Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan an efficient infrastructure that meets your unique business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new networking patterns whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud computing and an associated reliance on intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy consumption. But this also means that comparatively limited network resources must accommodate substantial volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by IT networks, and these users run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing a growing demand for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied silos of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and combined they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature much more performance, control, availability and ease of management than older solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with predictable high speed, secure client access control, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for performance and control with capabilities such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps per switch and double that per system, a powerful catalog of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build smart switching and routing features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can deal with current requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX 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 managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless design for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching throughput 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 throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models offer modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and prioritize wireless traffic by means of Cisco's FNF technology and advanced QoS features for a better user experience and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connectivity, advanced security, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure is shared by software and services that must run in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional features such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics encompassing wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for world-quality high availability.

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

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are available with another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your infrastructure investment and permits you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or management team re-education.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized control to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtualization features to partition distinct client groups and support the unique security and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus backbone networks that require world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network analysis, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and features four slots for port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10GE connections or 40 40GE connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated switches often are more expensive to manage and maintain than contemporary products, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and in many situations can expose businesses to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can help your business to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and execute seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for businesses with up to 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, scalability, and feature set small businesses require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network appliances such as wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional backup power with automatic fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps organizations to set up a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid protection against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches HelpCisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small, stackable devices with 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas such as on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts operational costs with single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco’s Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or local-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and PoE options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key technology including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy comprehensive intelligent services including QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on backup links to exploit the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important protocols including Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing improve system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite secures network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches HelpFor mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates deployment of converged technologies and adapts to changing business environments by offering setup flexibility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise network functions, such as advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise combines up to 9 separate switches into a single functional unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new members or delete existing devices without service interruption.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity preparedness, and IT security and compliance testing and remediation.

Progent offers broad expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP and ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal support for your network security posture.

If you require ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and carry out a migration to Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn additional details concerning Progent's professional support for Cisco products, select a subject:

To get in touch with Progent about professional support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

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