Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and control at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist you to design an efficient network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you get the most business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively new networking patterns whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting very high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that comparatively limited resources must support substantial amounts of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has resulted in a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate repositories of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a serious need for a new class of switches that offer significantly more throughput, control, uptime and ease of management than previous solutions were engineered to provide.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high throughput, strict user access control, tight segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for performance and control with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each switching system, a powerful collection of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system utilization, and advanced QoS tools for video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can meet real-time requirements, scale to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect sensitive data, and separate and control processes to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches have eight to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter 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 Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable QoS, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

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

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single resource pool is used by applications and services that must operate in complete privacy from one another. EVN simplifies the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 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 per chassis, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a dual-switch deployment without a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports can be added with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your infrastructure investment and enables you to update your network backbone with little business disruption or management staff re-education.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point management to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus core networks that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network analysis, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

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

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity 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 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and onsite support services for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches usually are more expensive to operate and support than current switches, deliver lower capacity and functionality, and in some situations may expose businesses to regulatory and liability issues. Progent's consultants can help you to support and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and implement seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst line or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, scalability, and features small companies require at an economical cost. PoE support makes it easy to add network devices like VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional backup power supplies with auto fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 platform provides strong protection against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are small, stackable devices with 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus one built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas such as on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current models have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational costs with one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards networks against address theft and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications such a IP telephony, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful set of features that permit network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on backup connections to take advantage of the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient routing mechanisms including OPSF, EIGRP, BGP, static routing, and PBR improve system capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite protects network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches SupportFor mid-size businesses and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of unified technologies and adapts to changing competitive needs by offering configuration versatility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of intelligent network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable operation. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 separate switches into one logical unit, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accept new devices or remove existing switches without service discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and data security and compliance testing and verification.

Progent offers broad expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also have experience with key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP certified data security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide maximum support for your network security posture.

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

To find out additional details concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco networking products, choose a topic:

In order to ask Progent about consulting help for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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