The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help you to plan an efficient network topology that meets your specific business requirements, set up proof-of-concept testing, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance strategy, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you get the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly new networking patterns whose net effect is a cyber avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and an associated need for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in analytics

Cloud computing is only made practical because of virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and requiring very little real estate and power use. However this also means that relatively limited resources must accommodate substantial volumes of traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a dramatic rise in the number of mobile users that have be handled by IT networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are replacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for bandwidth. Businesses who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they create a serious need for a new class of switches that offer significantly more throughput, control, availability and ease of management than older solutions were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers levels of campus environments where mobile and stationary employees must be accommodated by providing unvarying high throughput, secure access management, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with capabilities such as high-port-count 10G/40G/100G services, switching capacity as high as 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each system, a powerful catalog of technologies such as EVN to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 support, AVC to maximize system utilization, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for video data control.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size

Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to build smart switching and routing services into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can meet current requirements, expand to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch housed in a sleek, noiseless and low-power enclosure that can be mounted virtually anywhere outside a wiring closet. Models are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-port switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is at a premium. These compact switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line of switches by delivering switching capacity of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Series Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and incorporating full wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device managed by one operating system. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet connections with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10GE uplink ports, and support for as many as nine Catalyst switches per FlexStack stack. All models offer modular Quality of Service, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and prioritize wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced Quality of Service features for an improved user environment and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports 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 wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for access and distribution environments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X families simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to segment a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other situations where a common resource pool must be used by applications and services that need to run in total privacy from one another. EVN simplifies the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it easy to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired plus wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and wireless networks, TrustSec wired and wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless users can be handled on each switch, and up to 250 APs and 4000 clients can be managed in a two-switch deployment without a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation platforms that provide up to 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplink ports are also available with a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional features include FNF solution for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec protection, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing improvement preserves your IT investment and allows you to update your network with little downtime or IT team training.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for simple, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed environment, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to partition specific client groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone networks that require world-class availability 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 slots and work with a broad range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers as much as 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle 8 Tbps of throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch can support a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone switches designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE access ports. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or as many as 20 40GE connections.

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

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience providing online and onsite support services for legacy Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These legacy Catalyst switches usually cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary switches, deliver less performance and functionality, and in some situations may expose organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also help you to plan and carry out seamless migrations to current products from the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches SupportCisco's Catalyst Express 500 line of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with as many as 250 workers and deliver the dependability, security, expandability, and features small businesses need at an economical cost. PoE support makes it easy to add network appliances such as VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports as well as the option of redundant power supplies with automatic fail-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a wireless LAN network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Professional ServicesCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size organizations. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small-footprint, entry-level devices with 8 Ethernet ports and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gbit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in cramped areas like on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branches. Available models feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows up to four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts administrative costs with single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against IPv6 address interception and malicious attacks.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco 3560 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise LAN access or local-office environments, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet options for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key applications such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide smart features including quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and high-performance IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful set of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a complete complement of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements aimed to increase throughput in an access Layer network. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Port Fast, as well as enhancements like Flex Links, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ supports Layer 2 load sharing on backup links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite secures data.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultingFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of unified applications and adapts to evolving competitive environments by providing setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic set up of smart network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced QoS, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-level functions, including sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent operation. Cisco StackWise technology unites as many as 9 individual switches into a single functional unit, using special stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accommodate new devices or remove existing members without operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the online or onsite services of Cisco CCIE-certified consultants who have extensive backgrounds delivering Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security and compliance testing and validation.

Progent has broad expertise with open standards and with Cisco-owned protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and LISP. Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of crucial technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), RIP, and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer maximum enforcement to your security posture.

In case you require the highest available density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, design, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support services. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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