Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to design a cost-effective network architecture that meets your unique business needs, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security and compliance plan, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you get the most return from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new networking trends whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling rich media applications
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring very little real estate and power consumption. However this also requires that relatively limited network resources must accommodate large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate silos of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they create a critical need for an advanced class of switches that offer much higher speed, control, uptime and manageability than older platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of campus environments where office employees must be supported with predictable performance, strict client access control, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that per switching system, a powerful suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to accommodate future growth, protect sensitive data, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.

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

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. These compact switches have eight to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by delivering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by a single OS. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for up to 9 Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models offer modular QoS, stateful failover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering far reaching connectivity, advanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where space for networking equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the efficient utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to run in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the process of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-VRF and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to enable wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available via a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your information technology investment and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT staff re-education.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, centralized control to put in place consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition distinct client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus backbone environments that need maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just 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 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each 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 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of performance per slot, with a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and has four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive experience delivering remote and on-premises support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches usually cost more to operate and support than contemporary switches, deliver less performance and fewer features, and for many cases can expose organizations to regulatory and liability risks. Progent are available to assist your business to maintain and repair these older switches and can in addition assist you to plan and implement seamless upgrades to newer products from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and features small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to add network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power with automatic switch-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid security against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software features for simple mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of managed switches are compact, entry-level devices with 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped office spaces like on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branches. Current versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplinks, and provide switching capacity 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 as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces operational expense with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards networks against address interception and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or branch-office environments, offering both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital technology including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide intelligent features including QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a powerful array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a full complement of STP enhancements aimed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on backup links to take advantage of the extra capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Important protocols such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches Consulting FirmFor midsized organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business environments by offering configuration flexibility, support for unified network patterns, and automatic configuration of smart system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-level functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent operation. Cisco StackWise combines as many as 9 individual switches into a single logical device, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and software. Any of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete old members with no service interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and information security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer deep knowledge of key networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's ISSAP certified information security consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your network security policies.

In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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