The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to help you to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your specific business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security and compliance plan, streamline network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you receive the most return from your investment in your network.
The demand for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a confluence of fairly recent networking trends whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud networking and a consequent demand for massive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal real estate and power consumption. However this also means that comparatively sparse resources must accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and varied silos of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a serious need for a new class of switches that feature significantly higher capacity, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were designed to provide.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing dependable high throughput, secure client access management, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and control with capabilities such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and twice that for each switching system, a powerful catalog of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can handle current requirements, expand to accommodate expected growth, guard sensitive data, and separate and manage processes to enhance network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring full wireless network controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by a single OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink connections, and capacity for up to nine switches per stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, enhanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource 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. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-class high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a dual-switch deployment without a separate wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your infrastructure expenditures and enables you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or management team training.
Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for simple, single-point management to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment specific user groups and support the special security and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core networks that need maximum availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network analysis, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE connections.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches typically cost more to operate and support than contemporary models, deliver less performance and fewer features, and in some cases can expose businesses to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to support and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to newer models within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an economical price. 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 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as optional redundant power with automatic switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform offers solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small-footprint, stackable switches featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained locations like on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions feature 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational expense with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology guards networks against IPv6 address theft and other threats.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital applications including IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive smart services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.
The Catalyst 3560 switch has a robust array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher availability through IP routing plus a full complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer load sharing on backup connections to exploit the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient protocols including Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; PIM helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of unified technologies and accommodates evolving competitive environments by providing setup flexibility, support for unified network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-class functions, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to nine separate switches into a single logical unit, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new devices or delete existing devices with no operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and network security testing and remediation.
Progent offers deep expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with important technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide maximum support for your security posture.
In case you require the highest available density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, plan, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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