The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches provides speed and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and onsite support for Catalyst family switches to assist you to plan an efficient network architecture that addresses your unique business requirements, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively new networking trends whose net effect is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent demand for intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive HD video apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding very little data center space and power use. But this also requires that comparatively limited resources must support large amounts of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a dramatic rise in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main enabler of workforce collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied silos of corporate data, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a critical need for an advanced class of switches that offer much higher throughput, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of campus environments where office employees must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, secure user access control, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with capabilities such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that per switching system, a powerful suite of tools including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to optimize network resource usage, and sophisticated QoS tools for video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build smart switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an ecosystem that can handle current needs, scale to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and control processes to enhance network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port switch housed in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port switches designed for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free design for most versions does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by delivering switching throughput of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and support for as many as 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All versions offer modular QoS, fast switchover for maximum uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to identify and prioritize wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology along with sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for a better wireless user experience and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of 160 Gbps and can control as many as 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing far reaching connectivity, advanced security, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single resource pool must be shared by software and services that need to operate in total isolation from each other. EVN streamlines the process of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless traffic for world-class availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled per chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime operation and easy manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and enables you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or IT team re-education.

Shared features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized administration to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS technology for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to partition specific user groups and support the unique security and QoS policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus backbone environments that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and security and compliance. Only E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, holds 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E can support up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, 34 10GE ports, and up to 8 40GE ports.

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

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 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 intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus backbones. The 6880-X delivers as much as 2 Tbps throughput and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience providing online and onsite support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches typically cost more to operate and support than contemporary models, deliver less capacity and fewer features, and in some situations can expose organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can help you to manage and repair these legacy switches and can in addition assist you to plan and implement non-disruptive upgrades to newer products within the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches SupportCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for companies with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small companies need at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it simple to add network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power with automatic switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid security against malicious attacks With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 line of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped locations such as on a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Available versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to perform like a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces management expense with one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards against IPv6 address interception and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Series Switches ConsultingCiscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business LAN access or satellite-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key technology such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can activate comprehensive smart features including quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and higher availability via IP routing plus a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ allows for Layer 2 load balancing on redundant links to take advantage of the extra capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient technologies such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor mid-size organizations and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases deployment of converged applications and adapts to changing business environments by offering configuration flexibility, support for converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of smart network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is designed for high-density Gigabit deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size deployments.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-limiting, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of high-end features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent operation. Cisco StackWise unites up to nine separate switches into a single functional device, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack behaves as an individual switching appliance that is directed by a control switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new switches or remove old devices without operational discontinuity.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises expertise of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and IT security and compliance assessment and validation.

Progent has deep expertise with open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), HSRP, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have familiarity with key networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security strategy and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide maximum enforcement to your network security policies.

If you need ultra high density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To get in touch with Progent about consulting support for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.