Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help you to plan an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security plan, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you receive the most business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated demand for massive virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy use. But this also requires that comparatively limited resources have to support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a critical demand for a new class of switches that offer significantly more performance, control, availability and manageability than previous platforms were built to provide.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering predictable high speed, strict access management, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for performance and control with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and twice that per switching system, an extensive collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for switch failover with instant virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, expand to support future capacity demands, guard vital information, and differentiate and control processes to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port 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 uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless design for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by delivering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring full wireless controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by one operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.
Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and advanced QoS features for a better wireless user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure must be used by software and services that need to run in complete isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless data traffic for world-quality availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. 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 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients are supported in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports can be added via a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your technology expenditures and enables you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal downtime or IT staff retraining.
Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, centralized management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment specific user groups and serve the special security 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 (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus backbone environments that need maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and has four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps performance and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet 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 performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE connections.
Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive experience providing remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and support than current switches, provide less capacity and fewer features, and in some cases may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also assist you to plan and implement seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for businesses with up to 250 workers and provide the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to add network appliances such as wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional redundant power with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to build a local wireless environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices with 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped office spaces like on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available models offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management expense because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection 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 Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and PoE options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key technology such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart services including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a full complement of STP enhancements aimed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Important protocols such as Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series eases deployment of unified technologies and accommodates evolving business environments by providing configuration flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density Gigabit environments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent performance. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 individual switches into a single logical device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete old devices with no service discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and IT security and compliance assessment and validation.
Progent offers broad expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also offer familiarity with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal support for your network security posture.
If you require ultra high 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 Series switches. To learn about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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