Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide remote and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to help your organization to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your specific business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, streamline system management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to up-to-date models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to ensure that you realize the highest return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a combination of relatively new computing trends whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of data traffic:

  • Cloud computing and an associated demand for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
  • Data guzzling HD video apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible because of network virtualization. Virtualized infrastructures slash expenses by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring minimal data center space and energy consumption. However this also means that relatively limited resources must support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has caused a dramatic increase in the number of mobile users that must be handled by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are replacing traditional email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing requirement for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to search through enormous and varied repositories of information, which as a result generates Big Traffic. All of these computing trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a serious demand for a new class of switches that feature significantly higher performance, intelligence, uptime and manageability than older platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be accommodated by providing predictable high throughput, strict client access management, careful group isolation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches are designed to meet the need for speed and control with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps for each chassis and double that per switching system, a comprehensive collection of technologies including Easy Virtual Network to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with instant backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv4 and IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) tools for HD video data prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of any size to build smart switching services into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can meet current requirements, scale to support expected capacity demands, guard vital data, and differentiate and control processes to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows a variety of mounting alternatives. The device incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration switch housed in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-configuration switches intended for branch offices, retail areas, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free design for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features Layer 3 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 FirmCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one device managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for as many as 9 switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular QoS, stateful switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless 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 an improved wireless user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 switch delivers stacking bandwidth as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 Wi-Fi APs and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering far reaching connections, advanced security, and an identical wired/wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines facilitate virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System solutions. Virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This makes possible the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and ease of management required for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common infrastructure is used by software and services that must run in complete privacy from each other. EVN simplifies the task of creating virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and adds additional features including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create non-stop virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on one switch powered by IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired and wireless security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and wireless clients, plus the expansion of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class high availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can handle up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be handled per chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients are supported in a dual-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available with another module. In addition to providing non-stop performance and easy management, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include FNF technology for traffic analysis, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that incorporate the proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of products, which first appeared more than a dozen years ago and which have been continually enhanced ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical general features and operation, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This cross compatibility and commitment to continual improvement preserves your information technology expenditures and allows you to upgrade your network backbone with little business disruption or management team training.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine for convenient, centralized management to put in place unvarying policy throughout a distributed environment, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum availability through multi-level failover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to facilitate client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization features to segment specific client groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware technology for NAT NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports as many as 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are designed for aggregation and campus core networks that need maximum availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 slots and accept a wide selection of modules. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's extensive family of Catalyst 6500 switches accept Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver up to 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE access ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone platforms designed to provide optimal 10/40/100 GE services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching performance and includes four slots for port cards. The top port concentration per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in 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 Catalyst 6807-XL switch offers as much as 880 Gbps of switching performance on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE ports or up to 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system configured with VSS can support 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Models Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive backgrounds providing online and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These outdated switches usually cost more to manage and support than contemporary switches, provide less performance and functionality, and in some situations can expose organizations to regulatory compliance and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist your business to maintain and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and carry out seamless upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Family
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and features small companies require at an economical cost. Power over Ethernet capability makes it easy to add network appliances like VoIP phones and IP TV cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps organizations to build a wireless LAN network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family offers strong security against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultingCatalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to medium-sized companies. These wire-rate desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small-footprint, stackable switches featuring eight Fast Ethernet ports plus a single built-in Fast or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in cramped locations like on a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current models offer either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and provide switching capacity of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology permits four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to act as a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that cuts operational expense because of single-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology protects networks against address interception and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsCiscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) options for high productivity while facilitating the deployment of vital technology such a VoIP, wireless access, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive smart services such as QoS, rate management, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch has a robust array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience through IP routing plus a full complement of Spanning Tree Protocol improvements aimed to maximize availability in a Layer 2 LAN. Improvements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links, contribute to network efficiency. PVST+ supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on redundant connections to efficiently use the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, and Policy Based Routing increase network capacity; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches SupportFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of unified applications and adapts to evolving competitive environments by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and automatic set up of smart system functions. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet environments and includes a diverse range of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or mid-size systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image features include advanced quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and simple static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a broader selection of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a stacking architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise combines up to 9 separate switches into a single functional device, using special stack-interface cables and stacking software. Each of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is managed by a control switch, elected from one of the stack of switches. The master switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A working stack can accept new members or remove existing switches with no operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Help Your Business with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite support services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis and monitoring, topology planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and data security and compliance testing and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with open standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also offer experience with important technologies including TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security plan and implement Catalyst switches so they offer maximum enforcement to your security posture.

In case you require the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and manage a migration to Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch configuration and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To ask Progent about technical help for Cisco technology, phone 1-800-993-9400 or see Contact Progent.