Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged IP voice, 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 offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to design an efficient network architecture that addresses your specific business needs, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security plan, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to current models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent computing trends whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of data:

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

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting very high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power use. However this also means that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has created a steep rise in the number of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for data. Businesses who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively recent, and combined they cause a critical need for an advanced generation of switches that feature much higher capacity, control, uptime and ease of management than previous platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high throughput, secure user access control, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for performance and control with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps for each chassis and double that for each system, a powerful suite of tools such as EVN to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can handle current requirements, scale to accommodate future growth, guard vital data, and differentiate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. 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, offering the convenience of using one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco 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 operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a one platform managed by one operating system. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for up to 9 Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable QoS, fast switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connections, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and simplified management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be used by applications and services that need to operate in complete isolation from each other. EVN simplifies the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional technologies such as VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to enable wired as well as wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, 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 connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients are supported in a multi-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual enhancement preserves your technology expenditures and allows you to update your network backbone with little downtime or management team retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point administration to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to partition distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core environments that require maximum availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, providing a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor that has 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches often cost more to manage and maintain than current models, deliver less capacity and functionality, and in many cases can expose businesses to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help you to manage and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also help you to plan and implement non-disruptive migrations to newer models within the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, extensibility, and features small businesses need at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network devices like wireless access points and IP cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional redundant power supplies with automatic switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic control 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 or Gigabit uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branches. Current models have either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and provide throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts administrative costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against address interception and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide smart services including QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch has a powerful set of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer load sharing on backup connections to take advantage of the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.

Important technologies such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor mid-size organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of converged applications and accommodates evolving competitive environments by providing configuration versatility, support for unified network patterns, and automatic set up of smart network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-grade features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise technology unites as many as 9 separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and software. Each of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new members or delete existing devices with no operational discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery preparedness, and data security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your security policies.

In case you require the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and manage a transition to Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn more details about Progent's consulting assistance for Cisco solutions, select a subject:

In order to contact Progent about technical support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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