The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers performance and control at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist your organization to design a cost-effective network topology that meets your specific business needs, configure pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security strategy, automate system management and performance tracking, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent networking trends whose overall effect is a cyber tsunami of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent reliance on massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power consumption. However this also means that relatively sparse network resources have to accommodate large volumes of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a serious demand for a new generation of switches that feature significantly higher speed, intelligence, uptime and manageability than previous solutions were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of campus deployments where office workers must be supported with predictable high speed, strict client access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with capabilities that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and twice that per system, a comprehensive suite of tools including EVN to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with instant virtual switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can deal with real-time needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, guard vital information, and separate and control processes to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by one operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated Quality of Service features for a better wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless users per stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connections, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E 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 infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and VSS solutions. Virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the economy, protection, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool is used by applications and services that need to run in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new technologies including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on a single platform powered by IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a two-switch installation without a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your IT expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or management team retraining.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment specific client groups and serve the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus core environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models include three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps switching throughput and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

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 slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad experience providing online and onsite support expertise for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches typically cost more to operate and support than contemporary models, provide lower performance and functionality, and in many situations can expose organizations to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist your business to support and repair these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to design and implement seamless migrations to current products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with as many as 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small companies require at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it simple to add network devices like wireless access points and IP cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to set up a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform provides strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer basic small-group networking for small to midsize organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, stackable devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast or Gbit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped office spaces like on a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Current versions feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink connections, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability guards against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Professional ServicesCiscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or local-office environments, offering both Gigabit and PoE configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key applications including IP telephony, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent features such as quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful array of features that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing plus a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements designed to maximize throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant links to exploit the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Important technologies including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; PIM increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies deployment of unified applications and accommodates evolving business needs by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free set up of smart network services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit environments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of enterprise-level functions, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. StackWise unites as many as 9 individual switches into one functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and software. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as a single switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A running stack can accept new members or remove old devices without service interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, topology planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and IT security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent offers broad expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network consultants also offer experience with key technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security policies.

In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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In order to get in touch with Progent about professional support for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.