The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and intelligence 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 offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security plan, automate network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of relatively new networking trends whose overall effect is a virtual avalanche of data:
- Cloud networking and a consequent reliance on massive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling rich media apps
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of network virtualization. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy consumption. But this also means that relatively limited network resources have to accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep rise in the amount of mobile users that have be handled by business networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature much higher capacity, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were designed to deliver.
Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering predictable high throughput, secure access control, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and double that for each switching system, a powerful suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with instant virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize network utilization, and sophisticated QoS tools for video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and separate and control processes to optimize network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for a better user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E 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 deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. EVN speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and includes new features such as VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a two-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available with another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement preserves your technology expenditures and permits you to update your network with little business disruption or IT team training.
Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized control to put in place consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment specific client groups and support the unique security and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone networks that require maximum availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Only 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 has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers as much as 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10GE ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching throughput and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10GE ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy switches usually cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary models, deliver less capacity and functionality, and in many situations can subject organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent can assist you to manage and repair these older switches and can also assist you to design and implement non-disruptive upgrades to current models from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, expandability, and feature set small companies require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable switches with 8 Ethernet connections plus a single integrated Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained areas such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform like one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs with one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart features including QoS, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to efficiently use the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases deployment of converged applications and accommodates evolving business environments by offering setup flexibility, support for unified network patterns, and automatic configuration of intelligent network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise network features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent operation. StackWise unites up to 9 separate switches into a single functional unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new switches or remove old switches with no service interruption.
How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity preparedness, and network security and compliance testing and remediation.
Progent offers deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also offer familiarity with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Catalyst switches so they offer maximum enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you need the highest available 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 Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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