The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan an efficient network topology that meets your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, automate network management and performance tracking, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you receive the most return from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new computing patterns whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent need for massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy use. But this also requires that comparatively limited network resources have to support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate repositories of information, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a critical need for a new generation of switches that offer significantly more speed, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, strict client access management, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that for each system, an extensive suite of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced QoS tools for video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet current requirements, scale to accommodate expected capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port managed switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches include 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless operation for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by one operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for as many as 9 switches per stack. All models offer modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and prioritize wireless traffic with Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced Quality of Service features for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool is used by applications and services that must run in total isolation from each other. EVN simplifies the process of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired plus wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each chassis, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients are managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced over a decade ago and have been steadily enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your technology investment and enables you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or management staff re-education.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, single-point management to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment specific client groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone networks that need maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and onsite support services for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to operate and maintain than contemporary models, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and for many situations may subject organizations to compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help your business to manage and repair these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and carry out seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the dependability, protection, extensibility, and features small companies require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network devices like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power supplies with auto switch-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a wireless LAN network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong protection against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small-footprint, stackable switches with eight Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Current models feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management costs because of single-switch setup. IPv6 FHS capability protects against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications including VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent services including QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the ease of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a full suite of STP improvements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant links to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

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

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches Consulting FirmFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of converged applications and adapts to changing business environments by providing setup flexibility, support for unified network patterns, and management-free configuration of intelligent network functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise network functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable performance. StackWise unites as many as nine separate switches into a single logical device, using special stack-interconnect cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is directed by a control switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new devices or remove old members without operational interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and information security assessment and remediation.

Progent offers deep expertise with industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also have deep knowledge of key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your security posture.

In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To find out additional information about Progent's professional expertise for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:

To contact Progent about consulting help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

© 2002- 2017 Progent Corporation. All rights reserved.