Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branches to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist your organization to design a cost-effective network topology that addresses your specific business requirements, configure pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sensible security strategy, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and support services, optimize switch capacity, 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 current models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you receive the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for smart, high-performance switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new computing patterns whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of data:

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

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce costs by permitting aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring very little data center space and energy use. But this also means that relatively limited resources must accommodate large volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has resulted in a steep rise in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these users run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are replacing email as the primary enabler of collaboration and is generating a growing demand for data. Businesses who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively new, and put together they create a critical need for a new class of switches that feature much higher performance, control, availability and manageability than previous solutions were built to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of campus environments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering predictable performance, strict user access control, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and control with features such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G support, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and twice that per system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies including EVN to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with subsecond virtual switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, AVC to maximize network resource usage, and sophisticated Quality of Service tools for video traffic control.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches enable organizations of any size to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching and routing services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can handle current needs, scale to support expected growth, guard vital information, and differentiate and control tasks to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be mounted almost anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are available with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-port switches targeted for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. These compact appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free design for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 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 by delivering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, offering the convenience of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and incorporating full wireless controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform powered by one operating system. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplinks, and capacity for up to 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All models offer expandable QoS, stateful switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced QoS capabilities for an improved user environment and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi products, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking bandwidth of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless users per switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking performance of up to 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients per switch. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus access and distribution environments where physical space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be used by applications and services that must operate in total isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the process of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce non-stop VNs with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for capacity planning across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired and wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported on each chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X can have as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to offering non-stop performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available bandwidth across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include FNF technology for application visibility, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone switches that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your infrastructure investment and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal service interruption or IT team re-education.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for simple, centralized administration to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% availability via multi-level failover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to segment distinct user groups and support the special security and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise core networks that require maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions come with three to 13 expansion slots and accept a wide range of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, network monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 slots, and delivers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber access ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40GE access ports.

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, providing a system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus cores. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps switching throughput and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and handle as many as 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 slots and supports existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, 80 10GE ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering remote and on-premises consulting and troubleshooting services for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These legacy switches usually are more expensive to manage and support than current products, deliver less capacity and functionality, and in many situations may subject businesses to compliance and even liability issues. Progent can help you to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to plan and execute non-disruptive migrations to current models within the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Legacy Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, security, expandability, and features small businesses need at an affordable price. PoE support makes it simple to install network devices such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of backup power supplies with automatic switch-over for additional dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows businesses to build a wireless LAN network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide basic small-group networking for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-rate desktop appliances offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice control at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of managed switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections plus a single integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in cramped office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branch offices. Available models have 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and provide throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts management costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit implementations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit Ethernet and Power over Ethernet configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the installation of key applications including VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can deploy network-wide intelligent features including quality of service, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of traditional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust array of features that allow for network scalability and higher availability through IP routing plus a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load balancing on backup links to efficiently use the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast improves the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite protects data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultantsFor midsized organizations and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series eases deployment of unified applications and adapts to changing business needs by providing setup versatility, ability to manage unified network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit environments and includes a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and simple static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of high-end functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. StackWise combines up to 9 separate switches into one functional device, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. Each of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack behaves as an individual switching device that is managed by a control switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new devices or delete old switches with no service interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite support services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and IT security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent offers broad knowledge of open standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also have experience with crucial networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security and compliance strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your network security policies.

In case you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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In order to get in touch with Progent about consulting help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.