Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core areas of converged voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist your organization to design an efficient network architecture that meets your specific business requirements, configure pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate with minimal disruption to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you get the most business value from your investment in your network.

The need for smart, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new computing patterns whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of traffic:

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

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power use. However this also means that relatively sparse network resources have to support large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for data. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and varied repositories of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively recent, and put together they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly more speed, control, uptime and manageability than older solutions were engineered to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where office employees must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, strict client access management, careful segregation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with features that include high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that per switching system, an extensive suite of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service tools for HD video traffic control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port 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 uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of using one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless network controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and support for up to 9 switches in a stack. All versions offer expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution along with sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

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

Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be used by software and services that must run in complete privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the task of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless 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 one platform based on IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning across wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the extension of NSF/SSO to cover wireless traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's 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 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled per switch, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been steadily improved ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your technology investment and enables you to upgrade your network with minimal business disruption or management team retraining.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized administration to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone environments that require world-class uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver 180 Gbps of bandwidth on each slot, with a system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and 44 40GE access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable core switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps bandwidth and includes four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps throughput and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10 RU form factor that has 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 can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 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 connections, up to 160 10GE ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and support than contemporary switches, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and for some cases may expose organizations to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent are available to assist you to support and repair these legacy Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and execute seamless upgrades to current products within the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which Progent offers support include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches HelpCisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized companies need at an economical price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to install network appliances like VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a wireless LAN network quickly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform provides solid security against malicious attacks With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide basic small-group networking for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable switches with 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped areas such as on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Current versions incorporate either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as a single switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs because of one-switch configuration. IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or local-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of vital technology including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide smart features including QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust set of features that permit network expandability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links interfaces, improve network efficiency. PVST+ supports Data Link Layer traffic balancing on backup connections to efficiently use the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Important technologies such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve utilization of network resources; and VRFLite protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor midsized organizations and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies deployment of converged applications and adapts to changing competitive needs by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and management-free configuration of smart system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise-grade functions, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. This technology is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise combines up to 9 separate switches into one functional unit, using special stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching device that is directed by a master switch, chosen from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new members or remove existing devices with no operational discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and data security testing and verification.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network specialists also offer familiarity with important technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security and compliance consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your security posture.

If you need ultra high density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to evaluate, plan, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To see more information about Progent's consulting help for Cisco technology, choose a topic:

To get in touch with Progent about professional support for Cisco products, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.