Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist your organization to design an efficient network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance plan, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you get the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new networking trends whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent need for massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and power consumption. But this also means that relatively limited network resources must accommodate substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and combined they cause a critical demand for a new generation of switches that feature much higher throughput, intelligence, availability and ease of management than previous platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high throughput, strict access control, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per switch and twice that per switching system, a comprehensive collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for HD video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can handle current requirements, scale to accommodate future capacity demands, guard vital data, and separate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX 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, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless design for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by offering switching performance as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring full wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one device managed by one operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a stack. All versions offer modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and advanced QoS features for an improved wireless user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that must run in complete privacy from one another. EVN speeds up the process of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new features including VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple 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 possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include FNF technology for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been steadily enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your technology investment and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT team re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition specific user groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone environments that need maximum availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to operate and support than contemporary switches, deliver lower performance and functionality, and for many situations can expose organizations to regulatory and liability issues. Progent are available to help you to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also assist you to design and carry out non-disruptive migrations to newer products from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to add network appliances such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches HelpCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices featuring eight Ethernet ports and a single integrated Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current versions feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational expense because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address theft and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital technology including Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide smart features such as quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch is equipped with a powerful array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup connections to efficiently use the extra capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Important protocols such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, and static routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast improves utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases deployment of converged applications and accommodates evolving business needs by offering configuration flexibility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic configuration of intelligent system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise network functions, such as advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites up to nine individual switches into a single functional device, using special stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new devices or remove existing switches with no service interruption.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also offer experience with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your security posture.

If you need the highest available density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To find out additional information concerning Progent's engineering assistance for Cisco technology, select a subject:

In order to get in touch with Progent about consulting assistance for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

© 2002- 2019 Progent Corporation. All rights reserved.

More topics of interest: