Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to design an efficient network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance plan, automate network management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.
The need for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively new computing patterns whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of data:
- Cloud networking and a consequent need for intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling HD video applications
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively limited network resources must accommodate large volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social media for business is replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical demand for a new class of switches that feature significantly higher performance, control, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to provide.
Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering predictable performance, strict access control, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps for each chassis and twice that per system, a powerful suite of tools including EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for video traffic control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to build smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time needs, scale to support future capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and differentiate and manage processes to optimize network operations.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform managed by one operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and support for up to 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, fast failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless traffic by means of Cisco's FNF technology and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless users per stack. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, offering far reaching connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be shared by applications and services that must run in total isolation from one another. EVN streamlines the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes additional features including VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for enterprise-quality availability.
Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are managed in a dual-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and enables you to update your network with minimal service interruption or IT staff re-education.
Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment specific client groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus core networks that need world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide selection of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and 44 40GE ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE connections.
Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated switches typically cost more to manage and support than contemporary models, deliver less performance and functionality, and in many situations may subject businesses to regulatory and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can also assist you to plan and execute non-disruptive migrations to newer products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series
The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of fixed-configuration switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical price. PoE capability makes it simple to add network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of backup power with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to set up a wireless LAN network quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform provides strong security against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 line of switches are small, entry-level switches featuring eight Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained areas like on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform as a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address theft and malicious attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or satellite-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide smart features including quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful set of capabilities that permit network scalability and enhanced availability via IP routing as well as a complete complement of STP improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup links to take advantage of the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.
Important routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, and Policy Based Routing improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves resource utilization; and VRFLite secures data.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates integration of unified technologies and adapts to changing competitive environments by providing configuration flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density Gigabit environments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size deployments.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of high-end features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable operation. Cisco StackWise unites up to 9 individual switches into a single logical device, using custom stack-interconnect cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new switches or delete old devices without service interruption.
How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and network security assessment and remediation.
Progent offers deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer experience with key networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your security policies.
In case you need ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
For additional details about Progent's consulting expertise for Cisco products, pick a topic:
If you wish to get in touch with Progent about consulting support for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.