The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged IP voice, video, and 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 on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your unique business needs, set up pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security plan, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist 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 highest business value from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of fairly new networking patterns whose net effect is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal real estate and energy use. However this also requires that relatively sparse resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of data. The BYOD revolution has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be supported by IT networks, and these clients run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social media for business is replacing email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing thirst for data. Businesses who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine vast and disparate silos of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a serious need for a new generation of switches that feature much higher speed, control, availability and manageability than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with dependable high speed, strict user access management, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with capabilities that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching performance as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and double that per switching system, an extensive catalog of technologies including EVN to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to maximize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting and Troubleshooting

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time requirements, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect vital data, and separate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-port switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fanless design for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family by delivering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform managed by a single OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and support for up to 9 switches in a stack. All versions provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's FNF technology and advanced QoS capabilities for a better user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and 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 offers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless users on each stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless user 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 access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, resilience, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure is shared by software and services that need to run in total 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 and adds additional technologies such as VNET Trunks and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired plus wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and wireless networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be managed in a two-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are also available via another module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of continual enhancement preserves your information technology investment and enables you to upgrade your network with minimal business disruption or management staff re-education.

Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, single-point management to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum uptime via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment distinct user groups and support the unique security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core networks that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40GE connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 6800 Series 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 switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps bandwidth and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive experience providing remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches typically are more expensive to operate and maintain than contemporary products, deliver lower performance and functionality, and for some situations may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and liability risks. Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot these legacy switches and can also help you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to current products within the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 employees and provide the dependability, security, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized companies need at an affordable cost. PoE support makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as optional backup power supplies with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 platform provides solid security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to midsize organizations. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable switches featuring 8 Ethernet ports and a single built-in Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped locations such as on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Current models feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management costs because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultingCiscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or satellite-office environments, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of vital technology including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide intelligent services such as quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a robust set of features that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to maximize throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast increases utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches SupportFor mid-size businesses and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates integration of unified technologies and accommodates changing competitive environments by providing setup versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and automatic configuration of intelligent system functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit deployments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service, rate-management, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader set of high-end features, including advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent operation. StackWise combines up to nine separate switches into one logical unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 switches and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, elected from one of the member switches. The control switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new members or delete existing members with no service interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and network security testing and verification.

Progent offers deep expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure experts also offer familiarity with crucial networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum enforcement to your network security posture.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn additional details about Progent's professional help for Cisco networking products, select a topic:

If you wish to ask Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or refer to Contact Progent.