The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist you to design an efficient network topology that meets your specific business needs, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you realize the maximum business value from your investment in your network.
The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new networking patterns whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of data:
- Cloud networking and a consequent need for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and power use. But this also means that comparatively sparse network resources have to support substantial amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has caused a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher speed, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing predictable high throughput, secure user access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for performance and control with capabilities that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that per system, a powerful catalog of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can handle current needs, expand to accommodate expected growth, protect vital information, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless design for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and support for up to nine switches per stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, stateful switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for a better user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi 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 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, advanced security, and an identical wired and 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 intended for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be used by software and services that must operate in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional features including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
The 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 technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a multi-switch deployment without a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are available with another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your technology expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or management staff re-education.
Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized control to put in place consistent policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus backbone networks that require maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10GE connections, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to provide 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 medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps switching capacity and has four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current models, provide less performance and functionality, and for many situations may expose businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent are available to assist your business to support and troubleshoot these older switches and can in addition help you to design and implement seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with as many as 250 employees and provide the reliability, security, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and IP cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps businesses to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides solid security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports plus one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink connections, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts administrative expense because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards against IPv6 address interception and malicious attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN access or branch-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of key applications including IP telephony, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart features such as QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the ease of conventional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful array of capabilities that permit network scalability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links, improve network uptime. PVST+ supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant links to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient technologies including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of converged applications and accommodates changing competitive needs by providing configuration versatility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart network functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-class functions, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to nine separate switches into a single functional device, using special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new switches or delete old members without operational discontinuity.
How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and data security and compliance assessment and remediation.
Progent has deep expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's network experts also have familiarity with crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your security policies.
In case you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To find out about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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