The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the most return from your investment in your network.

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

  • Cloud computing and a consequent demand for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by allowing very high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy use. However this also requires that relatively sparse resources have to support substantial amounts of traffic. The BYOD revolution has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied repositories of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and combined they create a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that feature much higher throughput, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous platforms were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering dependable high throughput, strict access control, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and control with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to accommodate future growth, guard vital data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco'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 uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances include eight to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by delivering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by a single OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for up to 9 switches in a stack. All models offer modular QoS, stateful failover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, enhanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure is used by software and services that must run in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a two-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement protects your information technology investment and allows you to update your network with minimal downtime or IT team re-education.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for simple, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that need world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, providing a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching throughput and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches typically cost more to manage and maintain than current models, deliver lower performance and fewer features, and for many cases can subject businesses to compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to manage and repair these older switches and can also help you to design and carry out non-disruptive migrations to current models within the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power with auto switch-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size companies. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of switches are compact, stackable devices featuring eight Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained locations such as on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current models offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink connections, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management costs with single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects against address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of vital technology such a IP telephony, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart services such as quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the ease of conventional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series offers a robust array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements aimed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR increase system 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 Professional ServicesFor midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business needs by providing configuration versatility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and management-free set up of intelligent system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise-level features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to nine individual switches into one functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching device that is managed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new devices or delete old switches with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and information security assessment and verification.

Progent has broad expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your security posture.

In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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