The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that meets your unique business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, provide repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you get the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively new computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling HD video applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting very high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also means that relatively limited network resources have to accommodate large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has created a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these clients run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a serious need for a new class of switches that feature much more capacity, control, availability and ease of management than older solutions were engineered to provide.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus environments where office employees must be supported with unvarying high throughput, secure client access management, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and control with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per switch and twice that per system, a powerful collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system resource usage, and advanced QoS tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can handle current requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and control processes to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These compact appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless design for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable QoS, fast failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's FNF solution and sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E 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, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be shared by applications and services that need to run in complete isolation from one another. EVN speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-class high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients are supported in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available via a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your technology expenditures and allows you to update your network with minimal downtime or management team retraining.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, centralized control to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System technology for maximum availability via multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to segment distinct user groups and support the unique security and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless access points 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 enterprise core environments that require maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network analysis, and security. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE connections.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching performance and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to operate and maintain than current products, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in many cases may expose organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent are available to assist your business to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to design and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current models from the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches Professional ServicesCisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional backup power with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides solid protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of switches are small, stackable devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped areas such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Available models feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against address theft and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital technology such a IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent services such as quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the ease of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch has a powerful array of features that permit network scalability and higher availability via IP routing plus a complete suite of STP enhancements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links, improve network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant connections to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient technologies including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; PIM increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business environments by offering setup versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free configuration of intelligent system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-level features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to 9 individual switches into one logical device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is directed by a control switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new switches or remove old devices with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and network security assessment and remediation.

Progent has broad knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also have familiarity with key technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal support for your security policies.

If you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, design, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn additional details concerning Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco networking products, pick a topic:

In order to contact Progent about technical expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.

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