The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that meets your unique business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide repair and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you get the most return from your investment in your network.
The demand for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new networking trends whose overall effect is a cyber avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must support large amounts of traffic. The BYOD revolution has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and put together they create a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly more capacity, control, availability and manageability than previous platforms were built to provide.
Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where office employees must be supported with unvarying performance, secure user access management, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that per system, a powerful catalog of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital information, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These compact switches include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 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 handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by delivering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform powered by one operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions offer modular QoS, fast switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit 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 support 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 Technology.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure is shared by applications and services that must run in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine for 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. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on a single platform based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported per chassis, and 250 access points and 4000 clients are managed in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and enables you to update your network backbone with little downtime or management team training.
Common features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum availability through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific user groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core networks that require maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches usually are more expensive to manage and support than contemporary models, provide lower performance and fewer features, and for many situations can subject organizations to compliance and even liability issues. Progent can help your business to support and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and implement non-disruptive upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, security, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it easy to add network appliances such as wireless access points and IP cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform offers solid security against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices with eight Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped locations like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current models incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink ports, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management costs because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology guards networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Switches
Ciscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or satellite-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.
The Catalyst 3560 family switch has a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full complement of STP enhancements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant links to efficiently use the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient protocols such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, static routing, and PBR increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series eases integration of unified applications and accommodates changing competitive environments by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise network features, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable operation. StackWise unites up to nine separate switches into a single logical unit, using custom stack-interface cables and software. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching device that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new switches or remove old switches with no operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery preparedness, and IT security assessment and verification.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have deep knowledge of key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your security posture.
If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, design, and implement a transition to Nexus switches. For information about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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To contact Progent about consulting help for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.