The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to design an efficient network architecture that meets your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, automate system management and monitoring, provide repair and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you receive the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of relatively recent computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy use. But this also means that comparatively sparse network resources must support large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be handled by business networks, and these clients run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating a growing demand for data. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and disparate silos of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher speed, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were engineered to provide.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering predictable performance, secure client access control, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for performance and control with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and double that per system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies including EVN to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, VSS technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, scale to accommodate future growth, protect sensitive information, and separate and manage processes to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes a variety of mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact switches have eight to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by delivering switching throughput of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of using a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless networks on a single device managed by one OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced QoS capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and VSS solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common resource pool must be used by software and services that must run in total privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for world-quality availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a multi-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that provide 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced more than a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your technology investment and enables you to upgrade your network backbone with minimal downtime or management staff training.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized management to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment specific client groups and support the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise core environments that need world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network analysis, and security. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, holds 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of capacity on each slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience providing online and onsite support services for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches often cost more to operate and support than contemporary switches, provide lower performance and functionality, and in some cases may expose businesses to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and execute non-disruptive migrations to newer models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small businesses need at an economical price. PoE capability makes it easy to add network devices like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as the option of redundant power with auto fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides strong security against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches HelpCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of switches are compact, entry-level devices with eight Ethernet ports and a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces like on 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 branches. Current models offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management costs because of single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address interception and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can activate network-wide intelligent features including quality of service, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the ease of traditional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a complete complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to efficiently use the extra capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Important technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches HelpFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies deployment of unified technologies and accommodates changing competitive needs by offering configuration versatility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free configuration of intelligent system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and includes a diverse range of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-class features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent operation. StackWise technology unites as many as nine individual switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is managed by a control switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new devices or delete existing members without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and IT security testing and verification.

Progent has deep expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also have deep knowledge of important networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy and implement Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your network security policies.

If you need the highest available density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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