The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to global 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 design an efficient network architecture that meets your unique business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline network management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you receive the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of relatively new networking patterns whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and an associated demand for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy use. However this also requires that comparatively limited resources must accommodate substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has created a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are relatively recent, and combined they cause a critical need for an advanced class of switches that feature much higher throughput, intelligence, availability and manageability than older solutions were engineered to provide.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be provided for by offering dependable high throughput, secure client access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and intelligence with capabilities that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that per switching system, a powerful collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and differentiate and control tasks to enhance network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance of up to 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 with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by one OS. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, fast switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking performance as high as 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users per switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, offering far reaching connections, advanced security, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Cisco 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 environments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure is used by software and services that need to run in complete privacy from each other. EVN speeds up the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless data traffic for world-class availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each chassis, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or IT team training.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% availability via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition distinct client groups and serve the unique security and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core networks that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network analysis, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

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

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and accepts 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 Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE ports. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience providing online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches usually cost more to operate and support than current switches, deliver lower capacity and functionality, and in some cases may expose businesses to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent are available to help you to support and troubleshoot these older switches and can also help you to plan and carry out seamless upgrades to current models within the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for companies with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small businesses require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network devices such as wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with auto switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong security against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series switches are compact, entry-level devices with eight Fast Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped locations such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts operational costs because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against address interception and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key applications including IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent features including QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing with the ease of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a robust array of features that permit network scalability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP improvements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load sharing on backup links to efficiently use the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Important routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches Consulting FirmFor midsized businesses and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of unified technologies and adapts to evolving business needs by offering setup flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-grade features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent performance. Cisco StackWise unites up to nine separate switches into a single functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accept new devices or remove old switches with no service interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and information security testing and remediation.

Progent offers broad expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer experience with important technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your security policies.

If you need ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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