Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to design an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, configure pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security plan, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new networking trends whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated demand for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal real estate and power use. However this also means that relatively sparse resources have to support substantial volumes of data. The BYOD paradigm has created a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile users that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly new, and combined they create a serious need for an advanced generation of switches that feature much more capacity, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than previous solutions were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, secure access management, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for performance and control with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that per switching system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize network resource usage, and advanced QoS tools for HD video data prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet real-time requirements, scale to support future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances include 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 the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching throughput of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by a single OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and support for as many as nine switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer modular QoS, fast failover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connections, advanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool is used by applications and services that must operate in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the process of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional technologies including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be handled per switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that incorporate the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your technology expenditures and permits you to update your network with minimal downtime or management team retraining.
Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment distinct client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core networks that need world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and work with a wide selection of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit form factor, includes 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching throughput and features four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor chassis that has 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10GE access ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. an 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches typically are more expensive to operate and support than contemporary products, provide less capacity and functionality, and in some situations can subject businesses to regulatory and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to maintain and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can also help you to plan and carry out seamless upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of fixed-configuration switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable cost. PoE support makes it easy to install network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional backup power supplies with auto fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 Series switches are compact, entry-level switches featuring 8 Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current models have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to perform like a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces administrative costs because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards networks against address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise network access or satellite-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of vital applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent services including quality of service (QoS), rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust array of features that permit network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links, improve network efficiency. PVST+ supports Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant design.
Important routing protocols such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of converged applications and adapts to evolving business environments by offering configuration flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of intelligent network functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-level features, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable performance. StackWise technology unites up to 9 individual switches into a single logical unit, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is directed by a control switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing members with no service interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis, topology design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and information security testing and validation.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also have experience with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your security policies.
In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Nexus switches. For information about Progent's support services for Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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