Chapter 5. Using Catalyst Software

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • Hybrid versus native

  • Downloading Catalyst software

  • New software packaging

As much as Project Synergy represents the origins of the Catalyst 5000 platform, the Cisco acquisition of Crescendo Communications on September 21, 1993, represents the origins of software for the Catalyst platforms. The Crescendo interface came to Cisco as part of the acquisition, and has come to be known today as the Catalyst Operating System (Catalyst OS). Catalyst OS supports only Layer 2 functions and relies on traditional Cisco IOS software for Layer 3 support. As a result, the term hybrid describes a Catalyst switch using both Catalyst OS for Layer 2 switching and traditional Cisco IOS for Layer 3 routing.