The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network topology that meets your unique business needs, configure pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your network.
The need for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively recent networking trends whose overall effect is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated need for massive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and power consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must support large amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has resulted in a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be handled by business networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a serious need for an advanced class of switches that feature much higher performance, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were engineered to provide.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where office workers must be provided for by offering predictable high throughput, secure user access control, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and intelligence with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and double that per system, a comprehensive suite of tools such as EVN to facilitate the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for video data prioritization.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes
Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can handle real-time needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, guard vital information, and separate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support saves space 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 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in 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 Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a one device managed by one OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink connections, and support for as many as nine switches per FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, stateful switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's FNF technology along with sophisticated QoS features for a better user environment and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the economy, protection, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure must be used by software and services that must run in total privacy from one another. EVN simplifies the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless 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 a single platform powered by IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE 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 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without a separate wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual enhancement preserves your technology investment and permits you to update your network backbone with minimal downtime or management team training.
Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, single-point administration to put in place consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS technology for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment distinct client groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that need maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and accept a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40GE access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching throughput and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE access ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive experience delivering online and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches usually are more expensive to operate and support than current products, deliver lower performance and functionality, and in many cases can expose organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to maintain and repair these older switches and can in addition assist you to plan and execute non-disruptive migrations to newer models from the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable price. PoE support makes it simple to install network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless environment quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to midsize organizations. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, stackable switches featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports plus a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink ports, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces administrative costs because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards against IPv6 address theft and other threats.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key technology including Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can activate comprehensive smart services such as QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing with the ease of conventional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series offers a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher resilience via IP routing as well as a full complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 load balancing on backup links to efficiently use the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing mechanisms such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, and static routing increase system scale; PIM increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of converged applications and accommodates changing competitive environments by offering configuration flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of intelligent system services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that meet the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise network functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing dependable operation. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to 9 individual switches into a single functional device, using special stack-interconnect cables and software. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the member switches. The control switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new members or delete existing devices without operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and data security assessment and remediation.
Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have deep knowledge of important technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your security policies.
In case you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and implement a migration to Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting 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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