Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your unique business requirements, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance plan, automate network management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you get the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively new networking trends whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of data:
- Cloud computing and an associated requirement for intensive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing very high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and power use. However this also means that comparatively limited resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile users that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine vast and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and combined they create a serious demand for a new generation of switches that offer much higher performance, control, uptime and manageability than previous solutions were designed to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing consistent performance, secure user access management, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for performance and control with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps for each chassis and twice that per switching system, a powerful catalog of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet current needs, expand to support expected capacity demands, guard vital information, and differentiate and manage processes to enhance network operations.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-configuration switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless design for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for up to 9 switches in a stack. All models offer expandable QoS, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.
Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using 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 Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users on each stack. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced security, and an identical wired/wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and VSS solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure must be used by applications and services that must operate in complete privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new features including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to support wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-class availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual improvement preserves your IT investment and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or IT staff re-education.
Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition distinct client groups and serve the unique security and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, EVN, VRF-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus backbone environments that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, providing a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps capacity and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports 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 chassis that has 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE ports.
Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience delivering online and onsite support services for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches typically cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary models, deliver lower performance and fewer features, and for many cases can subject organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help your business to support and repair these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and implement non-disruptive upgrades to newer models within the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, protection, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an economical price. PoE support makes it simple to add network devices such as VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are small, entry-level devices with eight Fast Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped areas like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branches. Current versions offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management costs because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against address interception and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business network connectivity or local-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key applications including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can activate comprehensive intelligent services such as quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a robust set of features that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing plus a full complement of STP improvements aimed to increase throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including PVST+, and Uplink Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load balancing on redundant connections to take advantage of the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates integration of unified technologies and adapts to evolving competitive needs by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized systems.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-level functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise unites up to 9 separate switches into one logical unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and software. Any of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new members or remove existing devices with no service discontinuity.
How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity preparedness, and IT security assessment and remediation.
Progent has broad knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with important technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security policies.
In case you require ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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