The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent networking patterns whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent reliance on massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy use. But this also means that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate large amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has resulted in a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine vast and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and combined they cause a serious need for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly higher capacity, control, availability and manageability than older platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with dependable high speed, strict client access management, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that for each system, a powerful catalog of technologies including EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, AVC to optimize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can handle current needs, expand to support future growth, protect vital data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact switches have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a one device managed by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and capacity for up to 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer modular QoS, stateful switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and advanced Quality of Service features for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, advanced security, and an identical wired/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 space for networking hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be used by software and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. EVN streamlines the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional features such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired plus wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients are supported in a dual-switch deployment without a standalone wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your infrastructure investment and permits you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or IT team retraining.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, centralized control to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone environments that require maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic analysis, and security. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, holds 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE connections, and 44 40GE ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE access ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience providing online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to manage and maintain than current switches, deliver lower capacity and functionality, and for many cases can subject organizations to compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist your business to support and repair these older switches and can also help you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network devices like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports as well as optional backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform offers strong security against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 Series switches are compact, stackable switches featuring eight Ethernet connections and one built-in Fast or Gigabit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped locations 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 branch offices. Available models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink connections, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to act like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management expense because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against address theft and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business network access or satellite-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of vital applications including IP telephony, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart services including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a robust array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on redundant connections to efficiently use the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important routing mechanisms such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, and static routing increase system capacity; PIM helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of converged applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by providing setup versatility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic configuration of intelligent network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-class features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable performance. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into a single logical device, using special stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accept new devices or remove existing switches without service interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery preparedness, and data security assessment and remediation.

Progent offers deep expertise with industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network consultants also have experience with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your security policies.

If you require ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and manage a migration to Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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