Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides performance and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following 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 networking trends whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Data guzzling HD video applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by permitting very high hardware utilization and requiring very little data center space and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources have to accommodate large volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has created a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing a growing demand for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer much more capacity, intelligence, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were engineered to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be supported with predictable high throughput, secure user access control, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps per chassis and twice that per switching system, an extensive suite of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can meet current requirements, expand to support future capacity demands, guard vital information, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network operations.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet 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-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for as many as nine Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, stateful failover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced QoS features for a better user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi users per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool is shared by software and services that must operate in total isolation from each other. EVN speeds up the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional technologies such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a two-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include FNF technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your technology expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal business disruption or management team retraining.
Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point management to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System technology for maximum uptime via multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment specific client groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise core environments that need world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching throughput and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches often cost more to operate and support than current switches, provide less capacity and functionality, and in some cases may subject businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can also help you to design and carry out non-disruptive migrations to current models from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
The Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, expandability, and features small companies require at an economical price. PoE capability makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power with auto switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to set up a local wireless environment quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform offers strong security against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level switches featuring 8 Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current versions incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and provide throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts operational costs with single-switch setup. IPv6 FHS technology guards networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business network access or local-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide smart services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to efficiently use the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.
Efficient technologies including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size organizations and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases deployment of converged applications and adapts to evolving competitive needs by offering setup versatility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic set up of smart system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size deployments.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader set of high-end functions, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable performance. Cisco StackWise unites up to nine separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a control switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A running stack can accept new members or remove old members with no operational interruption.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions 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 Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and network security and compliance assessment and verification.
Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also offer familiarity with key networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum enforcement to your security posture.
In case you need ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, design, and implement a transition to Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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