Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches offers performance and control at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help you to plan an efficient network topology that meets your unique business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security plan, streamline network management and performance tracking, provide repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you get the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively recent networking trends whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent reliance on intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and power consumption. However this also means that comparatively sparse network resources have to support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and varied silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a serious need for an advanced generation of switches that offer much higher performance, control, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, secure client access management, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and control with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each switching system, a powerful catalog of technologies including EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced QoS tools for video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to accommodate future growth, protect vital data, and separate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco'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 Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by a single OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for up to 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's FNF technology and advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E 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 infrastructure hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the economy, protection, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool is shared by software and services that need to operate in total isolation from one another. EVN streamlines the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to support wired plus wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-class high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients are supported in a two-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your information technology investment and permits you to update your network with minimal service interruption or management team retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, single-point control to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and serve the unique security and QoS policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise backbone networks that require maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions come with three to 13 slots and work with a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

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

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps performance and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE connections.

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

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches typically cost more to operate and maintain than current switches, provide less performance and fewer features, and for some cases can expose organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent are available to assist you to support and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and implement non-disruptive migrations to newer models from the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 employees and deliver the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to add network devices like VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional redundant power supplies with auto fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series switches are compact, entry-level switches with eight Ethernet ports plus a single built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces operational costs with single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key applications including Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent services such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a full complement of STP improvements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup connections to take advantage of the additional capacity associated with a redundant design.

Important routing protocols including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves resource utilization; and VRFLite secures data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business needs by offering setup versatility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free configuration of smart network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise-grade features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise technology unites as many as nine individual switches into a single logical unit, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new members or remove old switches with no operational interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security assessment and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also have familiarity with crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your security posture.

If you need ultra high density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting 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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