The Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth 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 can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to design an efficient network topology that addresses your unique business needs, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you get the highest return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent computing patterns whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated need for massive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and power use. But this also means that comparatively limited resources must accommodate substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are displacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and varied repositories of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer significantly more speed, intelligence, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were engineered to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be provided for by offering consistent performance, strict access control, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that per system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build intelligent switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can meet current needs, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, guard vital data, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free design for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

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

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 switches in a stack. All models offer modular QoS, fast switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

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

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, protection, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to run in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new features such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled per chassis, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a dual-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available with another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that incorporate the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your IT expenditures and enables you to update your network with minimal business disruption or IT team retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to segment specific client groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise core networks that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, providing a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

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

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and on-premises support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches typically are more expensive to operate and maintain than contemporary products, provide lower capacity and functionality, and for some cases can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent can assist your business to support and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can in addition help you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to current models within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it easy to add network devices such as wireless access points and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup networking for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 line of switches are small, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped office spaces like on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branches. Current models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects networks against IPv6 address theft and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches SupportThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN access or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit and PoE configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of key technology such a Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide smart services including quality of service (QoS), rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a robust set of features that permit network scalability and enhanced availability through IP routing plus a full suite of STP improvements aimed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Important routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and static routing improve system capacity; PIM improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of converged technologies and adapts to changing business environments by offering configuration versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise network functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable performance. StackWise unites up to 9 individual switches into a single logical unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and software. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new devices or remove existing members without service interruption.

How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and network security and compliance testing and verification.

Progent has deep knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of important technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your security policies.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To ask Progent about consulting support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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