Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your unique business needs, configure pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security plan, automate system management and performance tracking, provide repair and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you get the highest return from your investment in your network.
The need for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent computing patterns whose net impact is a virtual avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal real estate and energy consumption. However this also means that comparatively sparse network resources have to support substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has created a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these clients run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a critical demand for a new class of switches that feature much higher capacity, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older solutions were engineered to provide.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be supported with dependable performance, secure access management, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for performance and control with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that for each switching system, an extensive catalog of tools including Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) tools for video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching services into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can meet real-time requirements, scale to accommodate expected growth, protect sensitive data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.
Cisco 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 allows flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless operation for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces 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 line by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by a single OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, fast failover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced Quality of Service features for a better wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, providing far reaching connections, advanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be used by software and services that need to run in total privacy from each other. EVN streamlines the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes additional technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on a single platform based on IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and wireless networks, and the extension of NSF/SSO to include wireless data traffic for world-quality high availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a multi-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing improvement protects your technology investment and allows you to upgrade your network with minimal business disruption or management staff re-education.
Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized administration to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% uptime via multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and serve the unique security and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that require maximum availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40GE access ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps bandwidth and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40GE ports. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard 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 switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching capacity while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE access ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches often are more expensive to manage and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and for some situations can subject businesses to compliance and even liability issues. Progent are available to assist your business to manage and repair these older switches and can in addition help you to design and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable price. PoE capability makes it easy to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of redundant power with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless environment quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid security against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, stackable switches featuring 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus one built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained areas such as on a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available models offer 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink connections, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act like one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management expense because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects networks against address theft and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can activate comprehensive smart features such as quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the ease of conventional LAN switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful set of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup connections to take advantage of the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of unified applications and accommodates changing competitive needs by providing configuration flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-grade features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise technology unites up to nine individual switches into a single functional device, using custom stack-interface cables and software. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accept new switches or remove old members with no operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and IT security and compliance testing and verification.
Progent offers deep expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network consultants also offer experience with important technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security policies.
In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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