The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your unique business needs, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance strategy, automate system management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you get the maximum business value from your investment in your network.

The need for intelligent, high-performance switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new networking patterns whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent need for massive network virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and energy use. However this also means that relatively sparse resources must support large volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social media for business is replacing traditional email as the primary enabler of workforce collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine vast and disparate silos of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher throughput, control, availability and manageability than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be supported with unvarying performance, strict user access management, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for performance and control with features that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity of up to 11 Tbps per switch and twice that per switching system, an extensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system utilization, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data control.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can deal with current needs, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, guard vital information, and separate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-port managed switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances include eight to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and support for up to nine switches per stack. All versions offer modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and sophisticated QoS capabilities for a better user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single resource pool is shared by software and services that need to operate in total privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the process of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-VRF and adds new features such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's 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. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on a single platform powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Features included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, consistent QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a multi-switch installation without a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver up to 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available via another module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced over a decade ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and allows you to update your network with little downtime or management team training.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for simple, single-point control to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability via multi-level failover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus core networks that need maximum uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network analysis, and security. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, holds 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps switching capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps throughput and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU chassis with 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 20 40GE access ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10GE connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches often are more expensive to operate and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and for some situations may expose businesses to compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can help you to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to plan and carry out seamless migrations to newer models from the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with up to 250 workers and provide the reliability, security, extensibility, and feature set small companies need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional backup power supplies with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a wireless LAN environment quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size companies. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small, entry-level switches with 8 Ethernet connections plus a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring cabinet 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 Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions offer 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to act like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs because of single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against address interception and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches SupportCiscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications such a Voice over IP, wireless access, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide intelligent services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and broadband IP routing with the ease of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series offers a robust array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the conventional STP Protocol, including PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to take advantage of the extra capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Important protocols including Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches Consulting FirmFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates integration of converged applications and adapts to evolving business environments by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of high-end functions, such as advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable operation. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 separate switches into a single functional device, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a control switch, chosen from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new switches or remove old switches with no service interruption.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Support services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security assessment and verification.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco protocols associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer deep knowledge of important technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your network security posture.

In case you require the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting capabilities for Nexus switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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In order to get in touch with Progent about technical help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.