Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your unique business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security and compliance plan, automate system management and monitoring, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to current models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new computing patterns whose overall effect is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated need for massive network virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling HD video applications
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and energy consumption. But this also requires that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate large amounts of traffic. The BYOD revolution has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that have be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly new, and put together they create a critical need for an advanced class of switches that offer much higher performance, control, uptime and ease of management than older platforms were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, secure access management, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and control with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and double that per system, a powerful catalog of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to maximize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for HD video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size
Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, scale to accommodate future capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port managed switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These compact appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by delivering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring full wireless controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by one OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for as many as nine switches per stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.
Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's FNF solution and sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connectivity, advanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single infrastructure is shared by software and services that need to operate in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes additional technologies including VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on one platform based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to cover wireless data traffic for world-class availability.
Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported per chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a multi-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and permits you to upgrade your network with minimal business disruption or management staff training.
Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS capability for 99.999% uptime via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific user groups and support the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus core environments that need maximum uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE ports.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and features four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps capacity and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE access ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE access ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and support than contemporary models, provide lower performance and fewer features, and for many situations may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to support and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also help you to plan and execute seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN environment quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong protection against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 family of switches are compact, stackable devices with 8 Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available versions feature 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts operational costs because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects against address theft and malicious attacks.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-offices, offering both Gigabit and PoE options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key technology including Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide smart services such as quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a powerful array of features that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.
Efficient protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing increase network scale; PIM helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business needs by offering configuration versatility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit environments and includes a wide selection of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer set of high-end features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent performance. Cisco StackWise combines up to nine individual switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new members or remove existing members with no operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing 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 Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and IT security testing and verification.
Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also have experience with important networking 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 data security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your security posture.
In case you require ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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