Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to help you to design a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, automate system management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of relatively recent networking trends whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated demand for massive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power use. However this also means that relatively sparse resources must accommodate large volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine vast and varied silos of information, which in turn generates Big Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer much more speed, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were built to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing unvarying high speed, strict access management, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that per switching system, a comprehensive suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated QoS tools for video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes
Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with real-time needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, guard vital data, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless operation 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.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by one operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for up to 9 Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, stateful failover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.
Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, advanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be shared by software and services that must operate in complete isolation from each other. EVN streamlines the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes additional technologies including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, and the extension of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for enterprise-quality availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are available with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement protects your information technology expenditures and permits you to update your network with little business disruption or IT team re-education.
Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition specific user groups and serve the special security and QoS policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus backbone networks that need world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, holds 3 slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can handle 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40GE ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and features four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40GE access ports. an 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, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE ports.
Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches usually cost more to manage and support than current products, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and in some situations may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent can help your business to manage and repair these older switches and can in addition assist you to design and implement seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models supported by Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, expandability, and feature set small companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network appliances like VoIP phones and IP cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid protection against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of managed switches are small, stackable switches with 8 Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped areas like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Current models have 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to act like a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts operational costs because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards networks against address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of vital applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart services such as quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements designed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant connections to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.
Efficient protocols including OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR improve system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of unified applications and accommodates changing business environments by providing setup versatility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free set up of intelligent system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise network features, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable operation. Cisco StackWise unites up to 9 individual switches into a single functional device, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new members or delete old members with no operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and IT security and compliance testing and validation.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also have familiarity with crucial technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your security posture.
In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and implement a migration to Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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