Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and control at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to design a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your unique business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance plan, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new networking patterns whose overall impact is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent requirement for massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy use. But this also means that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate substantial volumes of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has resulted in a steep increase in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social media for business is displacing email as the main driver for collaboration and is generating a growing demand for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly recent, and combined they cause a serious demand for a new generation of switches that offer significantly higher performance, intelligence, availability and manageability than older platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be accommodated by providing dependable performance, strict client access management, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps per switch and twice that for each switching system, a comprehensive suite of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to optimize system resource usage, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for video traffic control.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can deal with real-time requirements, scale to accommodate future growth, protect sensitive information, and separate and control processes to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch 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 appliance is a fixed-port switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free operation for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device powered by one OS. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and support for as many as 9 Catalyst switches per stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, it is possible to identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and advanced QoS capabilities for an improved user experience and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

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

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS technologies. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the economy, protection, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single resource pool is used by applications and services that must run in total isolation from each other. EVN streamlines the task of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired plus wireless services on a single platform based on IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility across both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of NSF/SSO to include wireless traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per switch, and up to 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a two-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight more 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been steadily enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of continual enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to update your network with minimal downtime or management staff retraining.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment specific user groups and support the unique security/compliance and QoS policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage up to 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus core networks that require maximum uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions include three to 13 slots and work with a wide selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and offers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can support 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE connections, and 44 40GE access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches designed to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps capacity and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or as many as 20 40GE connections. With VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching throughput and support as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T 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 offers up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching capacity while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting expertise for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches often cost more to manage and support than contemporary products, provide less capacity and fewer features, and in some situations may subject organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist your business to manage and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to plan and implement non-disruptive migrations to current models from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches HelpCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, security, scalability, and features small companies need at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to set up a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 platform provides strong security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, stackable devices with 8 Fast Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. They can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped areas such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Available versions feature 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10GE uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to act like one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces management expense with single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability guards networks against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmCiscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key applications such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can activate comprehensive intelligent services including quality of service, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust array of features that allow for network scalability and enhanced resilience through IP routing as well as a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer load balancing on backup connections to efficiently use the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, and Policy Based Routing improve system capacity; PIM helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases integration of unified technologies and accommodates changing business environments by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic set up of intelligent network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse range of switches that meet the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-grade features, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. StackWise is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable performance. StackWise combines up to nine individual switches into one functional unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching device that is directed by a control switch, selected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new members or remove old members without service interruption.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and network security and compliance testing and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have experience with crucial technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to develop an enterprise-wide security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal support for your security posture.

In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To learn additional information concerning Progent's engineering support for Cisco networking products, choose a topic:

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