Catalyst is the brand name for a variety of network switches sold by Cisco Systems. While commonly associated with Ethernet switches, a number of different interfaces have been available throughout the history of the brand. Cisco acquired several different companies and rebranded their products as different versions of the Catalyst product line. The original Catalyst 5000 and 6000 series were based on technology acquired from Crescendo Communications. The 1700, 1900, and 2800 series Catalysts came from Grand Junction Networks, and the Catalyst 3000 series came from Kalpana in 1994.
In addition, Cisco increasingly offers routers with switching capabilities; for example the Cisco 7600 series routers and the Catalyst 6500 series L3–switches have interchangeable parts. Even Cisco′s smaller routers, including their newest “ISR” series, can have switch modules installed in them, basically making Cisco′s smaller switches fully integrated devices.
Read more about Cisco Catalyst: Operating Systems, Interfaces, Management, Stackwise, Models