Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help you to design an efficient infrastructure that meets your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, streamline network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.
The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively recent computing patterns whose net impact is a virtual avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated demand for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Data guzzling rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring very little real estate and power consumption. However this also means that relatively sparse resources have to support substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a serious demand for a new class of switches that feature significantly more capacity, intelligence, uptime and manageability than older platforms were engineered to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where office employees must be provided for by offering predictable high speed, strict access management, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per switch and twice that per system, a comprehensive catalog of tools such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size
Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, scale to support expected capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and separate and control processes to optimize network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device managed by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and support for as many as 9 switches per stack. All models offer modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's FNF technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common infrastructure is used by software and services that need to operate in complete isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for world-quality availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been steadily improved since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your infrastructure investment and permits you to upgrade your network with little business disruption or management team retraining.
Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized control to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum uptime through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment specific user groups and support the special security and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that need maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and work with a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic analysis, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10GE ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive experience delivering online and onsite support expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than contemporary models, provide less capacity and fewer features, and in many cases can subject businesses to compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to support and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to design and implement non-disruptive upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network appliances like VoIP phones and IP cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers strong protection against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup networking for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level switches with eight Fast Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained areas like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Available models feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and deliver throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management expense because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards networks against address theft and other threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key technology such a IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a powerful array of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher availability through IP routing as well as a full complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.
Efficient technologies such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and static routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of unified applications and accommodates changing business needs by providing setup versatility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of intelligent network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that meet the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-grade functions, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites as many as 9 individual switches into one functional unit, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is managed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new switches or remove old devices with no service discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and network security and compliance testing and remediation.
Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have deep knowledge of crucial technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and implement a transition to Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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