Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your specific business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you get the maximum business value from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent computing patterns whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated requirement for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting very high hardware utilization and requiring very little data center space and power consumption. However this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and varied repositories of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively recent, and combined they cause a critical need for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly more performance, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with predictable high throughput, secure client access control, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps per chassis and double that per switching system, a powerful suite of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful failover with instant backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, scale to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates 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 delivering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for up to 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's FNF solution along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, enhanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure is shared by software and services that must run in total isolation from one another. EVN speeds up the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless traffic for enterprise-class high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a two-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available with 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 activating all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include FNF technology for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and have been steadily improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your technology investment and enables you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or management team retraining.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized control to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment specific client groups and support the special security and QoS policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core environments that need world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and work with a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic monitoring, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE connections, and 44 40GE ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps capacity and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and on-premises support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches often are more expensive to operate and support than contemporary switches, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and for some cases can subject organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent can help you to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and carry out non-disruptive migrations to newer products within the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, security, scalability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network devices like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of backup power with auto switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 line of managed switches are small, stackable devices with eight Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available models offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts management expense with one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards networks against address theft and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise network access or branch-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and PoE options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide smart services such as quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load balancing on backup links to efficiently use the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases utilization of network resources; and VRFLite protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of converged technologies and accommodates changing business environments by offering configuration flexibility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-grade functions, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent operation. Cisco StackWise combines up to nine separate switches into a single logical device, using special stack-interface cables and software. Each of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accept new switches or remove old switches without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, 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 available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and network security assessment and remediation.

Progent has broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's network consultants also have experience with crucial networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's ISSAP certified network security consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your security posture.

In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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