The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist you to plan an efficient infrastructure that meets your specific business needs, configure pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline network management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you get the maximum business value 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 effect is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling HD video applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine vast and varied silos of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a critical need for a new generation of switches that feature much more capacity, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were engineered to provide.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of campus deployments where office workers must be accommodated by providing predictable high throughput, strict access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for performance and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that for each system, an extensive catalog of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for HD video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can meet real-time needs, scale to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate 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 includes flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has 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-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port managed switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless design for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family by delivering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device powered by a single OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine switches in a stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.
Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connectivity, enhanced security, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the economy, protection, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool is shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete isolation from each other. EVN speeds up the process of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless users are managed in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available via another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing improvement protects your IT expenditures and allows you to update your network with minimal service interruption or management staff retraining.
Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point management to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System technology for maximum availability via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition specific user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, EVN, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone networks that need world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models include three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40GE access ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and support than contemporary switches, deliver less performance and functionality, and for many cases can subject organizations to compliance and even liability issues. Progent are available to help you to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to design and implement non-disruptive migrations to newer models within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst models supported by Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, extensibility, and feature set small companies need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as optional redundant power supplies with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 family of switches are small-footprint, entry-level switches with eight Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained areas like on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branches. Current versions feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts management costs with one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or local-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital technology such a Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent features such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch has a robust set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a complete complement of STP improvements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant links to efficiently use the additional capacity associated with a redundant design.
Efficient protocols such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network scale; PIM increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies deployment of converged applications and adapts to evolving competitive needs by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and management-free configuration of intelligent system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-class features, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable performance. StackWise combines as many as 9 individual switches into a single functional unit, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, chosen 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 switches with no operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, network analysis, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and information security and compliance testing and validation.
Progent offers broad expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have deep knowledge of crucial technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your security posture.
In case you require ultra high density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, plan, and implement a transition to Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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