Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides performance and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security strategy, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you get the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new networking trends whose net impact is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding very little real estate and power consumption. However this also means that relatively sparse network resources must accommodate substantial amounts of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are displacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a serious need for a new generation of switches that feature significantly higher performance, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where office workers must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, strict client access management, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with capabilities that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that per switching system, an extensive collection of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build smart switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital information, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power unit that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by offering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 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 networks on a one platform powered by one operating system. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and advanced QoS capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling solutions. (To find out 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 Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E 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 operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure must be used by applications and services that must operate in total isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds additional features including VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-class high availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless users are managed in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series 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 switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available with a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or management team retraining.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% uptime through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct client groups and support the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone networks that need world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and work with a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

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

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching performance and features four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor that has 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches typically cost more to manage and support than current switches, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and for some cases can subject organizations to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to maintain and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and carry out seamless migrations to current models from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small businesses require at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it easy to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as optional redundant power with auto switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches offer basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices with eight Fast Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Available versions incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management expense because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against address theft and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Professional ServicesCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business LAN access or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key applications including IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent services including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful array of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher resilience via IP routing plus a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer load balancing on redundant links to take advantage of the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) improves utilization of network resources; and VRFLite protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches HelpFor midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases deployment of converged technologies and adapts to changing business environments by providing setup versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic configuration of smart network services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-grade features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable operation. StackWise technology unites up to nine separate switches into one logical device, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accept new switches or remove existing switches with no service interruption.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, 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 control software. Support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and network security and compliance testing and validation.

Progent has broad knowledge of open standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also have experience with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your network security posture.

In case you need ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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