The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, automate system management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the maximum business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new networking trends whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of data:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy use. But this also means that comparatively limited resources must support substantial volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business applications are displacing email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a critical demand for a new class of switches that offer significantly more throughput, control, uptime and ease of management than previous platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where office employees must be supported with unvarying high speed, strict user access control, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each system, an extensive suite of technologies such as EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system utilization, and advanced QoS capabilities for HD video data control.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to build intelligent switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital data, and separate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile switches have eight to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring full wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by one operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide modular QoS, stateful failover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool is used by applications and services that must run in complete privacy from each other. EVN streamlines the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 clients can be supported in a two-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure expenditures and enables you to update your network with little service interruption or IT staff retraining.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to segment specific client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone environments that need maximum availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, holds 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE access ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and onsite support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated switches typically are more expensive to operate and support than contemporary products, provide less capacity and fewer features, and for some situations may subject organizations to regulatory and liability issues. Progent can help your business to support and repair these older switches and can also assist you to plan and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current products within the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches SupportCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to install network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps organizations to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level devices with 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained locations such as on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Current models incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative expense with one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches ConsultingCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or branch-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive smart services such as QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful set of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher resilience via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup connections to take advantage of the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient protocols such as OPSF, EIGRP, BGP, static routing, and PBR increase network scale; PIM increases resource utilization; and VRFLite protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies deployment of unified technologies and accommodates evolving competitive environments by offering setup versatility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a diverse range of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader set of enterprise-level features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable performance. StackWise unites up to nine individual switches into a single functional unit, using custom stack-interface cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching device that is directed by a control switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A working stack can accept new devices or delete existing devices with no operational discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and network security testing and remediation.

Progent offers deep expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network experts also offer deep knowledge of important technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide maximum support for your network security policies.

In case you require the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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