The Catalyst family of modular and fixed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, HD video, and data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to help your organization to design an efficient infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, configure pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology to achieve near-zero downtime, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate efficiently to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to ensure that you get the maximum return from your investment in your network.

The demand for smart, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of relatively new networking patterns whose overall impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent demand for massive virtualization
  • The proliferation of BYOD computing
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only made practical by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy consumption. However this also requires that relatively limited resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of data. The BYOD revolution has caused a steep rise in the amount of mobile clients that have be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is generating a growing demand for data. Businesses who want to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to mine vast and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are relatively recent, and combined they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher performance, intelligence, availability and ease of management than older platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be accommodated by providing consistent performance, strict user access control, careful segregation, application intelligence, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches are designed to meet the demand for performance and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput as high as 11 Tbps per chassis and twice that per switching system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including EVN to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with subsecond backup switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for HD video data prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switches for Organizations of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to build smart switching features into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can handle current requirements, scale to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is low-profile, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for PoE+ power. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes value-priced fixed-port switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fanless operation for the 8- versions eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by offering switching capacity of 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of having one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a single device powered by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink connections, and capacity for up to 9 switches per FlexStack stack. All models provide modular Quality of Service, stateful failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution along with advanced Quality of Service features for an improved user experience and quicker problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Products.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 Wi-Fi users on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 wireless users per stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution environments where space for networking equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Network virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other situations where a common resource pool must be used by software and services that must run in total privacy from one another. EVN simplifies the process of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies such as VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. VSS technology makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes an integrated wireless network controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Catalyst supervisor to permit wired plus wireless services on one platform based on IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across wired and wireless networks, TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality high availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each switch, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a multi-switch deployment without a separate wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation switches that provide 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the 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 zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that share the proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which were introduced more than a decade ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to ongoing enhancement preserves your infrastructure investment and allows you to update your network with minimal downtime or management team re-education.

Shared attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco ISE technology for convenient, centralized control to ensure consistent policy throughout a distributed network, VSS capability 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 transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct client groups and support the unique security and Quality of Service policy requirements of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with VPLS. For unified wired/wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that require world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Available versions include three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic monitoring, and security. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) form factor, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE ports.

The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, providing a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, up to 180 10GE ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor switch for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps bandwidth and has four slots for port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With VSS, a two-chassis system can deliver 4 Tbps bandwidth and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE ports.

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

End-of-Life Catalyst Models Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing remote and on-premises support services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life. These outdated switches usually are more expensive to manage and support than contemporary switches, provide lower performance and functionality, and in many situations may expose businesses to compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help your business to support and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can in addition help you to plan and implement seamless migrations to newer products within the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches HelpThe Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with up to 250 employees and deliver the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small and mid-sized companies require at an economical price. PoE capability makes it simple to install network devices like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports as well as the option of backup power supplies with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid protection against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches deliver IOS Software functions for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 line of switches are compact, entry-level switches with eight Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be installed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas like on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branches. Available models offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplinks, and deliver switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows as many as four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to act like a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative costs with one-switch setup. IPv6 FHS technology guards against address theft and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches ConsultantsCiscoís Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal access-layer switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of vital applications such a Voice over IP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy comprehensive intelligent features including quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 switch offers a robust array of capabilities that permit network scalability and higher resilience through IP routing plus a complete complement of STP improvements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 network. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as PVST+, and Port Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 traffic sharing on backup connections to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant design.

Efficient routing mechanisms such as Open Shortest Path First, EIGRP, BGP, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor midsized businesses and enterprise branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series simplifies deployment of unified technologies and adapts to changing business needs by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network traffic, and automatic configuration of intelligent system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-volume Gigabit deployments and incorporates a wide range of switches that address the connectivity, distribution, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image features include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-management, ACLs, and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise network functions, such as advanced built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture optimized for Gigabit interfaces. Cisco StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent performance. StackWise combines up to nine individual switches into one functional device, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a master switch, elected from among the stack of switches. The control switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new switches or remove old devices without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the remote or on-premises services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, network architecture design, migrations and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and IT security and compliance assessment and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of crucial networking technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create a comprehensive security plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your network security posture.

If you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, plan, and implement a migration to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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If you wish to ask Progent about professional support for Cisco networking, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.