The Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan an efficient network topology that meets your unique business needs, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security plan, automate system management and performance tracking, provide repair and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to current models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.
The need for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new networking trends whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated demand for massive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and requiring minimal real estate and energy use. However this also means that comparatively sparse network resources must support large volumes of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a serious need for a new generation of switches that offer much more speed, control, availability and ease of management than previous platforms were designed to provide.
Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be accommodated by providing consistent performance, secure user access management, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps per switch and double that for each switching system, an extensive catalog of technologies such as EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to build intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with current requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, protect vital information, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. 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 is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by delivering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology 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 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions offer modular QoS, stateful failover for high uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.
Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. EVN speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE 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 performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each chassis, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that provide 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT team retraining.
Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized management to put in place consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for maximum availability through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment distinct client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone networks that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10GE ports, and 44 40GE access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps bandwidth and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor with 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching capacity while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Models Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to operate and maintain than current products, deliver less performance and fewer features, and in many cases may expose organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also help you to design and execute non-disruptive migrations to newer models from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable price. PoE support makes it simple to install network appliances such as wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as the option of backup power with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides solid protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of managed switches are small-footprint, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet ports plus a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branches. Available versions incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to perform like one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative costs because of one-switch configuration. IPv6 FHS technology protects against address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Ciscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of vital applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent features including QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a full complement of STP enhancements designed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer load sharing on backup connections to exploit the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient technologies such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve system capacity; PIM improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size businesses and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of converged applications and adapts to evolving business environments by offering setup versatility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic set up of intelligent network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader set of high-end features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to nine separate switches into a single logical unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of Cisco's 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, elected from one of the member switches. The control switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new switches or delete existing switches with no service discontinuity.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and network security and compliance assessment and verification.
Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also have familiarity with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum enforcement to your network security posture.
If you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, plan, and carry out a transition to Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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