The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your unique business needs, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most business value from your investment in your network.
The demand for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent computing patterns whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated requirement for massive network virtualization
- The proliferation of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and requiring very little data center space and power use. But this also means that relatively limited network resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has created a dramatic rise in the number of mobile users that have be supported by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine vast and varied silos of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These trends are relatively recent, and combined they cause a critical need for a new generation of switches that feature significantly higher performance, control, uptime and manageability than previous solutions were built to deliver.
Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus environments where office employees must be supported with unvarying high throughput, strict user access management, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and control with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that for each switching system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can handle real-time needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These compact switches have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a single platform powered by a single OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced QoS features for a better wireless user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a single resource pool is used by software and services that need to run in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a multi-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that provide 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal downtime or IT team retraining.
Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS capability for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to segment distinct client groups and serve the special security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus core networks that require world-class availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40GE access ports.
Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and up to 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 ports or 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10GE connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive experience delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and support than contemporary products, provide less performance and functionality, and for many situations may expose organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent can help you to manage and repair these older switches and can in addition help you to design and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to add network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports as well as optional backup power supplies with auto fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to midsize organizations. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of managed switches are compact, entry-level devices with eight Fast Ethernet ports plus one built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink ports, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits up to four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational costs because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious attacks.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-offices, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of vital applications including IP telephony, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart services including quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher availability through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to take advantage of the additional capacity associated with a redundant design.
Efficient routing protocols including OPSF, EIGRP, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of unified applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by providing configuration versatility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise-level features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable operation. StackWise combines as many as nine separate switches into one functional unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching device that is directed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new devices or remove old members with no service discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services offered by Progent for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity preparedness, and information security testing and validation.
Progent has broad expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also offer familiarity with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your network security posture.
In case you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and implement a migration to Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Cisco 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.)
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