The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your unique business needs, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you get the most business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new computing patterns whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power consumption. However this also means that comparatively limited resources must accommodate substantial volumes of data. The BYOD paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine vast and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and combined they cause a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer much more capacity, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be supported with dependable high speed, secure access control, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and control with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that for each switching system, a powerful collection of tools such as EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build smart switching services into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can deal with current needs, scale to accommodate future growth, protect sensitive data, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless operation for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by one OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink connections, and capacity for up to 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, stateful switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's FNF technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 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 Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking performance as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution deployments where space for networking equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure is shared by software and services that must operate in total isolation from one another. EVN speeds up the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-VRF and includes additional technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users can be managed in a multi-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added via a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include FNF technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement protects your information technology expenditures and enables you to upgrade your network backbone with little business disruption or IT staff retraining.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition specific user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full 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 converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core environments that require maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers as much as 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone platforms designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor that has 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience providing remote and onsite support expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than contemporary switches, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in some cases may expose organizations to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist you to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and execute non-disruptive migrations to current products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of backup power with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides solid protection against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are compact, stackable switches featuring 8 Fast Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped areas such as on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branches. Available versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of key applications including IP telephony, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart features such as QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup connections to take advantage of the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of converged applications and accommodates changing business needs by offering setup versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free configuration of intelligent system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-level features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise combines up to 9 separate switches into one logical unit, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and software. The individual switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is managed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new members or delete existing switches without service discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, topology design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and IT security and compliance testing and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network consultants also offer familiarity with key networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP certified network security consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your network security policies.

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

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