Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to current versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you receive the maximum business value from your investment in your network.
The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent computing trends whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated requirement for massive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and requiring very little data center space and energy use. However this also means that comparatively limited resources must support large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep rise in the amount of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and put together they create a critical demand for a new class of switches that feature much more performance, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to provide.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with consistent high throughput, secure user access control, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and control with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that for each switching system, a powerful collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with instant virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for HD video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size
Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can handle current requirements, scale to support future growth, protect vital data, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-port managed switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus 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 device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by one OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and capacity for as many as 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated QoS features for a better user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution environments where physical space for networking hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to run in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics across wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported per chassis, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients are supported in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. 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 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also 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 bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your IT expenditures and permits you to update your network with minimal business disruption or management team training.
Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, centralized administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS technology for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct user groups and support the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus backbone environments that require maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and work with a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and has four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor that has 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10GE connections or 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience providing remote and onsite support expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches typically cost more to operate and support than current switches, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and in some situations may subject organizations to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to manage and repair these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to design and implement non-disruptive migrations to current models from the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small businesses need at an affordable price. PoE support makes it simple to add network devices such as wireless access points and IP TV cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional backup power with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 platform offers strong protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are compact, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces like on or under a user's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current models have either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to perform as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense with one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology guards networks against address theft and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business network connectivity or branch-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of vital technology including Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide smart features such as QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP enhancements aimed to increase throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant links to exploit the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant design.
Important technologies including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; PIM helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of unified technologies and accommodates changing business environments by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic configuration of smart network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-class features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 individual switches into a single functional unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a control switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accept new switches or remove existing devices without operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and information security assessment and verification.
Progent has deep knowledge of open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also have deep knowledge of key technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your network security policies.
If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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