Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels 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 switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, automate network management and monitoring, deliver 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 maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent networking trends whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated reliance on massive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy use. But this also requires that comparatively limited resources have to support large volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business applications are displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a serious need for a new generation of switches that offer significantly higher capacity, control, uptime and manageability than older platforms were engineered to provide.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be provided for by offering dependable high throughput, secure client access control, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that for each system, an extensive suite of technologies including EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size
Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can meet real-time requirements, scale to accommodate future capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and separate and control processes to optimize network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 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 supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one device managed by a single OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All versions provide modular QoS, stateful failover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.
Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with sophisticated Quality of Service features for a better user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi 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, providing far reaching connections, advanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the economy, protection, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be used by software and services that must run in complete isolation from each other. EVN speeds up the process of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new features such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network 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 enable wired as well as wireless services on one switch powered by IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for world-class high availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a multi-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that provide 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual enhancement preserves your information technology expenditures and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT team retraining.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, single-point management to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability through multi-level failover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to partition specific client groups and support the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone networks that need world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit form factor, holds 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40GE connections.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering online and on-premises support services for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches usually cost more to manage and maintain than current products, provide lower performance and functionality, and in some situations may expose businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent are available to assist your business to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and implement seamless upgrades to current models within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network devices like wireless access points and IP cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level switches featuring eight Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from 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 switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available versions have either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts administrative expense with single-switch configuration. IPv6 FHS capability guards against address theft and other threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise network connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key applications such a Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide smart services such as QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a robust array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing plus a complete complement of STP improvements designed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup connections to efficiently use the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing mechanisms including OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast improves the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of unified technologies and accommodates changing business needs by offering setup versatility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart system functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-level features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. StackWise unites as many as nine individual switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new switches or delete old devices with no operational discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and information security testing and verification.
Progent has deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also have familiarity with important networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security policies.
In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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