The Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides 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 multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to design a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security plan, streamline network management and monitoring, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most business value from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent computing trends whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated demand for massive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy use. However this also means that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by business networks, and these users run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly more capacity, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous solutions were built to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of campus deployments where office employees must be provided for by offering predictable performance, strict access control, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and intelligence with features that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance of up to 11.4 Tbps for each switch and double that per switching system, a powerful suite of tools including Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize network utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to support expected capacity demands, protect vital information, and separate and control tasks to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows 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 is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for most versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and support for up to nine switches per stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and prioritize wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single resource pool must be used by applications and services that need to run in complete isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional technologies including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in 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 enable wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and wireless networks, and the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each chassis, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients are managed in a dual-switch installation without a separate wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement preserves your IT expenditures and allows you to update your network with little service interruption or management staff retraining.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point administration to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment specific client groups and serve the special security and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core networks 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 come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic analysis, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, holds 3 expansion slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, with a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and features four slots for port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps throughput and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching capacity while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches typically cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary models, deliver lower performance and fewer features, and in many situations can expose organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent can help your business to maintain and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can also help you to plan and carry out non-disruptive migrations to current products within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides strong security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are compact, entry-level switches featuring eight Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current versions incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management costs because of one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards against address theft and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or satellite-office environments, combining both Gigabit and PoE options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital technology such a Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart features including quality of service, rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust set of features that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ supports Layer 2 load balancing on backup links to efficiently use the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Important routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR increase system capacity; PIM helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor midsized organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases integration of converged technologies and adapts to changing competitive environments by offering setup flexibility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized networks.

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-management, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-class functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise unites up to 9 separate switches into one functional device, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as a single switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing switches without operational interruption.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite support services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security testing and verification.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network experts also have familiarity with crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal enforcement to your security policies.

If you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To see additional details about Progent's consulting expertise for Cisco products, pick a topic:

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