The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help you to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you realize the most business value from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent computing patterns whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and power consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources must accommodate large volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has created a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business applications are displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and varied silos of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that offer much higher speed, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were built to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing unvarying high throughput, strict client access management, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching throughput as high as 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and twice that per system, an extensive suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service tools for video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with current needs, expand to support future capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and separate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These compact appliances have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series 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 access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for as many as nine switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced QoS features for a better user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where physical space for networking equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool is used by software and services that must run in total privacy from one another. EVN streamlines the task of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor to enable wired as well as wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, 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, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 clients are supported in a dual-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your information technology investment and enables you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or management staff training.

Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point management to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% uptime through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition specific user groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified 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 clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core environments that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic monitoring, and security. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, providing a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps switching performance and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis that has 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises support services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches usually are more expensive to manage and support than current switches, deliver lower capacity and functionality, and for many cases can expose businesses to compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist you to manage and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can also assist you to design and execute non-disruptive upgrades to current products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches HelpCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for businesses with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides strong protection against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to midsize businesses. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small, entry-level devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections plus a single integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces like on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current versions feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink ports, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management costs because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against IPv6 address theft and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN access or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key technology including Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port 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 balancing on backup connections to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultingFor midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases deployment of converged applications and adapts to evolving business environments by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of intelligent system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit environments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader set of enterprise network features, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise combines up to nine separate switches into a single functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and stacking 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 behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new devices or delete existing devices without service discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branches, enterprises, 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's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and IT security assessment and verification.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also offer deep knowledge of important technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

In case you require ultra high density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and carry out a migration to Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To ask Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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