The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers performance and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help you to plan a cost-effective network topology that addresses your specific business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, automate network management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or upgrade efficiently to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to ensure that you realize the highest business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-performance switching is driven by a confluence of relatively recent computing trends whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and an associated need for intensive virtualization
  • The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video applications
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little data center space and energy use. However this also means that relatively sparse resources must accommodate large amounts of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that have be supported by IT networks, and these users run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing an ever increasing demand for data. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through vast and varied repositories of information, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that feature significantly more speed, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous platforms were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be accommodated by providing dependable high throughput, secure access control, careful group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps for each chassis and double that for each switching system, a comprehensive suite of tools such as Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the deployment of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with instant virtual switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data control.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing features into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet real-time needs, expand to support future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Two or four uplinks are offered, and PoE+ power is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching performance of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device managed by a single operating system. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable Quality of Service, fast failover for high availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's FNF technology along with advanced Quality of Service features for a better user environment and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard on existing cabling infrastructure. (To find out about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless products, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X product lines facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization allows you to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the efficient utilization, protection, recoverability, and manageability needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a single infrastructure is used by applications and services that must operate in complete isolation from one another. EVN speeds up the task of deploying VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional features such as VNET Trunks and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's FNF technology for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, consistent QoS for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for world-class high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled per switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients are managed in a two-switch deployment without a separate wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that deliver as much as 800 Gbps of core switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have up to 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplink ports can be added via another module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning, TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which were introduced over a decade ago and which have been continually improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of compatible line cards and modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your infrastructure investment and enables you to update your network with little downtime or IT staff retraining.

Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for simple, single-point control to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to partition specific user groups and serve the special security and QoS policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus core networks that require world-class availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE ports.

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of throughput per slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch supports a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 44 40GE connections.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core switches intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports up to 2 Tbps performance and features four slots for port cards. The top port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE connections.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants have broad experience providing remote and on-premises support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated switches typically are more expensive to operate and maintain than current models, provide lower performance and fewer features, and in some cases may subject businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent are available to help your business to support and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition help you to plan and implement seamless upgrades to current products from the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of managed Ethernet switches are intended for businesses with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, expandability, and feature set small companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to install network devices like VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of backup power with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to build a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 platform offers solid protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide fundamental small-group connectivity for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small-footprint, stackable devices featuring eight Fast Ethernet connections plus one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped office spaces like on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branch offices. Available models incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and provide throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts operational expense because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 FHS capability protects against address theft and other threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital technology including VoIP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can activate network-wide smart services such as QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series is equipped with a robust set of features that permit network scalability and higher resilience via IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements designed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup connections to take advantage of the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient protocols such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor mid-size businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch simplifies integration of unified technologies and adapts to evolving competitive environments by providing setup versatility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic configuration of smart system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse range of switches that meet the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size systems.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer set of enterprise-grade features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is designed to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining dependable operation. StackWise unites as many as nine individual switches into one logical device, utilizing custom stack-interface cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, selected from one of the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new devices or remove old devices with no service interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch support for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery preparedness, and information security and compliance testing and validation.

Progent has deep knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned protocols associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's network specialists also offer experience with important networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your security posture.

In case you need the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, design, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To find out about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To ask Progent about professional support for Cisco technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.