The Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, video, and 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 consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security plan, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you get the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent computing trends whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding very little data center space and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Businesses who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and combined they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly more performance, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than previous solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high throughput, strict access management, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that for each switching system, a powerful collection of tools including EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can handle current requirements, expand to accommodate expected growth, protect sensitive data, and separate and control processes to enhance network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-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 is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by one OS. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and capacity for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced QoS features for a better user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, advanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be shared by software and services that need to operate in complete isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional features including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core platforms that incorporate the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and have been continually improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your information technology investment and enables you to upgrade your network backbone with little business disruption or management team re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, centralized administration to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment specific user groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise core networks that require maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated switches typically are more expensive to manage and maintain than current products, provide lower capacity and functionality, and for some situations can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can help you to manage and repair these older switches and can in addition help you to design and execute non-disruptive migrations to current models from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the dependability, security, extensibility, and features small companies require at an economical price. PoE capability makes it simple to add network devices like wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN environment quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform offers strong security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small, entry-level switches with 8 Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Available versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to act like a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability protects against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches SupportCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of vital applications including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive smart features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on redundant links to take advantage of the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.

Efficient routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing improve system capacity; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches HelpFor midsized organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business environments by offering configuration versatility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic set up of smart network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise network features, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable operation. Cisco StackWise unites as many as 9 individual switches into a single functional unit, utilizing special stack-interface cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is managed by a control switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new members or remove old members with no operational interruption.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and data security and compliance assessment and verification.

Progent has deep expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer familiarity with crucial networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your network security posture.

If you require ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and implement a migration to Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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