The Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist you to design an efficient infrastructure that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you get the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively new computing patterns whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent demand for massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • 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 on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy use. But this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must support large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a serious demand for a new generation of switches that feature significantly more performance, intelligence, availability and manageability than older solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing dependable high speed, strict client access control, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and control with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps per chassis and double that for each switching system, a powerful catalog of tools such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to support future capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and separate and control processes to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile appliances include eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and support for as many as nine switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced QoS features for an improved user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering long distance connections, advanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be used by applications and services that must operate in complete privacy from one another. EVN streamlines the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional technologies including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for world-class availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless users are managed in a dual-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your IT investment and enables you to upgrade your network backbone with little business disruption or IT team training.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, centralized administration to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific user groups and support the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core networks that need maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 slots and work with a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps throughput and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than current switches, provide lower performance and functionality, and for some cases can expose businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and execute non-disruptive migrations to current products within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of backup power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN network rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 platform provides solid protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop appliances offer IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level switches featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped areas such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current versions incorporate 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management costs because of single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards against IPv6 address theft and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches SupportCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-offices, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of key applications such a VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent services such as quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing plus a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to 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 architecture.

Important routing protocols including OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite protects network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies deployment of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business environments by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic set up of intelligent network functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end functions, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 separate switches into one logical unit, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or remove old devices with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing, network analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and information security and compliance testing and verification.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network experts also have familiarity with key technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide maximum support for your security policies.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, plan, and manage a transition to Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting 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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If you wish to get in touch with Progent about professional help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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