Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist you to design an efficient network topology that meets your unique business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security and compliance plan, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you realize the maximum business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is driven by a confluence of fairly recent computing patterns whose net impact is a cyber tsunami of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent requirement 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 analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting very high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that relatively limited network resources have to accommodate large amounts of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing demand for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate silos of information, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they create a critical need for a new class of switches that feature significantly more performance, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be accommodated by providing consistent high speed, secure client access control, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and control with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity as high as 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that for each system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network architecture, creating an environment that can deal with real-time requirements, scale to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive information, and separate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and allows a variety of mounting options. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Versions are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port switches intended for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact switches have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fanless operation for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform managed by a single OS. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for as many as 9 switches per stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless clients on each stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking throughput of 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate, providing long distance connections, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a common infrastructure must be used by software and services that need to operate in total privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes additional technologies such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE software. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, identical QoS for wired and wireless clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover wireless data traffic for world-class availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients are managed in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your infrastructure investment and permits you to upgrade your network with little business disruption or management team re-education.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for simple, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level failover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to segment specific client groups and serve the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless networking, the WiSM2 controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core environments that require maximum uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network analysis, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for high-density Ethernet intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X supports as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps capacity and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad experience delivering remote and onsite support expertise for early-generation Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches typically cost more to manage and maintain than current switches, deliver less capacity and functionality, and in some cases may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to manage and troubleshoot these older switches and can in addition assist you to design and execute non-disruptive upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst family or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for companies with up to 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized companies require at an economical price. PoE support makes it easy to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family offers strong security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice support at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small, stackable switches with 8 Fast Ethernet ports plus one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped areas like on a user'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 branch offices. Available 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 feature allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts management costs because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards networks against IPv6 address interception and other attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or satellite-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of vital technology such a IP telephony, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can activate comprehensive smart services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a robust array of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP enhancements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as PVST+, and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus allows for Layer 2 load sharing on backup connections to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing increase system capacity; PIM increases the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates integration of unified applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by offering setup versatility, support for unified network traffic, and automatic set up of intelligent system services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized deployments.

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

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for 1000 Ethernet. Cisco StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise technology unites up to nine separate switches into one functional device, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching device that is directed by a control switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The master switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new members or remove existing members with no service discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and network security testing and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer deep knowledge of crucial technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your security posture.

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

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