The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to design a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, automate system management and monitoring, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

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

  • Cloud computing and an associated requirement for massive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and energy consumption. But this also means that relatively sparse network resources must support substantial volumes of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has resulted in a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing a growing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine vast and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a critical need for an advanced class of switches that offer much more capacity, control, uptime and manageability than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be supported with unvarying high speed, secure client access control, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for performance and control with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that per system, a comprehensive catalog of tools such as EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for HD video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching services into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can handle real-time requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, guard vital data, and differentiate and manage processes to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch packaged in a compact, quiet and low-power unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by one operating system. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for up to nine switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable QoS, fast failover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's FNF technology and sophisticated Quality of Service features for a better user experience and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco 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 control software, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the efficient utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a common resource pool is used by software and services that must operate in complete isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds new features such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each chassis, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a multi-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include FNF technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and permits you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or IT team retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized administration to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment specific client groups and serve the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core environments that require maximum 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 wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

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

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and onsite support services for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current switches, deliver lower performance and functionality, and in some cases may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent can assist you to maintain and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition help you to design and carry out seamless migrations to current models within the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Series
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, expandability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional backup power with automatic switch-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers solid security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of switches are small-footprint, stackable devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring closet in cramped office spaces like on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to act like a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative costs with single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology protects networks against address theft and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key applications including IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide smart services such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of traditional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup links to exploit the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Important routing protocols such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor midsized organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series eases integration of unified applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by offering setup versatility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of smart system services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit environments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable performance. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 separate switches into one logical device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new switches or delete existing devices without service interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and data security testing and verification.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's network experts also have familiarity with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide maximum enforcement to your security posture.

In case you require the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and implement a migration to Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To get in touch with Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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