The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to design an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you receive the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent computing trends whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of data:
- Cloud networking and a consequent demand for massive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and requiring very little data center space and power consumption. But this also means that comparatively sparse network resources have to support substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has caused a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are displacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly new, and combined they create a critical need for a new generation of switches that feature much more throughput, control, availability and ease of management than older platforms were engineered to provide.
Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, strict access management, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and control with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps for each chassis and double that per switching system, an extensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system utilization, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for HD video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet current needs, scale to support future capacity demands, protect sensitive data, and separate and control tasks to enhance network operations.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available 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 is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended 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 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 connectors accommodate 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 capacity as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device managed by one OS. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for up to 9 switches per stack. All models provide modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.
Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and sophisticated Quality of Service features for a better wireless user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common resource pool must be shared by applications and services that must run in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a dual-switch deployment without a standalone wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available with another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and have been continually improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or management team re-education.
Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for simple, centralized control to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and serve the special security and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus backbone environments that require maximum availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can handle 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 44 40GE connections.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone platforms designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE access ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor that has 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and onsite support services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than contemporary products, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in many cases may subject organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent can assist your business to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also assist you to design and execute seamless migrations to newer models within the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small companies require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network appliances such as wireless access points and IP cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable devices with eight Fast Ethernet connections and one integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branches. Available versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to act as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management costs because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise network connectivity or local-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key technology including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent features including quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.
The Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a robust set of features that allow for network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full complement of STP improvements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on redundant links to efficiently use the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size businesses and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies deployment of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business needs by providing setup flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic configuration of smart network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable performance. StackWise combines up to 9 individual switches into a single functional unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing members with no service discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security and compliance testing and verification.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also offer experience with key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, plan, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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