Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help you to plan an efficient network architecture that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline network management and performance tracking, provide repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you receive the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent networking trends whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated demand for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also means that comparatively sparse resources have to support substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has created a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social media for business is replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied silos of information, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly new, and combined they create a critical need for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly more speed, control, uptime and manageability than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be accommodated by providing predictable performance, secure access control, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and intelligence with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and double that per system, a powerful catalog of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching services into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can handle current needs, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital information, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These compact switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by one operating system. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide modular QoS, fast failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's FNF solution and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients per stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where space for networking hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be shared by software and services that need to run in total privacy from one another. EVN speeds up the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and wireless networks, and the extension of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-class high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available with another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include FNF technology for application visibility, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement protects your infrastructure investment and allows you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or management staff re-education.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, centralized management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10GE ports, and 44 40GE ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular 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 five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE 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 expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and support than current products, deliver lower performance and fewer features, and for some situations can subject businesses to regulatory and liability risks. Progent are available to assist your business to support and repair these older switches and can in addition help you to plan and execute seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a wireless LAN environment rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches HelpCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 Series switches are compact, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on or under a user'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 branch offices. Current models incorporate either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational costs because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against IPv6 address theft and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches SupportCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or local-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital technology such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent features such as QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup links to take advantage of the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.

Important protocols including Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, BGP, and static routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of converged technologies and adapts to evolving competitive environments by providing configuration versatility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and management-free configuration of intelligent system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-grade features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise unites up to nine separate switches into one logical device, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new members or remove existing switches without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and data security testing and validation.

Progent has broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer deep knowledge of important technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your security policies.

In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For additional details concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco products, choose a topic:

In order to get in touch with Progent about consulting support for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

© 2002- 2017 Progent Corporation. All rights reserved.