Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and control at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you realize the most business value from your investment in your network.
The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of fairly new computing trends whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated requirement for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy use. But this also means that relatively sparse network resources have to accommodate large amounts of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they create a critical demand for a new generation of switches that offer significantly more performance, control, uptime and ease of management than previous platforms were built to provide.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering consistent high throughput, strict user access management, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps for each chassis and twice that for each system, a comprehensive suite of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data prioritization.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with current requirements, expand to support expected growth, protect vital data, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These compact appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by a single OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and support for up to 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.
Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and VSS solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure must be used by applications and services that must operate in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new features such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on a single platform based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi traffic for world-quality availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients are supported in a multi-switch deployment without a separate wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to offering non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or management staff training.
Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS capability for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to segment distinct client groups and serve the unique security and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone environments that need world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and accept a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40GE ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching capacity and features four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
End-of-Life Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and onsite support expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches often are more expensive to operate and maintain than contemporary products, deliver lower performance and functionality, and for some situations may subject businesses to compliance and even liability issues. Progent are available to help you to support and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and implement non-disruptive migrations to newer models from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and provide the reliability, security, scalability, and features small companies need at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it simple to add network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, stackable switches with eight Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branches. Available versions offer 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits up to four 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management costs because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against address interception and malicious attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of vital applications such a VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent features such as quality of service, rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust array of features that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a complete complement of STP improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer load balancing on redundant connections to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient technologies including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR improve system capacity; PIM increases the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite protects data.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases integration of unified applications and accommodates evolving business needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of intelligent system functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-management, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader set of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 individual switches into one logical device, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new devices or remove old switches with no operational interruption.
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and IT security testing and validation.
Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also offer experience with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you need ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and manage a migration to Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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