Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers performance and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, video, and 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 online and onsite support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business requirements, configure pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance plan, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new computing trends whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent demand for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and power consumption. But this also means that comparatively limited resources must accommodate substantial amounts of traffic. The BYOD revolution has created a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. All of these trends are relatively recent, and put together they cause a critical demand for a new generation of switches that feature significantly higher capacity, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of campus environments where office employees must be accommodated by providing unvarying performance, secure client access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that per system, a comprehensive suite of technologies such as EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with current requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and separate and control processes 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-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact appliances have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco 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 converge wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 switches in a stack. All models offer modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and sophisticated QoS features for a better user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking performance as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients on each stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single resource pool is used by software and services that must run in complete isolation from one another. EVN simplifies the task of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class availability.

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your IT investment and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal downtime or IT team re-education.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise core environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and work with a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU form factor, holds 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor 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 can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches often are more expensive to operate and support than current models, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and for some situations may subject businesses to regulatory and liability risks. Progent can assist you to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with up to 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, expandability, and features small companies require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices like wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of backup power with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid protection against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches HelpCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer basic small-group networking for small to midsize businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level devices with 8 Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained office spaces like 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 businesses and branch offices. Current versions have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense because of single-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards against address interception and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of key applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent services including quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing with the ease of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust array of features that permit network expandability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant links to efficiently use the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Important technologies including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR improve network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches SupportFor midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates deployment of converged applications and accommodates changing business needs by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and management-free set up of smart network services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized systems.

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

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing dependable performance. StackWise unites as many as nine separate switches into a single logical device, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new devices or remove existing members without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis, network architecture design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and information security testing and verification.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also offer familiarity with key technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum support for your security posture.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, design, and manage a migration to Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For more information concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco networking products, choose a subject:

In order to ask Progent about technical assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.

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