The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to design an efficient network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, automate network management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you get the most business value from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new computing patterns whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding very little data center space and energy use. But this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must support large volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is displacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly new, and combined they create a serious need for an advanced generation of switches that feature much more capacity, control, uptime and manageability than previous solutions were built to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees 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 are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that for each switching system, an extensive catalog of tools including EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can meet current needs, expand to support expected capacity demands, protect vital information, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network operations.

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 compact, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless design for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by one OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for as many as nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All models offer expandable QoS, fast switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's FNF solution and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, advanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be used by software and services that need to operate in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional features including VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to support wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each switch, and 250 APs and 4000 clients can be supported in a dual-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been steadily improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your infrastructure investment and permits you to update your network with minimal service interruption or management staff re-education.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment specific client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core networks that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40GE ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive experience delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current products, provide less performance and fewer features, and in some cases may expose businesses to compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help your business to manage and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can also assist you to design and execute non-disruptive migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches HelpCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, security, expandability, and features small businesses require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with auto switch-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform provides solid protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to midsize organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable devices with 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained areas such as on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available models feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Professional ServicesCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or branch-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and PoE configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of key applications including Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide smart features including QoS, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a robust array of features that allow for network expandability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, including PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load sharing on redundant connections to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important protocols including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates integration of converged technologies and accommodates changing business needs by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and management-free configuration of intelligent network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader set of high-end functions, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent operation. Cisco StackWise combines as many as nine separate switches into one functional device, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accept new devices or delete old members with no operational discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and IT security testing and verification.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer deep knowledge of important networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal support for your security posture.

In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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