Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, 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 CCIE consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to design a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance plan, automate network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent networking patterns whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent need for massive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and power consumption. But this also requires that comparatively limited resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and varied silos of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively recent, and put together they cause a serious demand for an advanced class of switches that feature significantly higher throughput, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older solutions were built to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where office employees must be supported with predictable performance, secure client access control, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that per system, a powerful collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can deal with real-time needs, expand to accommodate future growth, guard vital information, and differentiate and manage processes to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching throughput of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by one OS. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable QoS, stateful switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated QoS features for an improved user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, protection, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete isolation from each other. EVN speeds up the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new features including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless data traffic for world-quality availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a two-switch installation without a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analysis, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your IT expenditures and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or IT team training.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition specific client groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus core environments that need world-class uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps bandwidth and includes four slots for plug-in 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. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience providing online and onsite support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated switches typically are more expensive to manage and support than current products, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in many situations may expose organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent are available to help you to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to plan and implement seamless upgrades to current models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches SupportCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to add network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as optional backup power with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family offers strong protection against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small, entry-level switches with 8 Fast Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branches. Current versions feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to act like a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts management costs because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address theft and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultingCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key technology including IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch has a powerful array of features that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a complete complement of STP enhancements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant connections to take advantage of the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient routing protocols such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches Consulting FirmFor mid-size businesses and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of unified applications and accommodates changing business environments by offering configuration flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic set up of intelligent system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit environments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-level functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into one logical device, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the member switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new switches or remove existing members with no operational interruption.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and information security and compliance testing and remediation.

Progent has deep knowledge of open standards and with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also offer deep knowledge of key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal support for your security policies.

If you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and carry out a transition to Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To see more details about Progent's engineering help for Cisco technology, select a topic:

To contact Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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