Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged IP 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 CCIE consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your unique business needs, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime,
Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to the latest models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you get the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new computing patterns whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of data traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
- Social business technologies
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and power consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse resources must support substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has caused a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied repositories of information, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer much higher performance, control, uptime and manageability than older platforms were designed to deliver.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering unvarying high speed, secure user access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with features that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that per switching system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies such as EVN to facilitate the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and advanced QoS tools for video data control.
Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size
Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can handle current requirements, expand to accommodate expected growth, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and control processes to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by delivering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by a single OS. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connections, advanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, 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 one another. EVN speeds up the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes 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 to allow wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics across wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that provide 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added with a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your technology investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT team training.
Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS capability for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition specific user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise core networks that need world-class availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models have three to 13 slots and work with a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE ports. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor chassis that has 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service 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 throughput per slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE ports.
Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current products, provide less performance and functionality, and in many situations can expose organizations to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent are available to assist your business to support and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can also help you to design and carry out seamless migrations to current models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models supported by Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
The Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, scalability, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to add network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, stackable devices with eight Fast Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current models have either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform like a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational expense because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability guards against IPv6 address theft and other threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or local-offices, combining both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital technology such a IP telephony, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent services such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.
Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a robust array of features that permit network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on redundant connections to efficiently use the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Important routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized businesses and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of unified applications and adapts to evolving competitive environments by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands 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 functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end functions, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. StackWise technology unites up to nine separate switches into a single functional unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the member switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new switches or remove old switches without operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis, topology design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and data security and compliance testing and validation.
Progent has broad expertise with industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, 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 important technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your network security policies.
If you require ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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