Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist you to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your unique business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security strategy, automate system management and monitoring, provide repair and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of fairly recent networking trends whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent need for massive network 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 made practical by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting very high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. But this also requires that relatively limited network resources must accommodate large volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that must be handled by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate silos of information, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they create a serious need for a new class of switches that offer much higher capacity, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where office employees must be provided for by offering predictable high throughput, strict user access management, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for performance and control with capabilities such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and twice that per switching system, a powerful collection of tools including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video traffic prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching and routing services into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can handle real-time needs, scale to support expected capacity demands, guard vital information, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless operation for the 8- versions does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by one operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for up to 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions offer modular Quality of Service, fast failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced Quality of Service capabilities for a better user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking performance of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connections, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution environments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be used by software and services that must operate in total isolation from each other. EVN simplifies the process of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies such as VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired plus wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless users can be managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available with a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your IT investment and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal downtime or IT staff re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition distinct user groups and support the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone environments that need world-class uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, providing a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40GE connections.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 switches are campus core switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching throughput and includes four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis that has 7 expansion slots and accepts existing 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 offers up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE access ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience delivering remote and onsite support services for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to operate and support than current products, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and in some cases can expose businesses to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist your business to support and troubleshoot these older switches and can also assist you to plan and carry out non-disruptive migrations to current products from the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for businesses with up to 250 employees and deliver the dependability, security, scalability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to add network appliances such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of backup power supplies with auto switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, entry-level switches with eight Fast Ethernet connections and a single integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped areas such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed 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 uplink ports, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to act like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management expense with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards networks against address interception and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN access or branch-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital technology such a Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide smart services including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch has a powerful array of features that permit network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a complete complement of STP enhancements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, and Uplink Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing protocols such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of converged technologies and accommodates changing competitive environments by offering configuration versatility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and management-free set up of smart network services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-grade features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent performance. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new members or delete old switches with no service discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, network architecture design, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and IT security and compliance assessment and validation.

Progent has broad knowledge of open standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network specialists also offer familiarity with important technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your security posture.

In case you require ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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