Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network architecture that meets your specific business needs, configure pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, automate system management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, 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 upgrade with minimal disruption to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you realize the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent networking trends whose overall effect is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent requirement for intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of network virtualization. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and power use. But this also requires that comparatively sparse network resources must support substantial volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social media for business is displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are relatively new, and combined they create a serious demand for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly more capacity, control, uptime and manageability than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering dependable high throughput, secure client access control, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per chassis and double that for each switching system, an extensive collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the deployment of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant virtual switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can meet current requirements, expand 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 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device powered by one operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for up to 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All versions offer expandable QoS, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's FNF technology and advanced QoS capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users per stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering far reaching connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool is used by software and services that must run in total isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple way 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 non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to include wireless data traffic for world-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients are supported in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include FNF technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms that incorporate the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal service interruption or IT staff retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized management to put in place consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS capability for maximum uptime through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment specific user groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable core switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience providing remote and on-premises support expertise for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver lower performance and functionality, and for many cases may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to maintain and repair these older switches and can also assist you to design and implement seamless migrations to current models within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of fixed-configuration switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable cost. PoE capability makes it simple to add network devices like VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers solid security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-size companies. These wire-speed desktop switches offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of managed switches are small-footprint, stackable devices with eight Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped office spaces such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform like one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces operational costs because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against address theft and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultingCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-office environments, offering both Gigabit and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital applications including VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can activate comprehensive smart services such as QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing plus a complete suite of STP improvements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant connections to efficiently use the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, and static routing increase network scale; PIM helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches SupportFor midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases deployment of converged technologies and accommodates evolving business needs by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and automatic configuration of intelligent network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise network features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise unites up to nine individual switches into a single logical device, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new members or delete existing devices with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and IT security and compliance assessment and verification.

Progent has deep expertise with industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network specialists also have experience with key technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

In case you need the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and implement a migration to Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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