The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration managed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged voice, HD video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan an efficient network topology that addresses your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and validate a sound security plan, automate network management and performance tracking, deliver repair and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you get the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly recent networking trends whose overall impact is a cyber tsunami of traffic:

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

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by allowing very high hardware utilization and demanding very little real estate and energy use. However this also requires that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has created a steep increase in the amount of mobile clients that must be supported by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video applications. Social business technologies are displacing traditional email as the main driver for collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through vast and varied silos of information, which in turn produces Big Network Traffic. All of these trends are fairly new, and combined they cause a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher speed, control, uptime and manageability than older platforms were engineered to deliver.

Cisco's current lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where office employees must be accommodated by providing predictable performance, strict user access control, tight segmentation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features such as high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and double that for each system, a comprehensive suite of technologies including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% uptime, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control to maximize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Catalyst switches enable organizations of all sizes to build smart switching services into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can meet real-time needs, expand to support expected capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and separate and manage processes to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is ultra-compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting alternatives. The Catalyst 2960-CX has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a compact, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet is also available.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration managed switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. These compact appliances include 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches improve on the 2690-S family by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless controller functionality that lets you converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-Gigabit uplinks, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful failover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.

Since wireless data traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology and sophisticated QoS features for a better user experience and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and supports up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, both the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data planes and control planes are logically separate. This makes possible the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and simplified management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be used by software and services that must operate in total isolation from one another. EVN streamlines the process of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds new technologies including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on Cisco's IOS XE software. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning across wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to cover Wi-Fi traffic for world-class high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 plug-in slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 193 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled on each chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless users can be supported in a two-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed-configuration 10GE aggregation platforms that deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches provides increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus backbone platforms that share the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared more than a decade ago and have been continually enhanced ever since. Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL 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 information technology investment and permits you to update your network backbone with little service interruption or IT team retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, centralized management to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) technology for 99.999% uptime through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition distinct client groups and support the special security/compliance and QoS policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are intended for distribution and enterprise backbone environments that need world-class uptime and high densities of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interface modules. Integrated service modules support wireless, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, with a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can support up to 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Catalyst 6513-E switch can support up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for high-density Ethernet designed for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps bandwidth and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Configured with VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching throughput and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit chassis that has 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching capacity while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40GE ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches which have reached End of Life. These legacy Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and support than contemporary models, deliver less performance and functionality, and for many cases can expose organizations to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to manage and troubleshoot these legacy Cisco products and can also assist you to design and implement non-disruptive upgrades to current products within the Catalyst line or to devices from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which build upon Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst Express 500 and 520 line of Layer 2 switches are intended for companies with as many as 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet support makes it simple to install network appliances such as VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps businesses to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong security against viruses thanks to the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice control at the network edge. The Cisco 2940 family of managed switches are small, stackable switches with 8 Fast Ethernet connections plus a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped areas such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Available models feature either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits up to four 2960-S chassis to be grouped in a stack to act like one switching unit that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational costs because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects networks against address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and PoE capability in 10/100 Ethernet and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. The Catalyst 3560 switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for small enterprise network connectivity or branch-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet options for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of vital technology such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can deploy network-wide smart services including quality of service, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series has a robust array of features that permit network scalability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a complete complement of STP improvements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links, improve network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Layer 2 load sharing on redundant connections to exploit the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.

Important routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases resource utilization; and VRFLite secures network traffic.

Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor midsized organizations and corporate branch offices, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates integration of converged technologies and adapts to evolving business environments by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage unified network traffic, and management-free set up of intelligent system functions. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse selection of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol (RIP) routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of high-end features, such as advanced built-in IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to installs, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable performance. StackWise technology combines up to 9 separate switches into one logical device, using special stack-interface cables and stacking utilities. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is directed by a master switch, selected from one of the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new switches or remove existing switches without operational interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize businesses, branches, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and information security and compliance assessment and remediation.

Progent offers deep expertise with industry standards and with Cisco-owned protocols and technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network experts also offer deep knowledge of key networking technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance plan and deploy Catalyst switches so that they provide optimal enforcement to your security posture.

In case you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also assist you to integrate Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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In order to contact Progent about consulting expertise for Cisco products, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.