The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to design an efficient network topology that addresses your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security and compliance plan, streamline network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you get the most business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of relatively new networking patterns whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of data:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent requirement for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by permitting very high hardware utilization and requiring very little data center space and energy consumption. But this also means that relatively limited network resources must support large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for data. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively recent, and combined they cause a serious need for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly higher throughput, intelligence, availability and manageability than older platforms were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be supported with predictable high throughput, secure client access management, careful segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for performance and control with capabilities that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps per switch and twice that for each system, an extensive suite of technologies such as EVN to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect sensitive data, and differentiate and control processes to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless design for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and support for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, stateful failover for high uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced QoS features for an improved user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking performance of up to 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connectivity, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure must be shared by software and services that must run in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-VRF and includes new features such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy manageability, 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 available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been continually improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your information technology expenditures and enables you to update your network with minimal service interruption or IT team re-education.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point administration to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS technology for maximum availability through multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment specific user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise core networks that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40GE ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and support as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 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 bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and onsite support expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches often are more expensive to operate and maintain than current products, deliver lower performance and functionality, and for many cases can subject organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent can assist your business to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to design and execute seamless migrations to newer products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional backup power with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a local wireless environment rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides strong security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 family of switches are small-footprint, entry-level switches with eight Ethernet ports plus a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces administrative expense because of single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches ConsultingCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of key technology including VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide intelligent features such as QoS, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch has a powerful array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a full suite of STP enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Layer 2 load sharing on backup connections to exploit the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient protocols including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR improve network capacity; PIM increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates integration of converged applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by offering configuration flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free configuration of smart system services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized networks.

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

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable performance. Cisco StackWise combines up to 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 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new devices or delete old switches with no operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and data security and compliance testing and remediation.

Progent has deep expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer familiarity with crucial technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and implement Catalyst switches so they offer maximum enforcement to your network security policies.

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

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In order to get in touch with Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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