Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to plan an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security plan, automate system management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new networking patterns whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and energy use. But this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of data. The BYOD paradigm has caused a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile users that must be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of information, which as a result produces Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly new, and put together they create a critical need for a new class of switches that offer much higher speed, control, availability and manageability than previous platforms were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing dependable high throughput, strict access management, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per switch and double that for each switching system, an extensive collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with current requirements, scale to support expected growth, guard vital data, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight 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.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 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 line of switches by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform managed by one operating system. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's FNF technology and sophisticated QoS features for a better user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out 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 Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless users per stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be shared by software and services that need to operate in complete isolation from each other. EVN speeds up the task of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to enable wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-class availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users are supported in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your technology expenditures and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or IT team retraining.

Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, centralized management to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that require world-class availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and work with a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience delivering online and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than contemporary products, provide less capacity and functionality, and for some cases may expose businesses to compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to support and repair these older switches and can also assist you to plan and execute non-disruptive upgrades to current products from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches SupportCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network devices like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power supplies with auto fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform provides solid security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 line of switches are compact, entry-level switches featuring 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current models feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative costs because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects against address interception and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Professional ServicesCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit implementations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business LAN access or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of key applications including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart services including QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a powerful array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup links to take advantage of the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing mechanisms such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases utilization of network resources; and VRFLite protects network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches SupportFor midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of converged technologies and adapts to evolving competitive environments by providing setup flexibility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-class features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing dependable performance. StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into a single logical device, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new devices or delete existing switches with no operational interruption.

How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and information security and compliance assessment and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's network consultants also offer experience with key technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum enforcement to your security policies.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Nexus switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For additional details about Progent's professional support for Cisco networking products, pick a subject:

In order to contact Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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