Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to design an efficient network topology that meets your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you receive the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, fast switching is driven by a combination of fairly recent computing trends whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent need for massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively limited resources must accommodate large volumes of data. The BYOD revolution has created a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they create a serious need for a new class of switches that feature significantly more throughput, control, availability and manageability than previous solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, secure access management, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for performance and control with capabilities such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps for each chassis and double that per switching system, a powerful collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize network utilization, and advanced QoS tools for video traffic prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build intelligent switching services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet current needs, scale to support expected capacity demands, guard vital data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power unit that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile appliances have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
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 controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by one operating system. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for up to 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for high uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and advanced QoS features for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where physical space for networking hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common resource pool is used by software and services that need to run in complete isolation from each other. EVN simplifies the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-VRF and includes additional features such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a two-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms that incorporate the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement protects your IT expenditures and permits you to update your network with little downtime or management team training.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition specific client groups and serve the special security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core networks that need maximum availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE connections, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core switches designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and onsite support services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to manage and support than contemporary products, provide less capacity and functionality, and for many cases can subject organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to support and troubleshoot these older switches and can in addition assist you to plan and execute non-disruptive migrations to current products within the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it simple to install network devices like VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong security against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 line of switches are compact, stackable switches with 8 Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Available models feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and deliver throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs with one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against address interception and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or branch-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications such a VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive smart features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load balancing on backup links to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR improve network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves resource utilization; and VRFLite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of converged applications and adapts to changing business environments by providing setup versatility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-level features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology unites as many as nine separate switches into a single functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new devices or remove old members with no operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and IT security and compliance testing and remediation.

Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer experience with key networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your security policies.

In case you require ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and implement a transition to Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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