Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers performance and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to current versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you receive the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively recent networking trends whose net impact is a virtual tsunami of data traffic:

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

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has created a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer much more performance, intelligence, uptime and manageability than previous solutions were built to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of campus environments where office workers must be provided for by offering consistent performance, secure user access management, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and control with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that per switching system, an extensive collection of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can handle real-time requirements, expand to accommodate expected growth, protect vital information, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile 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 the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by one operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and support for as many as nine switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, fast switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and advanced QoS capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users per stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced security, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the economy, protection, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be shared by software and services that must run in total privacy from each other. EVN streamlines the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional features such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a multi-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available via another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports 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 improvement protects your information technology expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with little service interruption or IT staff training.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for simple, centralized administration to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and support the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core environments that need maximum availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE access ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive experience delivering online and on-premises support expertise for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches often cost more to operate and support than contemporary models, provide less performance and functionality, and for some situations can expose businesses to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to support and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also help you to plan and carry out non-disruptive migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small businesses need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network appliances like VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of redundant power with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, stackable switches with eight Ethernet ports and a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped locations such as on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to perform like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces operational expense because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards against address interception and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key applications including IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart services such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing plus a full suite of STP improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Layer 2 load balancing on redundant links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing improve system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series eases deployment of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business needs by providing configuration flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic set up of smart network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader set of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable performance. StackWise combines up to 9 individual switches into one logical unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the member switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new members or remove existing devices with no service discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and information security testing and verification.

Progent has deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network experts also offer deep knowledge of crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your network security policies.

In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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