Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to help you to design a cost-effective network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you get the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively new networking trends whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated requirement for massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting very high hardware utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. But this also means that comparatively limited resources must accommodate substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has created a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients 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 primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through vast and varied silos of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and put together they create a serious demand for a new class of switches that feature much more speed, control, uptime and manageability than previous solutions were designed to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of campus environments where office employees must be provided for by offering dependable high speed, strict user access management, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for performance and intelligence with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and twice that for each switching system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic control.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can meet real-time requirements, expand to support future growth, guard vital information, and separate and control processes to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be placed virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-port switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform powered by one OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful failover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with advanced Quality of Service features for an improved user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

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

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure is shared by software and services that need to operate in complete privacy from one another. EVN streamlines the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless network 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 plus wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, 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 performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include FNF solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing improvement protects your infrastructure expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal service interruption or management staff re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point administration to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum uptime through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition distinct client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of performance per slot, providing a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching capacity and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and onsite support expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches typically are more expensive to manage and support than current switches, deliver less performance and fewer features, and for some cases can expose organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to manage and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can also help you to plan and implement seamless migrations to current models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, expandability, and feature set small businesses require at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it simple to install network appliances such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as optional redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN environment rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid security against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 line of switches are compact, stackable switches with 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available versions incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act like a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational costs because of single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address theft and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches SupportCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business network connectivity or local-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of key technology including Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive intelligent services including QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series offers a robust array of features that allow for network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP improvements designed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important protocols including OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size businesses and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series eases deployment of converged technologies and accommodates changing competitive needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and automatic set up of smart network services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise network functions, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing dependable operation. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 separate switches into one functional device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is directed by a control switch, elected from among the member switches. The control switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete old switches without operational interruption.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and network security assessment and verification.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network consultants also offer familiarity with crucial technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum support for your network security posture.

If you require ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn more information concerning Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco networking products, select a topic:

To ask Progent about technical support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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