The Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer remote and onsite support for Catalyst switches to help you to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your specific business needs, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

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

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also means that comparatively limited resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of traffic. The BYOD revolution has created a steep increase in the number of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is replacing email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a critical demand for a new class of switches that offer much higher performance, intelligence, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were built to provide.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core levels of campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, secure access control, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps per switch and twice that for each system, a comprehensive collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and low-power unit that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless operation for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring full wireless network controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by a single OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches per stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

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

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability required for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure is used by software and services that need to run in complete isolation from each other. EVN simplifies the task of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds additional features such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless data traffic for enterprise-class high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a multi-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X 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 40 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that share the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and permits you to upgrade your network backbone with little downtime or IT team training.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point administration to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% uptime via multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment distinct client groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus backbone networks that require world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of performance per slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor device for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps throughput and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor that has 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE 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 throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have extensive experience providing online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches often are more expensive to operate and maintain than current models, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and in some situations can subject organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help your business to support and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can in addition help you to plan and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to newer products from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to add network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power with automatic fail-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco access points allows organizations to build a local wireless environment rapidly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid security against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches HelpCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop appliances offer IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices featuring eight Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branches. Available versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S switches to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces administrative expense with one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business network connectivity or satellite-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key technology including IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent features including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch is equipped with a robust set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup links to efficiently use the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important technologies such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing increase network scale; PIM helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco 3750 Series Switches HelpFor midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of converged applications and accommodates evolving business environments by offering configuration versatility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free configuration of intelligent network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise network features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into one logical unit, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the 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 intelligently builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accept new devices or delete old switches with no operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer deep knowledge of key technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your security posture.

If you require the highest available density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, plan, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn more details concerning Progent's professional expertise for Cisco networking products, select a subject:

In order to contact Progent about professional support for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.