Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches offers performance and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you realize the maximum business value from your investment in your network.
The demand for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent networking patterns whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud computing and a consequent need for intensive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring minimal real estate and power use. However this also means that comparatively sparse resources have to support large volumes of traffic. The BYOD revolution has created a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher throughput, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older platforms were built to provide.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of campus environments where office employees must be provided for by offering dependable performance, secure client access management, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and control with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps per switch and double that for each switching system, a comprehensive collection of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant virtual switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system resource usage, and sophisticated QoS tools for HD video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes
Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to support expected growth, guard vital information, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and support for up to 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable QoS, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes new features including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to support wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless data traffic for world-quality high availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per 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 are managed in a multi-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total 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 easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your IT expenditures and permits you to update your network with little business disruption or management team retraining.
Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized administration to put in place consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for maximum availability through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that need world-class uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, with a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE ports.
Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches usually cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary products, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in many cases may subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and execute seamless upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network appliances such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power with auto fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family offers strong protection against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to midsize businesses. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of managed switches are small-footprint, stackable devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces like on a user's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branches. Current models feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows as many as four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts administrative expense because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards against address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital applications including VoIP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart services including quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust set of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer load balancing on redundant connections to take advantage of the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Important routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, BGP, static routing, and PBR increase system scale; PIM increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of converged applications and adapts to changing competitive needs by offering configuration flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free configuration of smart network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service, rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-class features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable operation. Cisco StackWise combines as many as 9 individual switches into a single functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a control switch, selected from one of the member switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or remove old members with no operational interruption.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and information security and compliance assessment and remediation.
Progent has broad expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of important technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security policies.
In case you need the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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