The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to plan an efficient network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security and compliance plan, automate system management and performance tracking, provide repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you get the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is driven by a combination of relatively new computing patterns whose overall effect is a cyber avalanche of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent requirement for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal data center space and power use. But this also means that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating a growing thirst for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and combined they cause a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer much more throughput, control, availability and manageability than older platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be supported with consistent high speed, secure access management, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps per switch and twice that per system, a powerful collection of technologies including EVN to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet current needs, expand to accommodate future capacity demands, protect sensitive data, and differentiate and manage processes to enhance network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-port switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces 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 of switches by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable plug-in 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. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device managed by one OS. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and capacity for as many as nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All versions offer modular QoS, stateful switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced QoS features for a better user experience and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, enhanced security, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and 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 deployments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common resource pool is shared by software and services that must operate in total isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on a single switch based on IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless data traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a dual-switch deployment without a separate wireless network 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 as much as 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement protects your technology investment and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or management team re-education.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point control to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability via multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for aggregation and enterprise core environments that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps capacity and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE access ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to manage and support than current models, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in many situations can subject organizations to compliance and even liability issues. Progent are available to help you to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and execute seamless upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches HelpCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with as many as 250 employees and provide the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small companies require at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network devices like VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports as well as the option of backup power with auto switch-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform provides solid protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic small-group connectivity for small to midsize organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level switches with 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branches. Current versions feature 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to perform like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts administrative expense because of single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards networks against IPv6 address theft and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches HelpCiscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or satellite-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key applications such a VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide smart features such as QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch offers a powerful array of features that allow for network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer load sharing on redundant connections to take advantage of the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing mechanisms such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of converged applications and adapts to changing business needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and management-free set up of smart network functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a wide selection of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service, rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise-grade features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining consistent performance. Cisco StackWise unites as many as 9 separate switches into one logical unit, using custom stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as a single switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accept new members or remove existing members without operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and network security and compliance assessment and verification.

Progent has broad expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of key networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum support for your security policies.

In case you require ultra high Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and implement a transition to Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To find out additional details concerning Progent's engineering expertise for Cisco solutions, select a topic:

If you wish to contact Progent about engineering support for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.