Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers performance and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of relatively new computing trends whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated requirement for intensive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting very high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively limited network resources must support substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that must be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main driver for collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and disparate repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and combined they create a serious demand for a new class of switches that offer much more speed, control, availability and ease of management than older platforms were engineered to deliver.
Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering dependable high throughput, strict access control, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and control with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per switch and double that for each switching system, a powerful suite of tools including EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to optimize network utilization, and advanced QoS capabilities for HD video data prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time needs, expand to accommodate future growth, protect vital information, 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 a variety of mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-port managed switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless operation for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by delivering switching throughput of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco 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-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by a single operating system. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions offer expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure must be used by software and services that must run in total privacy from one another. EVN streamlines the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility across wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE 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 capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users are managed in a two-switch deployment without a standalone wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that provide 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available with another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your technology expenditures and enables you to update your network with minimal downtime or IT team re-education.
Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, centralized control to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for maximum uptime through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition specific client groups and support the special security and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models have three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 44 40GE connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE ports.
Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience delivering remote and onsite support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary models, provide lower performance and functionality, and in some cases may expose businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent can help you to support and repair these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and carry out non-disruptive migrations to newer products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 Family of Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, extensibility, and features small companies require at an economical price. PoE capability makes it simple to add network devices such as wireless access points and IP cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional backup power with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong security against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of managed switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained locations like on a user's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branches. Current models incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational expense with one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects against address theft 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 Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or branch-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and PoE options for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of vital technology including VoIP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide smart services such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust set of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher availability via IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to efficiently use the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant design.
Efficient routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, static routing, and PBR increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size businesses and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of unified applications and accommodates changing competitive needs by providing configuration versatility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart network functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-class features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing dependable performance. Cisco StackWise combines as many as nine separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new switches or delete existing devices with no service interruption.
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent for Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security assessment and verification.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also offer familiarity with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your security posture.
In case you need 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 transition to Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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