Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist you to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, automate system management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime,
Progent can help you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively new computing trends whose overall effect is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated demand for massive virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling rich media applications
- Social business technologies
- The rise of Big Data in data analytics
Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy use. However this also requires that relatively limited network resources have to support large amounts of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a steep increase in the amount of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating a growing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they create a critical need for a new class of switches that offer significantly higher capacity, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older solutions were designed to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where office employees must be accommodated by providing consistent performance, strict access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for performance and control with capabilities that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that for each switching system, a powerful catalog of technologies such as EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for video traffic prioritization.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can meet current needs, expand to support expected growth, guard vital information, and separate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.
Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The switch incorporates 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-port switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by one OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for as many as nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions offer expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution deployments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure is used by software and services that must operate in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added via a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include FNF technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and allows you to upgrade your network with little downtime or IT staff training.
Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point administration to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core networks that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can handle 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps performance and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 slots and accepts existing 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 Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE access ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and on-premises support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches typically cost more to operate and support than current products, provide less performance and functionality, and for many cases can subject organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent are available to assist you to support and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to plan and implement non-disruptive upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, expandability, and feature set small businesses need at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to install network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional backup power with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide basic small-group networking for small to medium-size companies. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series managed switches are small, stackable devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available models offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense with one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology protects networks against IPv6 address theft and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of vital applications including Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive smart services including quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a powerful array of features that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on redundant connections to exploit the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.
Important routing protocols such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size organizations and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates integration of converged technologies and adapts to changing competitive environments by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-level functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable operation. StackWise unites up to 9 individual switches into one functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new switches or delete old members without service discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security testing and verification.
Progent has broad expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also offer experience with important networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal support for your security posture.
If you require ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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