The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core areas 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 consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan an efficient network architecture that meets your specific business needs, configure pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you get the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of fairly new networking patterns whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated requirement for massive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy use. But this also means that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of data. The BYOD paradigm has resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a serious need for an advanced class of switches that feature significantly more throughput, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than previous solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of campus deployments where office workers must be supported with dependable high speed, secure access control, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and control with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per switch and twice that per system, a powerful collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to optimize network utilization, and advanced QoS tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to build intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can deal with current requirements, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by one operating system. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and support for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer modular QoS, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and prioritize wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and advanced QoS capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes additional technologies such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, consistent QoS for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement protects your information technology investment and allows you to upgrade your network with minimal business disruption or IT staff retraining.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point administration to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition specific client groups and support the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core networks that need world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network analysis, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, holds 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and features four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for early-generation Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches often are more expensive to manage and support than current switches, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and for some cases can expose organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent can help your business to manage and repair these older switches and can also help you to design and implement non-disruptive migrations to newer products from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of backup power with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable switches with 8 Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas like on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Available models offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to act as a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational expense with single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key applications such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive intelligent features such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch is equipped with a robust array of features that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant connections to take advantage of the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches SupportFor midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series eases deployment of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business environments by providing configuration versatility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-class functions, such as advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise unites as many as nine separate switches into a single functional device, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is directed by a control switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or remove existing devices with no operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and IT security and compliance testing and validation.

Progent offers broad expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with important networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your network security policies.

In case you require the highest available density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, plan, and implement a migration to Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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