The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan an efficient network topology that meets your specific business needs, configure pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent networking patterns whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy use. However this also requires that comparatively limited resources must accommodate substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has resulted in a steep rise in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they create a critical demand for a new generation of switches that offer significantly higher capacity, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were built to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing consistent performance, strict client access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with capabilities such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per switch and double that for each switching system, a comprehensive catalog of tools including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video traffic control.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching and routing services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can meet real-time requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and separate and manage processes to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by a single operating system. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10GE uplinks, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, fast failover for high uptime, software support 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 prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and advanced Quality of Service features for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking performance of up to 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, enhanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless user 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 and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the efficient utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that must operate in total isolation from one another. EVN speeds up the process of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-VRF and adds new features such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create non-stop VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-class high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet 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 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a dual-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available via another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your infrastructure investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or management staff retraining.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized administration to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment distinct user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service 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 virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that need maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and work with a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching throughput and includes four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps throughput and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has 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 five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current products, deliver less performance and functionality, and in many cases may subject businesses to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to manage and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can also help you to design and implement seamless migrations to current products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small companies require at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it easy to add network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as the option of backup power with auto switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 line of switches are small, stackable switches with 8 Ethernet connections and a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Available models incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to perform as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces operational costs with single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against address theft and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key applications including IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust array of features that permit network expandability and higher availability through IP routing plus a full suite of STP enhancements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates integration of unified technologies and adapts to changing competitive needs by providing setup flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free configuration of smart network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-class features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing dependable performance. Cisco StackWise unites as many as 9 separate switches into one logical unit, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the member switches. The control switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new members or remove old members without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and IT security assessment and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also offer deep knowledge of key technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP certified information security consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your network security policies.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, plan, and manage a transition to Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For additional information about Progent's engineering help for Cisco networking products, select a subject:

In order to ask Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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