Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist you to plan an efficient infrastructure that meets your unique business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you get the maximum business value from your investment in your network.
The demand for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of fairly new computing trends whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated need for massive network virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling HD video apps
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy consumption. But this also requires that relatively limited resources must support large volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile users that have be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine vast and disparate silos of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature much more performance, intelligence, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were built to provide.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, strict access control, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and double that per switching system, an extensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build smart switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can deal with current requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and manage processes to optimize network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by one operating system. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and capacity for up to nine switches per stack. All versions offer expandable QoS, fast failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, providing long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the economy, protection, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be shared by software and services that must operate in complete privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional features such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to cover Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without a separate wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added with another module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement protects your infrastructure investment and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT staff re-education.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, centralized control to put in place consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment distinct user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 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 designed for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE connections.
End-of-Life Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated switches often cost more to manage and support than current models, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and for many situations may subject organizations to compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to support and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and implement seamless migrations to newer products within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, expandability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless environment quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 family of switches are compact, stackable devices with eight Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped areas such as on or under a user's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current models offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to perform as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management expense with single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against address theft and malicious attacks.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital technology such a IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart services such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant connections to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Important protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates deployment of unified applications and adapts to evolving competitive environments by providing configuration flexibility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free set up of intelligent system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size networks.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-level features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to nine individual switches into one logical device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, elected from among the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new members or delete old switches without operational discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and information security testing and verification.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also have experience with crucial technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your network security posture.
If you require ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, design, and manage a migration to Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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