The Cisco Catalyst switch family represents one of the most popular LAN switches on the market today. The Catalyst range is designed to meet the needs of a wide range of customers—from small to medium businesses, right up to large enterprise networks and service providers. Cisco Catalyst switches provide high performance, scalability, manageability, and many other intelligent features that ensure their success to date.
Cisco Catalyst switches can physically described by one of two device types:
The fixed-configuration switch consists of a fixed number or ports contained within a fixed chassis that includes an internal switch processor. Some of these devices provide a limited degree of modularity in that they include modular slots that can be populated by variety of different modules. The major advantages of fixed-configuration switches are low cost and ease of deployment. The major disadvantages of a fixed-configuration switch are a lack of flexibility and the introduction of a multiple management points in the network when installing more than one switch. Scaling the network by introducing multiple fixed-configuration switches can also introduce bottlenecks between each switch.