Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security and compliance plan, automate network management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you get the most business value from your investment in your network.
The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of relatively recent computing patterns whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud networking and a consequent reliance on intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources must support substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that feature much higher speed, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous platforms were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing dependable performance, strict client access management, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for performance and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that per system, an extensive collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and manage processes to optimize network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These compact switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. 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 a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by one OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All versions offer expandable Quality of Service, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering far reaching connectivity, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be used by applications and services that must operate in complete isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional features such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor to support wired as well as wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless data traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include FNF solution for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and enables you to update your network backbone with little downtime or management team training.
Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point management to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS capability for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core networks that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE access ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can handle 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE ports.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience delivering remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches typically cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary switches, provide lower performance and fewer features, and for many situations may subject organizations to regulatory and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to support and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and implement seamless upgrades to newer products from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small companies require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.
Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide basic small-group networking for small to medium-size companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of switches are compact, stackable switches with eight Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast or Gigabit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped locations like on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available versions have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act like one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management expense with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications such a IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent services such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a powerful array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher availability via IP routing plus a complete suite of STP improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the extra capacity associated with a redundant architecture.
Important technologies such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized organizations and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch eases deployment of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business environments by offering configuration versatility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free set up of intelligent system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise network functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to 9 separate switches into one functional device, using special stack-interface cables and software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is managed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accept new switches or delete old switches without service discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and information security and compliance assessment and verification.
Progent offers broad expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also offer experience with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your security policies.
In case you need ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and carry out a migration to Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus Series 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.)
To see more details concerning Progent's consulting support for Cisco networking products, select a topic:
In order to contact Progent about engineering help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.