Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to current models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of fairly new networking trends whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent need for massive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources have to support large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a serious demand for a new generation of switches that feature significantly more throughput, intelligence, uptime and manageability than older solutions were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering predictable high speed, strict user access control, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and control with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each switching system, a powerful collection of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video traffic control.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build smart switching services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can meet current needs, scale to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port managed switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line by delivering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable module that can combine 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. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by one OS. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, fast switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved wireless user experience and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be shared by applications and services that need to operate in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional technologies such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics encompassing wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for world-quality high availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per chassis, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients are supported in a dual-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been continually improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or management staff re-education.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point management to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to segment specific client groups and support the special security and QoS policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus core environments that require world-class uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40GE access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps capacity and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis that has 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive experience delivering remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than current products, provide less performance and functionality, and in many situations can subject organizations to compliance and even liability risks. Progent are available to assist you to support and repair these older switches and can also help you to plan and implement non-disruptive upgrades to current models within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the dependability, security, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless environment rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides solid security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of managed switches are small-footprint, stackable devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections plus one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped office spaces such as on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Available versions feature either 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 technology permits four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts administrative expense because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects against address theft and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultingCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital technology including VoIP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide intelligent services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load balancing on redundant connections to take advantage of the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor midsized businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases deployment of unified technologies and adapts to evolving business needs by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining dependable performance. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 individual switches into one logical unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a control switch, selected from one of the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new members or remove old devices without service discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and data security testing and remediation.

Progent has deep expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also have familiarity with key networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP certified information security and compliance consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your network security policies.

If you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Nexus Series switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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If you wish to contact Progent about consulting help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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