Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your specific business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security plan, automate network management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you realize the most business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new networking trends whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent demand for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal real estate and energy use. However this also means that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has caused a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and put together they create a serious need for a new class of switches that feature significantly more performance, control, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be accommodated by providing predictable high throughput, strict user access management, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that per switching system, an extensive suite of tools including EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with instant backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and separate and manage processes to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact switches have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by a single OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and support for up to 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.

Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can spot and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's FNF solution and advanced Quality of Service features for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, offering long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool is used by software and services that must operate in complete privacy from one another. EVN streamlines the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes new features such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients are managed in a multi-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available via a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analysis, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement protects your IT expenditures and permits you to update your network with minimal downtime or management team retraining.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized management to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum uptime through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition specific user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE ports, and 44 40GE connections.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to operate and support than current models, provide less capacity and fewer features, and for some situations can expose organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help you to manage and repair these older switches and can in addition help you to design and carry out non-disruptive migrations to newer products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are designed for companies with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

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

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic small-group connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable switches featuring 8 Fast Ethernet connections and one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped areas such as on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branches. Available versions have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink connections, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against address interception and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or satellite-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications including Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series offers a robust array of features that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of STP enhancements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup links to efficiently use the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of unified applications and adapts to evolving competitive environments by offering setup versatility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and management-free set up of intelligent system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced QoS, rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of high-end functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable operation. Cisco StackWise combines up to nine separate switches into one functional device, using custom stack-interface cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new devices or remove existing devices with no operational interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and network security testing and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer deep knowledge of key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP certified data security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security policies.

In case you require ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To get in touch with Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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