Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to help you to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business needs, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance strategy, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most business value from your investment in your network.
The need for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new computing patterns whose overall effect is a cyber tsunami of data:
- Cloud networking and an associated demand for intensive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of network virtualization. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding very little data center space and power consumption. However this also requires that relatively sparse resources must accommodate large volumes of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has created a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and varied repositories of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a serious need for a new class of switches that feature significantly more throughput, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous platforms were designed to deliver.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering predictable high speed, secure access control, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that per switching system, a powerful collection of technologies including EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for switch failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with real-time needs, scale to accommodate future growth, protect sensitive information, and differentiate and control tasks to enhance network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The device 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 virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances include 8 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 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by one OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions offer expandable QoS, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.
Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and advanced Quality of Service features for an improved user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each stack. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connections, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure must be shared by software and services that need to run in complete privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
The Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco 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 application visibility across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-class high availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless network controller.
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available with a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical 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 line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your IT expenditures and allows you to update your network backbone with little downtime or management team training.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, single-point management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment specific client groups and support the unique security and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core environments that require world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad selection of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE access ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10GE ports, and 44 40GE access ports.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core switches designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches often are more expensive to operate and maintain than current switches, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in some cases may expose organizations to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent can assist your business to support and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and execute seamless migrations to current models within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for organizations with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power with automatic switch-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides solid security against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches provide basic small-group networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of switches are small, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet ports and a single integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained office spaces like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Current versions feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts operational expense because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key applications including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide smart services including QoS, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.
The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a powerful array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 load balancing on backup connections to efficiently use the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.
Important technologies including OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies deployment of unified technologies and adapts to changing business environments by offering configuration versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and incorporates a wide range of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-level functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable performance. StackWise unites as many as nine separate switches into a single functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is managed by a control switch, selected from one of the stack of 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 delete existing members with no operational discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. 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 Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and network security testing and validation.
Progent offers deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also have familiarity with important networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your security policies.
If you require ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and carry out a transition to Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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