The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to help you to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your unique business requirements, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, automate system management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you realize the most business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent computing patterns whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated reliance on intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy use. However this also requires that comparatively limited network resources have to support large volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has created a steep increase in the number of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively recent, and combined they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly higher performance, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering predictable performance, secure client access management, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for performance and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that per system, an extensive collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size
Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can deal with current requirements, scale to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital information, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port managed switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 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 controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by one operating system. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and capacity for up to 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All versions offer expandable Quality of Service, stateful failover for high uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.
Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can spot and prioritize wireless data using Cisco's FNF technology and advanced QoS features for a better wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, offering far reaching connections, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution environments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure is shared by applications and services that must operate in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-VRF and includes additional technologies including VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.
Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients are supported in a multi-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added with another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and enables you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or IT team re-education.
Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, single-point management to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to segment specific client groups and support the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core networks that need world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching performance and includes four slots for port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Legacy Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience delivering online and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than current models, provide less performance and fewer features, and in many situations can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist you to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to current products from the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 Line
The Catalyst Express 500 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable price. PoE capability makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless environment quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections and one built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Current versions feature 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts management costs because of one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects against IPv6 address theft and other attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of key applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart features including quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful set of features that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing plus a full complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant connections to exploit the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing protocols such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; PIM improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates integration of unified applications and adapts to evolving business needs by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic set up of intelligent system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density Gigabit environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized deployments.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise network features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable performance. StackWise unites as many as 9 separate switches into a single functional unit, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or remove old switches without operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and information security and compliance testing and validation.
Progent has broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also have deep knowledge of key networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so they provide maximum enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you need ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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