Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that meets your unique business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, automate network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, fast switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new computing trends whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated requirement for massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding minimal data center space and power use. But this also requires that relatively limited network resources have to support large volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep increase in the number of mobile users that have be handled by business networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for data. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine vast and varied silos of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they create a serious demand for a new generation of switches that feature much higher throughput, control, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing unvarying high throughput, strict client access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and control with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that for each switching system, a powerful suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, VSS 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 (QoS) capabilities for video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to build smart switching and routing features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with current needs, expand to support future capacity demands, guard vital information, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These compact appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port 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 switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by one OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for up to nine switches per stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's FNF solution and sophisticated Quality of Service features for a better user environment and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series 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 environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a common infrastructure must be used by software and services that must run in complete privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on a single platform based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled per chassis, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a two-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available via another module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement preserves your IT expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal service interruption or IT staff retraining.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized administration to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition specific user groups and support the special security and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core environments that require maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of performance per slot, with a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE connections or 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering online and on-premises support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to operate and support than contemporary switches, provide lower performance and functionality, and in some situations can subject businesses to compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot these older switches and can in addition help you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to current models within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to install network devices like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional backup power with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a local wireless environment quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size companies. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series managed switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current models incorporate either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to act as a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense with single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects networks against address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or satellite-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of vital applications such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful set of features that permit network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 load balancing on backup links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important technologies including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of unified technologies and adapts to evolving competitive environments by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of intelligent system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise network functions, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent performance. StackWise technology combines as many as nine separate switches into a single functional unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is directed by a control switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new members or delete old members with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security testing and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network consultants also have familiarity with key technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your network security posture.

In case you require ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, plan, and manage a migration to Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn more information about Progent's professional support for Cisco technology, select a topic:

If you wish to ask Progent about engineering assistance for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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