The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to plan an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security and compliance plan, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of fairly recent computing patterns whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated demand for massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and energy use. But this also means that comparatively sparse resources must accommodate large volumes of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile users that have be supported by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a critical demand for a new generation of switches that offer significantly more capacity, control, availability and ease of management than previous solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be accommodated by providing unvarying performance, secure access control, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the need for performance and intelligence with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and twice that per system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies including EVN to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can meet real-time requirements, expand to support expected growth, guard vital information, and differentiate and manage tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port 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 GE ports and either 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by a single OS. Cisco offers versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for as many as nine switches in a stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on existing cabling infrastructure. (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, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients per stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, advanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure is used by applications and services that need to operate in complete privacy from one another. EVN speeds up the process of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN incorporates features of Multi-VRF and adds additional technologies including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to permit wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Features included are Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless traffic for world-class high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a dual-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 10GE ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are available with a separate module. In addition to offering non-stop operation and easy manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual improvement protects your IT expenditures and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with little service interruption or IT staff training.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum uptime via multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtualization tools to segment specific user groups and support the unique security and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus backbone networks that need world-class availability and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

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

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching capacity while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE connections.

Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad experience providing remote and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches typically cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver less performance and fewer features, and in many situations may subject organizations to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist your business to support and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also assist you to plan and carry out seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of Layer 2 switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, expandability, and features small businesses need at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network appliances like wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with auto fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps organizations to build a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 platform offers strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are compact, stackable devices featuring 8 Fast Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained office spaces like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branches. Available versions feature either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against IPv6 address theft and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or branch-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key applications including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart features such as quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch offers a powerful array of features that permit network scalability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer load sharing on backup links to exploit the extra capacity associated with a redundant design.

Efficient protocols such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, static routing, and PBR improve network scale; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and VRFLite protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultingFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of converged applications and adapts to evolving competitive environments by offering setup versatility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer selection of enterprise-level features, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to nine separate switches into a single functional unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Each of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching appliance that is managed by a control switch, selected from one of the member switches. The master switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A working stack can accept new switches or delete old members without operational interruption.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and IT security testing and verification.

Progent has broad expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have familiarity with crucial technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and carry out a transition to Nexus Series switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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In order to contact Progent about professional assistance for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.