The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone 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 CCIE consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist your organization to design a cost-effective network topology that addresses your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent networking trends whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated requirement for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Data guzzling HD video apps
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting very high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and power consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse resources have to support large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical demand for a new class of switches that offer much higher performance, intelligence, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were designed to provide.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering dependable high throughput, secure client access control, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and double that for each switching system, a comprehensive suite of tools such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) tools for video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can handle real-time requirements, scale to support expected growth, guard sensitive information, and separate and manage tasks to enhance network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free design for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink ports, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide modular QoS, stateful failover for high uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.
Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, providing far reaching connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure must be shared by software and services that must run in complete privacy from one another. EVN streamlines the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor to support wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on Cisco's IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients can be supported in a two-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports can be added with another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and allows you to upgrade your network with minimal downtime or management staff re-education.
Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 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 family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core environments that require world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models include three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps bandwidth and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.
Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and on-premises support services for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches typically cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary models, provide lower performance and functionality, and for some cases may subject organizations to regulatory and liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist you to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to plan and carry out non-disruptive migrations to current models within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 Line
The Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the dependability, protection, expandability, and features small companies require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances such as wireless access points and IP cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional backup power with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of switches are small, stackable devices with 8 Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations like on a user's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current models incorporate either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects networks against address interception and other attacks.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Ciscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key technology such a VoIP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch offers a powerful set of features that allow for network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant connections to efficiently use the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.
Efficient protocols including Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, BGP, and static routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size businesses and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of unified applications and adapts to evolving competitive needs by offering setup versatility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader set of high-end features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is managed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new members or remove existing switches without operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, business continuity preparedness, and information security assessment and verification.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also have deep knowledge of crucial technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, design, and implement a transition to Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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