Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to plan an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security plan, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you realize the most return from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively new computing patterns whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy use. However this also requires that relatively sparse network resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has caused a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that have be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for bandwidth. Businesses who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate silos of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and combined they cause a serious demand for an advanced class of switches that feature significantly more speed, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were engineered to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be supported with dependable high speed, secure client access control, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that for each system, an extensive suite of technologies such as EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize network resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet current needs, expand to accommodate expected growth, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and manage processes to optimize network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have eight to 48 GE ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by a single OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for up to 9 Catalyst switches in a stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data 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 single resource pool must be shared by applications and services that must operate in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the task of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional technologies including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 clients can be supported in a dual-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added with another module. In addition to offering non-stop performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your infrastructure investment and allows you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or IT staff re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, single-point management to put in place consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition specific user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone networks that need maximum availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of performance per slot, providing a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps throughput and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis that has 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE access ports or 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience providing remote and onsite support services for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches usually cost more to manage and maintain than current products, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and for many situations can expose businesses to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to manage and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can in addition help you to plan and execute non-disruptive upgrades to newer products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, protection, expandability, and features small companies require at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it easy to add network appliances such as wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power with auto switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform provides strong security against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of managed switches are small-footprint, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped locations such as on or under a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational costs with single-switch setup. IPv6 FHS technology guards networks against IPv6 address theft and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business network connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can activate comprehensive intelligent services such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch has a powerful array of features that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup links to efficiently use the additional capacity associated with a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of unified applications and accommodates evolving business environments by offering configuration flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free configuration of intelligent network functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that meet the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise-class functions, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable performance. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 individual switches into one functional device, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is directed 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 deployed stack can accommodate new devices or delete old devices with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and IT security and compliance testing and verification.

Progent offers deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's network experts also have familiarity with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum enforcement to your network security posture.

If you require ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and carry out a migration to Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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