The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to design an efficient infrastructure that meets your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, provide repair and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent networking patterns whose overall effect is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent reliance on massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal real estate and power consumption. But this also means that relatively limited resources must support substantial amounts of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that have be supported by business networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are replacing email as the main driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied repositories of information, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a serious demand for a new generation of switches that feature significantly higher performance, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing predictable high throughput, strict client access management, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and intelligence with capabilities that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps for each chassis and twice that per switching system, a comprehensive collection of tools including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for switch failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for HD video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to support expected capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances include 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line by delivering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by a single operating system. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and capacity for up to nine switches per stack. All versions offer expandable QoS, fast failover for maximum availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for an improved user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle 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 support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking performance of up to 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing long distance connections, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be used by software and services that must run in complete privacy from one another. EVN speeds up the task of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features such as VNET Trunks and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-class high availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients are managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available with a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your technology expenditures and permits you to update your network with little business disruption or management staff training.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized control to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment distinct user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core environments that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, providing a total system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle 8 Tbps of capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps performance and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE access ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Models Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy switches usually cost more to manage and support than contemporary products, deliver less capacity and functionality, and in many cases may subject organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to support and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and execute seamless migrations to current models within the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and features small companies require at an affordable cost. PoE support makes it simple to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong security against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are compact, stackable devices with 8 Fast Ethernet ports and a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces like on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Available models offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 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 four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act like a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts administrative costs with one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for midsize business network connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key technology such a VoIP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent services such as quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a powerful array of features that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, including PVST+, and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup connections to take advantage of the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Important technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing improve network scale; PIM increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches SupportFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of unified applications and accommodates changing competitive environments by providing setup versatility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic set up of smart system functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise network features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent operation. StackWise technology unites up to 9 separate switches into one functional device, using custom stack-interface cables and software. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accept new members or delete old devices with no operational discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery preparedness, and IT security and compliance assessment and verification.

Progent has deep expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's network experts also offer experience with crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's ISSAP certified data security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum support for your security policies.

If you require ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, design, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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