The Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that meets your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security plan, automate system management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent networking patterns whose overall effect is a cyber tsunami of traffic:
- Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
- Social media for business
- The popularity of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and demanding very little data center space and power consumption. However this also means that relatively limited resources must support substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be supported by business networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly new, and combined they create a serious need for a new class of switches that offer much more speed, control, uptime and manageability than older solutions were engineered to deliver.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, strict client access control, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and twice that per switching system, an extensive catalog of technologies including EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for video data prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes
Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time requirements, scale to support future growth, guard sensitive information, and separate and control processes to optimize network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. 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 outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family by delivering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device managed by a single OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink connections, and capacity for up to 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All versions offer expandable Quality of Service, stateful failover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.
Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)
The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure is shared by software and services that must operate in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor to enable wired plus wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless traffic for world-class availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled per chassis, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients are supported in a two-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include FNF solution for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network with minimal business disruption or IT staff re-education.
Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point control to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment distinct client groups and serve the special security and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core networks that require world-class uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers as much as 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40GE access ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps throughput and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE access ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching capacity while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10GE ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated switches typically are more expensive to manage and maintain than current products, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in many situations may expose businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to support and repair these older switches and can also help you to design and implement non-disruptive migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it simple to install network devices like VoIP phones and IP cameras.
Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional backup power with automatic switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to set up a local wireless environment quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides strong security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size companies. These wire-rate desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 line of managed switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus a single integrated Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained locations 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 designed for small companies and branches. Available models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts operational expense with one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against IPv6 address theft and malicious threats.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN access or branch-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy network-wide intelligent features such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust array of capabilities that permit network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant links to efficiently use the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing increase system capacity; PIM increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of unified technologies and adapts to evolving business environments by offering configuration flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size networks.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-management, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-level functions, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.
StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable performance. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 separate switches into one functional device, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete existing devices without service discontinuity.
How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and information security and compliance assessment and remediation.
Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards and with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer familiarity with crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal support for your network security posture.
If you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Nexus switches. For information about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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