The Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist your organization to design a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your specific business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline network management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to current versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you realize the most business value from your investment in your network.
The demand for smart, fast switching is driven by a confluence of relatively new computing patterns whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of data traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated need for massive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling rich media apps
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding very little real estate and power use. But this also means that relatively sparse network resources must support substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has caused a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are replacing email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a critical need for a new generation of switches that feature significantly more throughput, control, uptime and ease of management than previous platforms were built to provide.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where office workers must be supported with predictable performance, secure access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the need for speed and control with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that per system, an extensive catalog of tools including EVN to facilitate the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network utilization, and advanced QoS capabilities for video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build smart switching services into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, scale to support expected capacity demands, protect vital data, and differentiate and manage processes to enhance network operations.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. These compact appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for 16- and 24-port versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches per stack. All models provide expandable QoS, stateful failover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients on each stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single resource pool is shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-VRF and includes additional features including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be handled per switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients are supported in a two-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available via another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or management team re-education.
Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point management to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment distinct client groups and support the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone networks that need world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, holds 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10GE connections, and 44 40GE access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and support up to 158 10/100/1000 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 RU form factor that has 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10GE ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and on-premises support expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches typically are more expensive to manage and support than current switches, deliver lower performance and functionality, and in many situations can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent are available to assist you to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to design and carry out seamless migrations to newer products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as the option of redundant power with auto switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family offers strong security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic small-group networking for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of managed switches are compact, stackable switches featuring 8 Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Current models feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform like a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management expense with one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against IPv6 address theft and other attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital technology such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart services including QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a powerful array of features that permit network scalability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ supports Layer 2 load sharing on redundant connections to exploit the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.
Important technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; PIM helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of unified technologies and accommodates changing competitive needs by providing configuration versatility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites as many as 9 separate switches into a single logical unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a control switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accept new members or delete old devices with no operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and data security testing and remediation.
Progent has broad knowledge of industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network experts also offer deep knowledge of key technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your security posture.
If you require the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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