Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides speed and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your specific business requirements, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security strategy, automate network management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to make sure that you realize the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent computing trends whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent need for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting very high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and energy consumption. But this also means that comparatively limited resources have to support substantial amounts of data. The BYOD revolution has resulted in a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social media for business is displacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine vast and disparate repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a serious need for an advanced class of switches that feature much more capacity, control, availability and ease of management than previous platforms were engineered to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary employees must be provided for by offering consistent performance, secure access management, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for performance and intelligence with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per chassis and double that for each switching system, an extensive suite of tools including EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, scale to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive information, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a compact, noiseless 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 and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-port managed switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

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

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device managed by a single operating system. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and capacity for as many as nine switches per FlexStack stack. All versions offer modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution along with advanced Quality of Service features for a better wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, offering long distance connections, advanced security, and an identical wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single resource pool is shared by software and services that need to operate in complete privacy from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds new features including VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired plus wireless services on one switch powered by IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-class high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients are supported in a two-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available with another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and simple 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 VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional advanced features include FNF solution for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide the same general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or IT staff retraining.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System technology for maximum availability through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and serve the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone networks that need maximum availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps performance and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps throughput and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor that has 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of switching throughput while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds providing online and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy switches often cost more to operate and support than current models, deliver less capacity and functionality, and in many cases can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent can assist your business to support and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition help you to plan and execute seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst models for which Progent offers support include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with automatic switch-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides solid protection against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches SupportCisco Catalyst 2900 Series non-modular, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 Series switches are small, entry-level devices featuring eight Ethernet connections plus one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current models offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces administrative costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability protects networks against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches HelpThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network access or branch-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high efficiency while facilitating the installation of vital applications including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive smart features such as quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust set of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher availability via IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 load sharing on redundant links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant design.

Important technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; PIM helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies integration of unified technologies and accommodates evolving competitive environments by offering configuration versatility, support for unified network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-grade functions, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining dependable operation. StackWise technology unites up to 9 individual switches into a single logical device, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching unit that is directed by a control switch, elected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new devices or delete old switches with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize organizations, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, system analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery planning, and information security testing and validation.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (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 experts also offer experience with key networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your security policies.

If you require the highest available density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to analyze, plan, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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In order to contact Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.