The Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to plan an efficient infrastructure that meets your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security plan, streamline network management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you realize the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively new computing patterns whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated demand for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and power use. However this also means that relatively sparse resources must accommodate substantial amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has created a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine vast and varied repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a critical need for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly more speed, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were designed to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing unvarying high speed, secure user access control, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with features that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching performance as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and double that for each switching system, an extensive catalog of tools such as EVN to facilitate the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated QoS tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet current needs, scale to support expected capacity demands, protect sensitive data, and separate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch housed in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These compact appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching performance of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a one device managed by a single OS. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and capacity for as many as nine Catalyst switches per stack. All models provide modular QoS, fast failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for a better user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that must operate in total privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the task of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features including VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by IOS XE. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per chassis, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are managed in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are available with another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to update your network with minimal downtime or IT staff retraining.

Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% availability via multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to segment specific client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise core environments that require maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of performance per slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40GE connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps switching throughput and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE ports or 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience providing remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches typically cost more to manage and support than current models, deliver lower performance and functionality, and for some cases may expose organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent are available to assist you to support and troubleshoot these older switches and can also assist you to plan and execute non-disruptive upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small companies need at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it simple to install network devices like VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 line of switches are small, stackable switches with 8 Fast Ethernet connections and one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained areas such as on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branches. Available versions offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to perform as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces operational expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 FHS capability protects networks against address interception and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches HelpCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital applications such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services such as quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a full complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant links to exploit the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, BGP, static routing, and PBR increase system scale; PIM improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor midsized businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases integration of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business environments by providing setup flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free configuration of smart system functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-level functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise combines as many as nine separate switches into a single logical unit, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new members or remove old devices without operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and IT security and compliance testing and remediation.

Progent has broad expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with crucial technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your security posture.

If you need ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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