Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed switches provides performance and intelligence at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, HD video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants can provide online and on-premises expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that meets your specific business needs, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security plan, automate system management and monitoring, provide troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology to achieve non-stop operation, Progent can help you to manage and troubleshoot your older Catalyst switches or migrate smoothly to current models of Catalyst switches adhering to leading practices to ensure that you get the most return from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of fairly recent computing patterns whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of traffic:

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

Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing network virtualization. Virtualized data centers radically reduce expenses by permitting very high resource utilization and requiring very little data center space and energy use. But this also means that relatively limited resources have to accommodate large amounts of traffic. The BYOD revolution has created a steep increase in the amount of mobile users that must be supported by IT networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video apps. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the main driver for workforce collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they cause a critical need for a new class of switches that offer significantly higher performance, control, availability and manageability than previous solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with unvarying high speed, strict access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Catalyst switches address the demand for speed and intelligence with features that include high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching capacity of up to 11.4 Tbps per chassis and double that per system, an extensive catalog of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the deployment of virtual networks, VSS technology for switch failover with instant backup switch recovery and 99.999% uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 support, AVC to maximize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service tools for video traffic prioritization.

Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of Any Size

Cisco Catalyst switches allow organizations of all sizes to benefit from incorporating intelligent switching features into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can handle real-time requirements, scale to accommodate expected capacity demands, protect sensitive information, and separate and control processes to optimize network productivity.

Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-configuration managed switch packaged in a sleek, noiseless and low-power unit that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with 6 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports plus 2 multigigabit ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line consists of value-priced fixed-configuration switches targeted for small offices, retail areas, and other places where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile switches have 8 to 48 GE ports and two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S line of switches by delivering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 switches in a FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Cisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches ConsultantsCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE operating system and featuring comprehensive wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless networks on a one platform powered by a single operating system. Cisco has models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1-Gigabit or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and capacity for up to nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high availability, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can spot and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) technology and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for a better user environment and quicker problem isolation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification using existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi APs, refer to Planning and Deployment Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 delivers stacking performance of up to 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking throughput as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, offering far reaching connections, advanced security, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for access and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure hardware is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and 4500-X families facilitate virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS technologies. Virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into a number of virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common infrastructure must be used by applications and services that need to operate in total privacy from each other. EVN streamlines the task of deploying VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. EVN utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds new features such as VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes connecting VNs. Virtual Switching System technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series platforms to produce zero-downtime virtual networks with advanced traffic load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches ConsultantsThe Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired as well as wireless services on a single platform based on IOS XE. Features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and wireless networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover to include wireless traffic for world-class high availability.

Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle as many as 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, 193 1GE non-blocking 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 up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each chassis, and up to 250 access points and 4000 wireless clients can be supported in a two-switch installation without 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 switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the unit's baseboard and eight additional 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports on the optional expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are available with another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Flexible NetFlow technology for application visibility, Cisco TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus core platforms that incorporate the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and which have been steadily improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide identical features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated portfolio of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your IT investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal downtime or IT staff re-education.

Common features of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for simple, single-point control to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System technology for 99.999% uptime via multi-level switchover, and the Cisco Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to simplify virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking tools to segment distinct client groups and support the special security and QoS policy requirements of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network (EVN), VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, GRE for v4/v6, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired and wireless networking, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus backbone networks that need maximum availability and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models come with three to 13 slots and accept a broad selection of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and data protection. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports up to 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of bandwidth per slot, with a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can deliver 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches intended to provide best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact platform for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps capacity and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40GE ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching performance and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

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

Legacy Catalyst Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and onsite support services for legacy Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches typically cost more to operate and support than contemporary products, deliver lower performance and functionality, and for many situations may subject businesses to compliance and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to support and repair these legacy switches and can in addition help you to design and execute non-disruptive upgrades to current models from the Catalyst line or to devices from Cisco's Nexus portfolio of switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst models supported by Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Family of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for organizations with as many as 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, extensibility, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical price. PoE support makes it simple to add network devices like VoIP phones and closed-circuit TV cameras.

Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus optional backup power with auto switch-over for extra reliability. Integration with Cisco access points helps organizations to build a local wireless environment quickly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides strong security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches SupportCatalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches provide basic workgroup connectivity for small to medium-sized businesses. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for simple mixed-media traffic support at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of managed switches are small, stackable switches with eight Fast Ethernet connections and one integrated Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained locations like on a user's desk or in a conference room.

Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches designed for small businesses and branches. Available versions offer 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1GE or two 10GE uplinks, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits as many as four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act as one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces management expense because of one-switch setup. IPv6 First Hop Security capability protects against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.

Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of fixed-configuration switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN access or satellite-offices, combining both 10/100/1000 and Power over Ethernet configurations for high productivity while facilitating the installation of vital technology including VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive intelligent services such as quality of service, rate management, access control lists, multicast administration, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series switch is equipped with a powerful array of capabilities that permit network expandability and enhanced availability via IP routing plus a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer LAN. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Layer 2 traffic balancing on redundant connections to exploit the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient protocols including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and PBR improve network scale; PIM increases resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite protects network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches HelpFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases integration of unified technologies and adapts to evolving business environments by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent system services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is engineered for high-density 1000 Ethernet deployments and includes a wide selection of switches that address the connectivity, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base image or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced QoS, rate-management, access control lists, and basic static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a richer set of high-end functions, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to additions, deletions, and relocations while providing consistent performance. StackWise combines as many as 9 separate switches into one logical unit, utilizing special stack-interface cables and software. The individual switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as an individual switching device that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the member switches. The master switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and optional routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new switches or delete old members with no operational interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the online or onsite services of CCIE-certified consultants who have broad experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, enterprises, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Consulting and support services available from Progent's experts for Catalyst switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and IT security testing and validation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad knowledge of open standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have familiarity with crucial technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, RIP, and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can assist you to develop a comprehensive security plan and deploy Catalyst switches so they provide maximum 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 help you to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Nexus family of switches. To learn about Progent's consulting and support capabilities for Nexus switches, see Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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