Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline network management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you realize the most return from your investment in your network.
The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent networking trends whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated requirement for intensive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also means that relatively limited network resources must support substantial volumes of data traffic. The BYOD revolution has caused a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are replacing email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a critical need for an advanced generation of switches that feature much more throughput, control, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were engineered to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, secure client access management, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and double that for each system, a powerful suite of technologies such as EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes
Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can handle current needs, scale to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and control tasks to enhance network operations.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These compact switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line by offering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using 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, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one device managed by a single OS. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and capacity for up to 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking performance as high as 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, 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 divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be shared by software and services that need to operate in complete isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-VRF and adds new features including VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users are supported in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and have been steadily enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your technology investment and allows you to update your network with little business disruption or management staff re-education.
Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized control to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition specific client groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core environments that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, 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, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 44 40GE connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE connections. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching capacity while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40GE access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE access ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad experience delivering remote and on-premises support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches often cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary models, deliver lower capacity and functionality, and for some situations may expose organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent can help you to maintain and repair these older Cisco products and can also help you to plan and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current products within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, extensibility, and feature set small businesses need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer basic small-group networking for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small-footprint, stackable switches featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections and a single integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped locations 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 intended for small companies and branches. Available versions incorporate 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts operational expense because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key technology including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide smart features such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a robust set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced availability via IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup connections to efficiently use the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.
Important technologies including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, static routing, and PBR increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of converged applications and adapts to evolving competitive needs by providing setup flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free configuration of smart network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized networks.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise network functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining dependable performance. StackWise technology combines up to nine individual switches into one logical device, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking software. Each of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accept new devices or remove existing switches without service discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and information security testing and validation.
Progent has deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer familiarity with important networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum enforcement to your security posture.
If you need the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, design, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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