Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline system management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you get the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of relatively recent networking patterns whose overall effect is a cyber tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated requirement for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy consumption. But this also requires that relatively sparse resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has created a dramatic rise in the amount 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 applications are displacing email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they create a serious need for a new generation of switches that feature significantly higher capacity, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing consistent performance, secure user access management, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that per switching system, a powerful collection of technologies such as EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can meet current needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and separate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by one operating system. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer modular QoS, stateful failover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data using Cisco's FNF technology along with sophisticated QoS capabilities for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless users per stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi users per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, providing long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool is shared by software and services that need to run in complete isolation from each other. EVN simplifies the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional features including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on a single platform based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

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

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available via a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core switches that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your technology expenditures and permits you to update your network backbone with little business disruption or management team re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, single-point management to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum availability via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition distinct user groups and support the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise core environments that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit form factor, holds 3 expansion slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40GE access ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and up to 44 40GE ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone platforms designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching performance and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing remote and on-premises support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches typically cost more to manage and support than current switches, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and in some cases can expose businesses to regulatory and liability risks. Progent can help you to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can also assist you to plan and implement seamless migrations to newer models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to add network appliances such as wireless access points and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional backup power with auto fail-over for additional dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform offers solid security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Professional ServicesCisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-rate desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small, stackable devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet connections and one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management costs because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology guards networks against address theft and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications such a Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a robust array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing plus a complete complement of STP improvements aimed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant connections to exploit the extra bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, static routing, and PBR increase network capacity; PIM helps improve utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series eases deployment of unified technologies and adapts to changing competitive environments by providing setup versatility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and automatic set up of smart network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume Gigabit environments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading QoS, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise network features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to nine individual switches into a single functional unit, using custom stack-interface cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing members with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services offered by Progent for Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and network security and compliance assessment and verification.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure experts also have deep knowledge of crucial 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-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your security posture.

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

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If you wish to get in touch with Progent about professional assistance for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.