Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and onsite expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to design an efficient network topology that meets your specific business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sensible security strategy, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, optimize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to current versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively recent computing patterns whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated reliance on intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and power consumption. However this also means that relatively limited resources have to support substantial amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has caused a steep increase in the number of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is displacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who want to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine vast and varied silos of information, which in turn produces Big Traffic. All of these trends are relatively new, and put together they cause a critical need for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher capacity, control, uptime and ease of management than previous solutions were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be supported with consistent high speed, strict client access management, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and control with capabilities such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps for each switch and twice that per switching system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build intelligent switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can deal with real-time requirements, expand to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive data, and separate and manage processes to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration switches designed for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L compact appliances have eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 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 line by delivering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a one device powered by a single OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) solution and advanced QoS capabilities for a better user environment and faster problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard on currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking throughput of up to 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users per switch or stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and a consistent wired/wireless experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (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 segregated. This provides the efficient utilization, protection, resilience, and manageability needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a single infrastructure is shared by applications and services that must run in complete privacy from one another. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and includes new features including VNET Tags and an easy way for duplicating replicating routes connecting virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, identical QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless traffic for world-class high availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a dual-switch deployment without a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth between redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement protects your infrastructure investment and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with little business disruption or management team training.

Common attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized administration to ensure unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for 99.999% availability via multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to support roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific client groups and support the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus core networks that require maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic monitoring, and data protection. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, providing a system bandwidth of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40GE ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone switches designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE support. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps bandwidth and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps switching performance and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor with 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while providing up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can support 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have extensive experience providing online and onsite support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches often cost more to operate and maintain than current models, provide lower capacity and functionality, and for some situations may subject businesses to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help you to maintain and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and execute non-disruptive upgrades to current products within the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, extensibility, and features small businesses need at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional redundant power supplies with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 platform offers strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide basic small-group networking for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are small-footprint, entry-level switches featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections plus a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped locations such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branches. Current versions incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplink connections, and provide throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to perform as one switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational expense with single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards networks against address theft and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-offices, offering both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key technology such a IP telephony, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy network-wide intelligent services such as quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, ACLs, multicast administration, and high-performance IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful array of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher availability through IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol enhancements designed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 load balancing on redundant links to efficiently use the extra capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient protocols including OPSF, EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; PIM increases the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor midsized businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of unified technologies and adapts to changing competitive needs by providing setup flexibility, support for unified network traffic, and management-free configuration of smart network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or midsized systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch has the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-class features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable performance. StackWise technology unites up to 9 individual switches into a single logical device, utilizing special stack-interface cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a control switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or remove old devices without service discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and IT security testing and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's infrastructure specialists also have deep knowledge of crucial technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

In case you need the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To find out about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

To find out additional details about Progent's professional assistance for Cisco solutions, select a subject:

If you wish to get in touch with Progent about technical support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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