Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to design a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security plan, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you realize the most return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a confluence of relatively new computing patterns whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy use. But this also requires that relatively limited resources must support large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a serious demand for a new class of switches that feature much more performance, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than previous platforms were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing predictable performance, secure user access control, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the demand for performance and control with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and twice that for each system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies including EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to build smart switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can handle current needs, expand to support future capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and control processes to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port managed switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These compact switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless design for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform managed by a single OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink connections, and capacity for up to nine switches per FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, stateful switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution along with advanced QoS features for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients on each stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connections, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure is shared by software and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds additional technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled per switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a two-switch installation without a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, 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 core switches that incorporate the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and enables you to upgrade your network with little downtime or IT team re-education.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point management to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition specific client groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports as many as 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise backbone networks that need world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms intended 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 medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40GE connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad experience delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than current models, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and in many situations may expose businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent are available to help you to manage and repair these older switches and can also help you to design and carry out non-disruptive migrations to newer products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical cost. PoE support makes it easy to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps businesses to set up a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of switches are small, stackable devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained office spaces 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. Current versions have 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces administrative expense because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital technology including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent features such as quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a powerful set of features that permit network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant connections to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Important routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, static routing, and PBR increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite secures data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies deployment of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business needs by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and management-free configuration of intelligent network services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume Gigabit environments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-grade functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. StackWise technology combines up to nine individual switches into one functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and software. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accept new members or delete old switches without service discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and IT security assessment and validation.

Progent has broad expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's network experts also offer familiarity with important networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP certified data security consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your security posture.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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