Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and control at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to design a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your specific business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, automate system management and performance tracking, provide repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you receive the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent networking trends whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent requirement for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and power consumption. But this also means that relatively limited network resources have to support large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social media for business is displacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing a growing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and combined they cause a critical need for a new generation of switches that offer much higher capacity, intelligence, availability and manageability than older platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high speed, strict access management, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the need for performance and control with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each system, an extensive catalog of tools such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for HD video traffic control.

Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, scale to support future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and control processes to enhance network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. These compact appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching performance of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst 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. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by a single OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking performance as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering long distance connections, advanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool is used by software and services that must run in total privacy from each other. EVN speeds up the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features including VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmThe 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/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a multi-switch deployment without a standalone wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with another module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing improvement protects your technology investment and allows you to update your network backbone with little downtime or management staff training.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition specific client groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus core environments that need maximum availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, network monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of performance per slot, with a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps capacity and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive experience providing online and onsite support services for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches usually are more expensive to manage and maintain than current switches, provide less capacity and fewer features, and in many situations may subject organizations to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to maintain and troubleshoot these older switches and can also assist you to plan and carry out seamless upgrades to current models from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with up to 250 employees and deliver the dependability, protection, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports as well as optional redundant power with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to build a wireless LAN environment quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform offers solid protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small, stackable switches featuring 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained areas such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current models offer either 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 as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense with one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address interception and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultingCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or local-offices, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of key technology such a VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart features such as quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch has a robust set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on redundant connections to exploit the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, BGP, and static routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches HelpFor midsized organizations and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates integration of unified applications and adapts to changing business environments by offering setup versatility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and automatic set up of smart network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service, rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-grade features, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, elected from one of the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accept new devices or delete existing members with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and information security testing and validation.

Progent offers broad knowledge of industry standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer familiarity with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP certified data security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and implement Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

If you require the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and implement a migration to Nexus switches. For information about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For more information about Progent's consulting support for Cisco products, select a subject:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about engineering support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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