The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core areas of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent computing patterns whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of data:

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

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power use. But this also requires that comparatively limited resources have to support large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these clients run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied silos of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a critical demand for a new generation of switches that offer much more throughput, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be supported with predictable high throughput, strict client access management, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and control with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps per switch and double that for each system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time needs, scale to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive information, and separate and control processes to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free 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.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by a single OS. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for as many as nine switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's FNF solution and advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user experience and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting 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 Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connections, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the economy, protection, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure is used by software and services that must run in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new features including VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to enable wired plus wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-class high availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include FNF technology for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual improvement preserves your infrastructure investment and allows you to update your network backbone with little downtime or management team training.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point control to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus backbone networks that require world-class uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience providing remote and onsite support services for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches often are more expensive to manage and support than contemporary switches, provide lower capacity and functionality, and for many situations may subject businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent are available to assist your business to support and repair these older Cisco products and can also help you to plan and execute seamless upgrades to current models within the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical cost. PoE support makes it easy to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with auto fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid protection against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet connections and a single integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained office spaces like on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branches. Current versions incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational costs because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology protects networks against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise network connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE options for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key technology such a Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent features such as quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a full suite of STP enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load sharing on backup connections to take advantage of the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant design.

Efficient technologies including OPSF, EIGRP, BGP, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultingFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of converged applications and accommodates evolving business needs by offering setup flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of high-end features, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable performance. StackWise technology unites up to 9 separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is directed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete old devices without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and data security assessment and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of crucial networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For more details concerning Progent's consulting expertise for Cisco technology, select a topic:

To ask Progent about professional expertise for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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