Cisco's Catalyst family 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 businesses that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that meets your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new computing patterns whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent need for massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and power use. However this also requires that comparatively limited resources have to accommodate large volumes of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is replacing email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine vast and disparate silos of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. All of these trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that feature significantly higher throughput, control, uptime and manageability than older solutions were built to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, secure user access management, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for performance and control with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps per chassis and twice that for each system, a powerful suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated QoS tools for HD video data control.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can handle real-time needs, scale to accommodate future capacity demands, protect vital information, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of 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. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-port switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. These compact switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free design for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Since wireless 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 Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering far reaching connections, advanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the economy, protection, recoverability, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common infrastructure is shared by applications and services that must run in complete isolation from one another. EVN simplifies the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new features including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and wireless clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for world-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a multi-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available with another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been continually improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your infrastructure expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network with minimal service interruption or management staff re-education.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized control to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS capability for 99.999% uptime via multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment distinct client groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers as much as 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40GE ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience delivering remote and on-premises support services for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current products, deliver less performance and functionality, and for some cases can subject organizations to regulatory and liability risks. Progent are available to assist you to support and repair these older Cisco products and can also help you to design and carry out seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are intended for companies with up to 250 workers and deliver the dependability, protection, expandability, and feature set small businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices such as wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of managed switches are small, entry-level switches with 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available versions have either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to act as a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management expense because of single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology guards against address theft and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches HelpCisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of vital technology such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust array of features that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 load sharing on backup connections to efficiently use the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant design.

Important protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, BGP, static routing, and PBR improve network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches HelpFor mid-size businesses and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series eases integration of converged applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by providing setup versatility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a wide selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced QoS, rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer set of high-end functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise unites up to nine individual switches into a single logical device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as a single switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accept new devices or delete existing members with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and IT security testing and validation.

Progent offers deep knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have experience with key technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal support for your security policies.

In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, plan, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn additional details concerning Progent's consulting help for Cisco solutions, choose a topic:

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

© 2002- 2017 Progent Corporation. All rights reserved.

More topics of interest: