Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches provides performance and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged IP 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 consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan an efficient network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security plan, streamline network management and monitoring, provide repair and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you get the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent demand for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also requires that relatively sparse network resources must support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has resulted in a steep increase in the number of mobile users that have be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly new, and put together they create a serious need for an advanced generation of switches that offer significantly higher performance, control, availability and ease of management than older platforms were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering dependable performance, secure client access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for performance and intelligence with capabilities such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that for each switching system, a powerful suite of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for HD video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to accommodate future growth, guard vital data, and differentiate and manage processes to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink connections, and support for as many as nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and advanced Quality of Service features for a better user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless users on each stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced security, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common infrastructure is shared by applications and services that need to run in total privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-VRF and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and wireless networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-class high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each chassis, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE connections 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 ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports can be added via another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or IT team retraining.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific client groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone networks that require maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps performance and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary products, deliver lower performance and fewer features, and in many cases may subject organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to help you to support and repair these legacy switches and can also help you to design and implement non-disruptive migrations to current models within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to add network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with auto fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to set up a wireless LAN network quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides strong security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet connections and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branches. Available versions feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts management expense with one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against address interception and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise network connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital applications including Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent services such as QoS, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a robust array of features that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup links to efficiently use the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR improve system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches SupportFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of converged applications and adapts to evolving competitive needs by offering setup versatility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise network features, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites as many as nine separate switches into one logical device, using special stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch, selected from one of the member switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accept new switches or remove old members with no service interruption.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and network security testing and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies related to switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also have deep knowledge of crucial technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security plan and implement Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your network security policies.

If you require the highest available density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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