in some situations may expose businesses to compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist your business to manage and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and carry out seamless migrations to newer models from the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an economical price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to add network appliances such as VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional backup power with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to set up a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong security against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of switches are compact, stackable devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections plus a single integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a user's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available models have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink connections, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform like a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts operational expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN access or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital technology such a Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive smart features including QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful array of features that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on redundant connections to efficiently use the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of converged applications and adapts to changing competitive needs by providing configuration versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic configuration of intelligent network services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-management, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent performance. StackWise unites as many as 9 separate switches into one logical device, using special stack-interconnect cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching device that is directed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accept new members or delete old devices without service discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and data security assessment and verification.
Progent offers deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have experience with important technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you need the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, plan, and manage a migration to Nexus Series switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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