The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer remote and on-premises expertise with Catalyst family switches to assist your organization to design a cost-effective network topology that addresses your specific business needs, set up pilot testing, deploy Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security strategy, streamline network management and performance tracking, deliver troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade smoothly to up-to-date versions of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you get the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively recent networking trends whose net impact is a virtual avalanche of data:

  • Cloud computing and an associated requirement for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
  • Social business technologies
  • The popularity of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers radically reduce costs by permitting very high hardware utilization and demanding minimal real estate and power consumption. However this also requires that relatively limited network resources must support large amounts of traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has created a steep increase in the number of mobile users that have be supported by business networks, and these clients run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing demand for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate silos of information, which in turn generates Big Traffic. These computing trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a critical demand for an advanced class of switches that feature much more throughput, intelligence, uptime and manageability than older solutions were built to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be accommodated by providing predictable high speed, strict access management, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11.4 Tbps for each switch and double that for each switching system, a comprehensive catalog of tools such as EVN to simplify the creation of VLANs, VSS technology for stateful interchassis failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) availability, IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize network resource usage, and advanced QoS capabilities for video traffic prioritization.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Planning and Support Services

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Organizations of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching features into their network architecture, creating an environment that can deal with real-time requirements, scale to support expected growth, guard vital data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Versions are offered with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports plus two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplinks are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also an option.

Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of value-priced fixed-configuration switches intended for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for 16- and 24-port models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S family by offering switching throughput as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology via a live-swappable module that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 Series switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for application visibility and control. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having one switch for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable network access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one platform managed by a single operating system. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 built-in 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and support for up to nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All versions offer modular Quality of Service, fast failover for high uptime, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security features.

Since wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, network managers can identify and prioritize wireless traffic using Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced QoS capabilities for a better wireless user environment and quicker problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput defined by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

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

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for networking hardware is at a premium. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and Virtual Switching System (VSS) solutions. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, recoverability, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a single infrastructure is used by applications and services that need to run in complete isolation from each other. EVN streamlines the process of deploying virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies including VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to permit wired as well as wireless services on one platform based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning across wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include Wi-Fi traffic for world-class high availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE fiber fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired capacity for each system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users can be supported per switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 wireless users are supported in a multi-switch deployment without requiring a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that deliver 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE ports on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 10GE connections. Eight 10GE uplinks are available via another module. In addition to offering non-stop performance and simple management, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth between VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that share the field-proven technology of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches provide the same features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its family of line cards and service modules. This mutual compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement preserves your information technology investment and permits you to update your network with little service interruption or IT team training.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine for simple, single-point management to put in place consistent policy throughout a distributed network, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% uptime through multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol to facilitate roaming and device mobility and to streamline virtualization and migration to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to partition specific client groups and serve the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching , Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for NAT NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and Layer 2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services. For converged wired and wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches includes support for as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone environments that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Models come with three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, network monitoring, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive family of 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The high-end Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a total system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can deliver 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10GE ports, and 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable backbone switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact device for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X delivers up to 2 Tbps capacity and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 20 40GE connections.

The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service 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 throughput on each slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with VSS is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching capacity, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40GE ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Series Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience delivering online and on-premises support services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and support than contemporary switches, provide lower performance and fewer features, and for some situations can subject organizations to regulatory and even liability issues. Progent's consultants can help your business to support and repair these older switches and can also assist you to plan and execute non-disruptive migrations to newer models from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of Layer 2 switches are intended for businesses with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, expandability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses need at an affordable price. PoE support makes it easy to install network appliances like wireless access points and IP cameras.

Models of the Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus optional redundant power with auto fail-over for extra dependability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points helps organizations to set up a wireless LAN network rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 family provides solid protection against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 Series fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches provide basic workgroup networking for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These wire-speed desktop switches offer Cisco IOS Software features for basic data, video, and voice support at the edge of the network. The Catalyst 2940 Series managed switches are small, entry-level switches with eight Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast or Gigabit uplink. They can be installed outside the wiring closet in cramped locations such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Current models incorporate either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide switching capacity as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature allows four 2960-S switches to be combined in a stack to act as a single switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking throughput and that reduces administrative costs because of single-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security capability guards networks against address interception and other threats.

Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Family Switches HelpThe Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco Power over Ethernet functionality in 10/100 and Gigabit implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or local-office environments, combining both Gigabit and PoE configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications such a VoIP, wireless connectivity, video surveillance, and building management systems. IT managers can activate comprehensive smart features such as quality of service (QoS), rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful array of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced availability through IP routing as well as a full complement of STP improvements aimed to increase throughput in a Layer 2 LAN. Enhancements to the conventional Spanning Tree Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), and Uplink Fast, combined with innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, contribute to network uptime. PVST+ supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on backup connections to exploit the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant architecture.

Efficient technologies such as Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), EIGRP, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and Policy Based Routing improve system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast increases utilization of network resources; and VRFLite secures data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches Professional ServicesFor mid-size businesses and corporate branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch facilitates deployment of unified applications and accommodates changing competitive needs by providing configuration flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and management-free configuration of smart system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is engineered for high-volume 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a wide range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface requirements of small or midsized networks.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image provides a broader selection of high-end features, including advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

Cisco StackWise technology is an architecture designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing predictable operation. StackWise unites up to 9 individual switches into one functional unit, utilizing special stack-interconnect cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series and the Cisco Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is managed by a master switch, chosen from among the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A running stack can accommodate new members or delete old devices with no service discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite expertise of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch support for small and medium sized businesses, branches, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, system analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, network management, capacity planning, troubleshooting, business continuity planning, and network security testing and verification.

Progent offers broad knowledge of industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), OTV, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's network experts also have familiarity with crucial technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal enforcement to your security policies.

If you need ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to analyze, plan, and manage a migration to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's support capabilities for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting services. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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