The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan an efficient infrastructure that meets your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you realize the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of fairly recent computing patterns whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:

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

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible because of network virtualization. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy use. However this also means that comparatively sparse resources must support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine vast and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a serious demand for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly higher speed, control, uptime and manageability than older platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of campus deployments where office employees must be supported with unvarying performance, strict access management, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for speed and intelligence with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and double that for each system, an extensive catalog of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with instant virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can handle current requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital data, and differentiate and control processes to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet 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 low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless design for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform managed by one OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for up to 9 switches per stack. All models provide expandable QoS, fast failover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, advanced protection, 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 deployments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool is shared by software and services that need to run in total isolation from each other. EVN speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds additional technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for 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. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. 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 capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a multi-switch deployment without a separate wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can provide 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are available via a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and have been continually improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your information technology investment and permits you to update your network with minimal service interruption or IT staff retraining.

Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized administration to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct client groups and support the unique security and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers as much as 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, providing a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive experience delivering online and on-premises support services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches often are more expensive to manage and support than contemporary models, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and for some cases can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants can help your business to support and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition help you to plan and execute seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network devices like VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches offer basic workgroup connectivity for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices featuring 8 Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink connections, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards networks against address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches SupportCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business network access or branch-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital applications such a Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a robust set of features that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. PVST+ supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant connections to exploit the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant design.

Efficient technologies including OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of unified technologies and adapts to evolving business needs by offering configuration versatility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of intelligent network functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise-level features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining dependable operation. StackWise unites up to 9 individual switches into a single functional device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and software. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is managed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new members or remove existing members with no service discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and network security and compliance assessment and verification.

Progent has deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also have experience with key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your network security policies.

If you need the highest available density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For additional details concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco products, choose a subject:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about engineering help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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