The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security strategy, streamline network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you get the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of fairly recent networking patterns whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of data:
- Cloud networking and an associated requirement for intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness 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 network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal data center space and power use. However this also means that comparatively sparse network resources must accommodate large volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business applications are displacing email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical need for a new generation of switches that offer much higher performance, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were built to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering consistent high throughput, strict access management, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps per switch and double that for each system, an extensive collection of tools such as EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build smart switching features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, scale to support expected growth, guard sensitive data, and separate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually 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 Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances include 8 to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices 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 single platform powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, fast switchover for high uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.
Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can spot and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard 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 Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, offering far reaching connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-VRF and adds additional technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop VNs with advanced load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless 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 a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning across wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Available 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 ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a two-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been continually improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and permits you to upgrade your network with minimal business disruption or management team re-education.
Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition distinct user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core environments that require maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE access ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can handle 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE access ports.
Legacy Catalyst Models Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current models, deliver lower performance and functionality, and in many situations may expose organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent are available to help your business to support and troubleshoot these older switches and can in addition assist you to design and execute seamless migrations to current models from the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small companies need at an affordable price. PoE support makes it simple to add network appliances like VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of redundant power with automatic switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to build a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup networking for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 Series managed switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring 8 Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts administrative expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address theft and other threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Ciscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or local-offices, combining both Gigabit and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of vital technology such a VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive smart services such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch has a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and higher resilience via IP routing as well as a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer load sharing on backup connections to efficiently use the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.
Important routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing improve system scale; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of converged technologies and adapts to evolving competitive needs by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free configuration of intelligent system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume Gigabit environments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced QoS, rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-level functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 individual switches into a single functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new switches or remove old devices with no service discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support 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 available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and IT security and compliance testing and validation.
Progent has broad expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also have deep knowledge of crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.
If you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and implement a migration to Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 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 aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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