The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, 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 offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your unique business needs, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance strategy, automate system management and monitoring, provide repair and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new networking patterns whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and an associated demand for massive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power use. However this also means that relatively limited resources have to support large volumes of data traffic. The BYOD revolution has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that have be supported by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a critical need for a new class of switches that offer significantly higher capacity, control, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be supported with predictable high throughput, strict user access management, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and twice that per switching system, a powerful catalog of tools such as EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize network resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for HD video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can deal with real-time needs, expand to support expected capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and control tasks to enhance network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet 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 includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have eight to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by a single OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplinks, and support for up to 9 switches in a stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, fast failover for high uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's FNF solution and sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connections, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a common resource pool is used by software and services that need to operate in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new features such as VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor to support wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics across both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per chassis, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a multi-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and have been continually improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement protects your technology expenditures and permits you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or management staff re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized control to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS technology for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise core environments that need maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models include three to 13 slots and work with a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network analysis, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor 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 up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps throughput and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps performance and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor with 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 20 40GE ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience delivering remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches often are more expensive to operate and maintain than current products, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and for some cases can expose businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent can help you to maintain and repair these older switches and can also help you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for organizations with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, protection, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an economical price. PoE capability makes it easy to install network appliances such as wireless access points and IP cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of backup power with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides solid protection against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are compact, stackable devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus a single integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current models feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and provide switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows up to four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to perform as a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects networks against address theft and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key applications including Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive intelligent features such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a robust array of features that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant connections to exploit the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Important routing protocols such as OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases utilization of network resources; and VRFLite protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of unified technologies and adapts to changing competitive needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a wide range of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-management, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-class features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise technology combines up to nine individual switches into one functional device, using special stack-interconnect cables and software. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack behaves as a single switching unit that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new members or delete old members with no service interruption.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and data security testing and validation.

Progent offers deep expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also have experience with important networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your network security posture.

In case you need ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help you to analyze, design, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To find out about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To find out more information concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco technology, select a topic:

If you wish to ask Progent about technical support for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.

© 2002- 2018 Progent Corporation. All rights reserved.

More topics of interest: