Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to design an efficient infrastructure that addresses your unique business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline network management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation,
Progent can assist you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you get the most business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal real estate and energy use. But this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. All of these trends are relatively new, and put together they create a critical need for an advanced generation of switches that offer much more performance, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were designed to deliver.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing unvarying performance, secure client access management, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching performance as high as 11.4 Tbps per chassis and twice that per switching system, an extensive collection of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with real-time needs, scale to support expected growth, protect vital information, and separate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port managed switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These compact appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by one operating system. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and support for as many as 9 switches per stack. All versions provide modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.
Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be used by applications and services that need to run in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes additional technologies including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients can be supported in a multi-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your technology expenditures and enables you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or management team retraining.
Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized control to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% availability via multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to segment distinct user groups and support the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core environments that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and accept a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE ports.
Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches usually cost more to manage and maintain than current models, provide lower performance and functionality, and for some cases may subject businesses to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent are available to assist your business to support and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and implement seamless migrations to newer products within the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 Line
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small companies need at an affordable cost. PoE support makes it simple to install network devices like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-speed desktop switches offer IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable switches with 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus one built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas such as on or under a user's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Available versions have either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts operational costs because of one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards networks against address interception and malicious attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business network access or local-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of key applications including VoIP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent features such as quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of traditional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch has a powerful set of features that allow for network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load sharing on redundant links to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Important routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, BGP, and static routing increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of unified applications and adapts to evolving business needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic set up of smart network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit deployments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-class functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining dependable performance. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 separate switches into a single functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a control switch, elected from among the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new members or remove existing devices with no service interruption.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, topology design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and data security testing and verification.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer deep knowledge of crucial technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your security posture.
In case you require the highest available density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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