Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to design a cost-effective network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security and compliance strategy, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent networking trends whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of data:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent need for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and demanding very little real estate and power use. However this also requires that comparatively limited network resources must support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing requirement for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate repositories of information, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a serious need for a new class of switches that feature much higher throughput, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous platforms were engineered to provide.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution and core layers levels of campus deployments where office workers must be accommodated by providing consistent high speed, strict access management, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for performance and control with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps for each chassis and twice that per switching system, a powerful collection of technologies including EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can meet real-time requirements, expand to support expected growth, protect vital information, and separate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. These low-profile appliances include eight to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 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 by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by a single OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink connections, and capacity for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, stateful switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and prioritize wireless data using Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced QoS features for a better user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series 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 physical space for networking equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and VSS solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the efficient utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a common resource pool must be used by applications and services that need to run in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features including VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on one platform based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for world-quality availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per chassis, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a dual-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that provide 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that share the proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and which have been steadily enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your technology expenditures and permits you to update your network with minimal business disruption or management staff re-education.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, single-point control to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum availability through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that require world-class availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and features four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps performance and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while supporting up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering remote and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated switches typically cost more to manage and support than contemporary models, deliver lower capacity and functionality, and for some cases can subject businesses to compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to manage and repair these older switches and can in addition assist you to plan and implement seamless migrations to newer products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches Professional ServicesCisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with up to 250 employees and provide the reliability, protection, expandability, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network appliances such as wireless access points and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of backup power supplies with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid protection against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to midsize organizations. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are compact, stackable devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports plus one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped areas like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Available models offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces administrative expense with one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 FHS technology guards networks against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Professional ServicesCiscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or branch-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of key technology including IP telephony, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a complete suite of STP improvements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 load balancing on backup links to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important technologies including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve network capacity; PIM improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch facilitates integration of converged applications and adapts to evolving competitive needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and automatic configuration of smart network services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader set of high-end functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable operation. StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into a single functional device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing tables. A running stack can accept new switches or delete existing switches without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, system analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent offers broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have experience with crucial technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal support for your security policies.

In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For additional information concerning Progent's consulting expertise for Cisco networking products, select a subject:

In order to contact Progent about technical help for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.