Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to help you to plan an efficient infrastructure that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, automate network management and performance tracking, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you get the highest business value from your investment in your network.
The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of fairly recent networking trends whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud networking and a consequent reliance on massive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power consumption. However this also requires that comparatively limited resources have to accommodate large volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that have be supported by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer significantly more throughput, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than previous solutions were engineered to provide.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high throughput, strict user access management, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with capabilities such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps for each chassis and twice that for each system, a powerful catalog of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with instant virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to optimize network resource usage, and advanced QoS tools for HD video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with current requirements, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 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 of switches by offering switching throughput of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All models provide modular QoS, fast failover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution along with sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional features including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-class high availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support as many as 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 capacity per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a two-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include FNF technology for capacity planning, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been steadily enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your technology expenditures and enables you to upgrade your network with little business disruption or IT team training.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized administration to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired/wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core environments that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and accept a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE connections.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and on-premises support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to operate and maintain than contemporary models, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in some cases may subject organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to manage and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition help you to plan and execute non-disruptive upgrades to current models within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for organizations with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to add network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with auto switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform offers strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped areas like on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branches. Current models have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Ciscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital technology including Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the ease of traditional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch has a robust array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced availability through IP routing plus a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load balancing on redundant connections to efficiently use the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business environments by providing configuration versatility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-grade features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. StackWise unites as many as 9 separate switches into one logical device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A running stack can accept new devices or delete old switches without service interruption.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and data security assessment and validation.
Progent has broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer experience with important technologies such as 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 assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide maximum enforcement to your security policies.
In case you require ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and manage a migration to Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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