The Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help you to design an efficient network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to the latest models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you receive the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of relatively recent networking trends whose net impact is a virtual tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated reliance on massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The BYOD revolution has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly new, and combined they create a critical need for an advanced class of switches that offer much more throughput, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be supported with consistent high speed, secure client access control, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and control with capabilities such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per switch and double that per switching system, a comprehensive suite of technologies such as EVN to facilitate the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network utilization, and advanced QoS tools for HD video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can handle current needs, expand to support expected capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch has 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-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless design for 16- and 24-port 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 switches improve on the 2690-S line by delivering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless network controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by a single OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink ports, and support for as many as 9 switches per stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with sophisticated QoS features for an improved wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing long distance connections, advanced security, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a single resource pool must be shared by software and services that need to operate in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported per chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be managed in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include FNF technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your IT investment and allows you to update your network with minimal downtime or management team training.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, centralized control to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition specific user groups and serve the special security and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise backbone networks that require world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40GE ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps capacity and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience providing online and on-premises support services for early-generation Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy switches typically are more expensive to operate and support than contemporary products, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and for some cases can subject organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can also help you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to current models within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small businesses require at an economical price. PoE support makes it simple to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional backup power with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of switches are compact, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branches. Available models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to perform as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management costs with one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards networks against IPv6 address theft and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches SupportCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business network access or branch-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key technology including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart services including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient technologies such as OPSF, EIGRP, BGP, and Policy Based Routing improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches Consulting FirmFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of unified technologies and adapts to changing competitive environments by providing configuration versatility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit environments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. StackWise technology combines up to 9 individual switches into one functional device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new members or remove old members without operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security testing and verification.

Progent offers deep expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network consultants also offer experience with key technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your security posture.

If you require ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, plan, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn additional details about Progent's consulting help for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

In order to get in touch with Progent about technical help for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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