The Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent networking patterns whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent requirement for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting very high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and power consumption. However this also means that relatively limited network resources have to support substantial amounts of data. The BYOD revolution has caused a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business applications are replacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a serious need for an advanced class of switches that offer much more speed, control, availability and manageability than previous solutions were engineered to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high throughput, secure user access management, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for performance and intelligence with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and double that for each system, a powerful collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can handle current requirements, scale to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have eight to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by one OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine switches per stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure must be used by software and services that need to run in complete privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users are managed in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement protects your technology investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal downtime or management staff re-education.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum uptime through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to partition specific user groups and support the unique security and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that need maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE connections, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps capacity and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor with 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to manage and support than contemporary models, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in some cases may expose businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot these older switches and can also help you to plan and implement non-disruptive migrations to current products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches SupportCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, security, expandability, and features small businesses need at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it simple to install network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional backup power with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN environment rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer basic small-group networking for small to midsize businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series switches are small-footprint, entry-level switches with 8 Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces like 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 companies and branches. Current versions incorporate 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces administrative expense with one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against address interception and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key technology such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart services including QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 load sharing on redundant connections to efficiently use the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing improve network scale; PIM improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of converged technologies and accommodates changing competitive needs by providing setup versatility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of smart system functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a diverse range of switches that meet the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-management, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader set of enterprise network features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable performance. Cisco StackWise unites up to nine individual switches into one logical device, using special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new members or remove existing members with no operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and information security testing and verification.

Progent offers deep knowledge of open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network specialists also have experience with key 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 information security consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your security posture.

In case you need ultra high density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To get in touch with Progent about professional help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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