Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to plan an efficient infrastructure that meets your unique business needs, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security strategy, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a confluence of relatively new computing patterns whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for intensive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise data analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring very little real estate and power consumption. However this also requires that relatively limited resources must accommodate large amounts of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing a growing demand for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate silos of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a serious demand for an advanced class of switches that offer much more speed, control, availability and ease of management than older solutions were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering dependable performance, strict access control, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that per system, a comprehensive catalog of tools including EVN to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can deal with current requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital data, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform managed by one operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful failover for high availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless data using Cisco's FNF technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for an improved wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco 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 physical space for networking equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and VSS solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common resource pool is used by applications and services that need to operate in complete isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to enable wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics encompassing wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that can provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added with another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your IT investment and enables you to upgrade your network with minimal service interruption or management staff re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point management to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS technology for maximum uptime through multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone networks that need world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a broad selection of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of performance per slot, with a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support up to 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for high-density Ethernet intended for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps performance and features four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive experience providing remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches usually cost more to operate and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver lower performance and fewer features, and for some cases may subject businesses to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to maintain and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to design and execute non-disruptive upgrades to newer models within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for companies with up to 250 employees and deliver the dependability, security, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable price. PoE capability makes it simple to install network devices like VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of redundant power with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to set up a local wireless environment quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches HelpCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size businesses. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable devices with 8 Fast Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branches. Current versions offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts operational expense because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology guards against address interception and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Professional ServicesCiscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven access-layer switch for small enterprise network connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital technology such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the simplicity of traditional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a powerful array of features that allow for network expandability and higher resilience via IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements aimed to maximize throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, including PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. PVST+ supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant links to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; PIM helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases integration of unified applications and adapts to evolving competitive needs by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and management-free set up of smart system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or mid-size deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise-grade functions, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for Gigabit Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent performance. Cisco StackWise technology unites as many as 9 individual switches into a single logical device, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The master switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing switches without operational discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and data security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent has deep expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also have familiarity with crucial networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they provide maximum enforcement to your network security policies.

If you require ultra high density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and carry out a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To get in touch with Progent about professional help for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.