The Catalyst product line is commonly known as an Ethernet-based selection of switches; however, it also offers several other interfaces depending on what model you choose. Modern hardware models consist of Ethernet interfaces ranging from 10 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s with certain designs accommodating an Asynchronous Transfer Mode interface. This interface enables bridging of traffic across wide area networks. Certain models also support T1, E1, or ISDN PRI interfaces for connection to public switches telephone networks (PTSN). The broad range of choices offered by Cisco makes it imperative to know the exact required hardware specifications before selection. Below you will find a brief overview of products offered in the Catalyst line.
An Introduction to the Catalyst Product Line
Cisco Catalyst switches are extremely popular because they deliver advanced customization abilities, are highly manageable, and do not require special configuration tools. This particular product line consists of these series:
--6500 Series – A chassis-based product capable of supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet speeds as well as redundant Supervisor modules.
--5000/5500 Series – A chassis-based product family consisting of a high-end modular switching platform capable of providing improved scalability, redundancy, and flexibility. This series can support wired closets or backbone applications.
--4900 Series – A fixed-configuration switch with either an SFP port or 10-gigabit Ethernet uplink interface and 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports.
--4500 Series – A mid-range modular chassis switch consisting of a chassis, power supplies, up to two supervisors, service modules, and line cards.
--3000/3100 – The first offered stackable switching architecture capable of delivering Layer 2 and Layer 3 functionality for expanding workgroup applications. Its flexible design makes it easier to increase switching capacity without the need to migrate to a new platform.
--1000 Series – Modular edge devices with 10BaseT ports and Fast Ethernet Ports. The 1000 series offers advanced virtual machine networking capabilities, supports a variety of networking services, and provides cloud deployment optimization features.
Modular designs such as the 6500 series are an ideal network wide deployment capable of supporting IP telephony, wireless, or video services. They offer comprehensive security through firewall, intrusion prevention, anomaly detection, and SSL or IPSec VPN. Fixed configuration switches are excellent for any sized organization because they offer performance, latency, virtualization, and application monitoring benefits.
Understanding the Cisco Difference
The Cisco Catalyst switch product line has been designed to meet the access switching and wireless LAN needs of any business. Offered products are beneficial for creating a borderless business where applications or services are easy to manage, more secure, and simple to govern. Their design makes it easy to adapt when new application deployments occur as well as provides the right degree of support for these changes. With Cisco Catalyst switches, businesses receive these unique benefits:
--Positive User Experience
The line contains several power-saving designs for organizations seeking to support green initiatives. Further benefits such as scalable performance and flexible configurations make it easy to accommodate business or IT shifts as your organization expands or takes a new path. If you are seeking a versatile switch solution, then Cisco Catalyst switches deliver the necessary flexibility and performance for supporting current or future business needs.