The Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan an efficient network architecture that meets your unique business needs, configure pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, automate system management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to current versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you receive the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a confluence of relatively recent networking trends whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud computing and a consequent need for intensive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse resources have to support large volumes of traffic. The BYOD revolution has created a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a critical demand for a new generation of switches that feature significantly more speed, intelligence, uptime and manageability than older solutions were engineered to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus environments where office employees must be provided for by offering dependable high throughput, secure access management, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with features that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that for each system, a comprehensive catalog of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with instant virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for HD video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, scale to support future growth, guard vital data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power unit that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a one device managed by one operating system. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for up to 9 switches per stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and sophisticated QoS capabilities for an improved user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure must be used by software and services that need to operate in total isolation from one another. EVN simplifies the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new features such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for world-quality high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added with a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your technology expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or IT team re-education.
Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point control to put in place consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for 99.999% availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment distinct client groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone networks that need maximum uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps capacity and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps bandwidth and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches usually cost more to manage and support than current models, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in some cases can subject businesses to compliance and even liability risks. Progent can help you to maintain and repair these older Cisco products and can also help you to design and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, expandability, and feature set small businesses require at an economical cost. PoE support makes it simple to add network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small, entry-level switches featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped locations like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available models incorporate either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and deliver throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts operational expense because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards networks against address interception and other threats.
Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise network access or branch-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key technology including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a full complement of STP improvements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network 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 corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of converged applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by providing configuration versatility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise network functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable performance. Cisco StackWise combines as many as 9 separate switches into one functional unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a control switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or delete old devices without service interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security and compliance assessment and remediation.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer experience with important technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide maximum support for your network security posture.
If you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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