The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that meets your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you get the maximum business value from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new computing patterns whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent demand for intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that relatively sparse network resources have to support large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied repositories of information, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a serious need for a new generation of switches that offer much more performance, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than previous platforms were engineered to provide.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing consistent high throughput, strict client access control, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for performance and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and double that per system, a powerful catalog of tools including EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can meet real-time needs, scale to support future capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and control processes to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by a single OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, stateful switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with sophisticated QoS features for an improved user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users per stack. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients on each stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, offering long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco 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 and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be used by applications and services that must run in complete privacy from each other. EVN streamlines the process of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new features such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics encompassing wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-quality high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 clients are supported in a two-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and have been steadily improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual improvement protects your infrastructure investment and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with little business disruption or management team retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, centralized control to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum availability through multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core networks that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, holds 3 expansion slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10GE ports or 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience delivering online and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to operate and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in many cases may subject businesses to compliance and liability issues. Progent can help you to support and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also help you to design and execute seamless migrations to newer models within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small businesses need at an economical price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network appliances such as wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power supplies with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers solid security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level switches featuring eight Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current versions offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts management expense because of single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability guards against address theft and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital technology including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch has a robust array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of STP improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant connections to exploit the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; PIM improves the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Consulting FirmFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of converged applications and adapts to changing competitive needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic set up of smart network functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet deployments and includes a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-level features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining dependable operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to 9 individual switches into a single logical unit, utilizing special stack-interface cables and stacking software. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a control switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A working stack can accept new devices or delete existing devices with no service interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and network security and compliance testing and remediation.

Progent has deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also have experience with crucial networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security posture.

In case you need the highest available density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, design, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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