The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, automate system management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new networking trends whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for massive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business applications are replacing email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a critical demand for a new class of switches that feature significantly more performance, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were designed to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be supported with dependable high throughput, secure user access control, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and control with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per switch and double that for each system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for HD video traffic prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet current requirements, scale to accommodate expected capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and separate and manage processes to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-port switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These compact appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a one platform managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for up to nine switches per FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, fast switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with sophisticated QoS features for a better wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on one platform based on Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a dual-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available via another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your technology expenditures and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or management staff retraining.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point administration to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and support the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps performance and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps throughput and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises support services for older Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches often are more expensive to manage and maintain than current products, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and in many situations may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent are available to help your business to maintain and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can also help you to plan and execute seamless upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical price. PoE support makes it easy to install network devices such as wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring closet in cramped locations like on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Current models have either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplinks, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational costs because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Professional ServicesCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key technology such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide smart services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a complete complement of STP improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant links to take advantage of the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.

Important routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates integration of converged applications and accommodates evolving business needs by providing setup flexibility, support for unified network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end functions, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable performance. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 separate switches into a single functional unit, utilizing special stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing devices with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and IT security assessment and remediation.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also offer deep knowledge of important networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your network security policies.

If you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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