The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to design an efficient network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for smart, fast switching is driven by a confluence of fairly recent networking trends whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated reliance on massive virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and power consumption. However this also means that comparatively limited resources must support substantial volumes of data traffic. The BYOD revolution has resulted in a steep rise in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they create a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly more throughput, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older solutions were engineered to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing dependable high throughput, secure client access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput as high as 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that for each system, an extensive catalog of tools including EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can meet real-time needs, scale to support expected capacity demands, guard vital data, and separate and manage processes to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-port switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have eight to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by a single OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for as many as nine Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.
Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and prioritize wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking performance as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients on each stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and can control 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 connections at line rate, offering far reaching connectivity, advanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be used by software and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired plus wireless services on one platform based on Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a two-switch deployment without a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available with another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been steadily improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and 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 portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your information technology investment and allows you to upgrade your network with little business disruption or IT team training.
Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, single-point control to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to partition specific user groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that need maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, holds 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, providing a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE connections, and 44 40GE ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and features four slots for port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE connections. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and support than current models, provide less performance and fewer features, and in many cases can expose businesses to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can also help you to plan and carry out seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless environment quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup networking for small to midsize organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small, entry-level devices with 8 Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branches. Current versions offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink connections, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management costs because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability guards networks against address interception and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital applications including IP telephony, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can activate network-wide smart features such as QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch is equipped with a robust set of features that permit network scalability and enhanced availability through IP routing plus a complete complement of STP enhancements designed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 load sharing on backup connections to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.
Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of unified applications and adapts to changing competitive environments by providing setup flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free configuration of smart system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader set of enterprise network features, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 individual switches into a single logical device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is managed by a master switch, elected from one of the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accept new members or delete existing members without operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and IT security testing and remediation.
Progent offers deep knowledge of industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also offer familiarity with key networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your network security policies.
In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, plan, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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