The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help you to plan an efficient network architecture that meets your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security plan, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver repair and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.
The need for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new networking trends whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud computing and a consequent reliance on intensive 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
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and power consumption. However this also means that comparatively limited resources must accommodate substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of information, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they create a serious demand for a new generation of switches that offer much more throughput, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were designed to provide.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be supported with consistent performance, strict user access management, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that for each system, a powerful suite of tools including EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for HD video data prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes
Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can deal with real-time needs, scale to accommodate future capacity demands, protect sensitive data, and differentiate and manage processes to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 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 by delivering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by one operating system. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced Quality of Service features for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering far reaching connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the efficient utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be used by applications and services that need to operate in total isolation from each other. EVN simplifies the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless data traffic for world-quality high availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 clients are managed in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and have been steadily improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your infrastructure investment and permits you to update your network backbone with minimal downtime or IT staff retraining.
Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability via multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and support the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus backbone environments that need world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models have three to 13 slots and work with a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit form factor, includes 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and includes four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Cisco 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 modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE access ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and onsite support services for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches often are more expensive to operate and maintain than current switches, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in some situations may subject organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist your business to maintain and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to plan and carry out non-disruptive migrations to newer products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 Line
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, protection, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 Series managed switches are small, entry-level switches with 8 Ethernet connections and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained locations like on a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branches. Current versions have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplinks, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational costs with single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards against IPv6 address theft and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications including IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can activate network-wide intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.
The Catalyst 3560 family switch is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a full complement of STP improvements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, including PVST+, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on redundant links to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.
Efficient routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR improve network scale; PIM helps improve utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies deployment of unified applications and accommodates changing business environments by offering setup versatility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free configuration of smart network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-level functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to 9 separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is directed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The control switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or remove existing members with no operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and IT security assessment and verification.
Progent has deep knowledge of open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's network consultants also have deep knowledge of important networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum enforcement to your security policies.
In case you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, design, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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