Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to help you to plan an efficient network architecture that meets your unique business needs, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security plan, automate network management and monitoring, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to current versions of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively recent networking patterns whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated requirement for massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and power consumption. However this also means that relatively sparse network resources have to support large amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution has resulted in a dramatic increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be handled by IT networks, and these clients run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media applications. Social business applications are displacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing demand for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied silos of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly recent, and combined they cause a serious need for an advanced class of switches that offer significantly higher speed, control, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be provided for by offering unvarying high speed, secure access control, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and control with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and double that per system, an extensive catalog of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of virtual networks, VSS 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 network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching features into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can meet current needs, expand to accommodate future growth, guard vital data, and differentiate and control tasks to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of entry-level fixed-port managed switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is limited. These compact switches include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fanless operation for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having a single device for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to converge wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by one OS. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for as many as 9 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide expandable QoS, fast switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless data using Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with sophisticated Quality of Service features for a better user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless users on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients per switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering far reaching connections, enhanced protection, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and VSS technologies. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool is shared by applications and services that must run in total isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional technologies such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor to enable wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility encompassing wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless data security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless traffic for world-class high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each chassis, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that deliver 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available with a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your information technology investment and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or management team retraining.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized control to ensure consistent policy across a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum availability via multi-level failover, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment specific user groups and serve the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For converged wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

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

The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4RU form factor, holds 3 expansion slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E switch can support up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver 8 Tbps of throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps switching capacity and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40GE connections. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified consultants have broad experience providing remote and onsite support expertise for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life (EOL). These outdated switches typically are more expensive to manage and support than current models, deliver less performance and functionality, and for many situations can subject businesses to compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants can assist you to support and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to current products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches HelpCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small companies require at an economical price. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports as well as the option of backup power with auto switch-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches SupportCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental small-group networking for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are small, stackable devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections plus one built-in Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped locations like on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches intended for small businesses and branches. Available models offer either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that cuts management expense because of one-switch setup. IPv6 FHS capability protects networks against address theft and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultingThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or satellite-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while facilitating the deployment of vital applications such a VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide intelligent features including QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP improvements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup links to take advantage of the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve network capacity; PIM increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor midsized businesses and enterprise branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch eases deployment of converged technologies and accommodates changing business needs by offering configuration flexibility, support for unified network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent system services. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise-class features, including advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit Ethernet. This technology is intended to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable performance. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 individual switches into a single functional device, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series and the Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as a single switching device that is managed by a master switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A running stack can accept new members or delete old members without service discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity preparedness, and data security testing and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of industry standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have experience with key networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security consultants can show you how to develop an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide maximum enforcement to your security policies.

In case you require ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, design, and implement a migration to Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

For additional details about Progent's professional help for Cisco networking products, choose a topic:

To ask Progent about engineering support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.