The Catalyst family of modular and fixed-configuration switches provides performance and control at the access, distribution, and core levels of converged IP voice, HD 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 expertise with Catalyst switches to help you to plan a cost-effective infrastructure that addresses your unique business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sound security plan, automate system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, optimize switch performance, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to manage and repair your older Catalyst switches or migrate seamlessly to the latest models of Catalyst switches adhering to industry best practices to make sure that you get the most business value from your investment in your network.

The demand for intelligent, fast switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively recent computing patterns whose net impact is a virtual avalanche of traffic:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent reliance on massive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling HD video applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic by utilizing virtualization technology. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by allowing aggressively high hardware utilization and requiring very little real estate and power consumption. But this also means that comparatively limited network resources have to accommodate substantial amounts of data traffic. The Bring-Your-Own-Device revolution has created a dramatic rise in the number of mobile users that have be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a great deal of bandwidth-intensive, rich media apps. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing an ever increasing requirement for data. Businesses who are trying to remain competitive are adopting Big Data technology to search through enormous and varied repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and combined they cause a serious demand for a new generation of switches that offer significantly higher speed, intelligence, uptime and manageability than older platforms were built to provide.

Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution and core layers layers of campus deployments where office workers must be provided for by offering consistent high speed, strict client access management, tight group isolation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the demand for speed and control with features that include high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching performance as high as 11 Tbps for each chassis and double that per switching system, a comprehensive catalog of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of VLANs, VSS technology for switch failover with instant backup switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to optimize network utilization, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for HD video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Has Developed Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching services into their network architecture, deploying an environment that can meet current requirements, scale to support future growth, guard sensitive information, and separate and manage processes to optimize network operations.

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

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family consists of entry-level fixed-port switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These compact appliances include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free design for 16- and 24-port models eliminates noise. RJ-45 interfaces support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by offering switching performance of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking via a hot-swappable module that allows 8 switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch is capable of L3 dynamic routing, providing the simplicity of using one device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches powered by Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring comprehensive wireless network controller functionality that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single device powered by a single OS. Cisco has models with either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and capacity for as many as nine Catalyst switches per stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, stateful switchover for high uptime, support in software for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security features.

Because wireless traffic is visible at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution and sophisticated Quality of Service features for an improved wireless user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi specification on existing cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless access points and wireless controllers, and Meraki cloud-managed APs, refer to Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch offers stacking throughput as high as 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 wireless users on each switch. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series switch offers stacking bandwidth as high as 480 Gbps and supports as many as 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless users on each switch or stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, offering long distance connectivity, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.

Catalyst 4500-E Series and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are designed for campus and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data and control planes are logically segregated. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool must be used by software and services that must run in total isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the process of creating virtual networks and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and adds additional features including VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS technology makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime virtual networks with optimized load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Consulting FirmCisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has an integrated wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired/wireless convergence. this is the initial Catalyst supervisor engine to support wired plus wireless services on a single switch based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF solution for application visibility across both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless security, predictable QoS for wired and Wi-Fi networks, and the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi data traffic for world-quality high availability.

Offered in chassis that have from three to 10 plug-in slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides up to 928 Gbps of wired access per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported per switch, and 250 access points and 4000 clients can be supported in a multi-switch installation without a standalone wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation platforms that can deliver 800 Gbps of core switching performance per device. The Catalyst 4500-X switch supports up to 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and easy management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches offers higher system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF technology for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are campus core platforms that incorporate the field-proven technology of the Catalyst 6500 line of products, which first appeared over a decade ago and have been continually enhanced since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of compatible line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement preserves your technology investment and allows you to update your network backbone with minimal business disruption or IT staff retraining.

Common attributes of Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's ISE technology for convenient, centralized control to put in place unvarying policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and the Cisco LISP protocol to support client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtual networking features to segment specific user groups and serve the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full Multiprotocol Label Switching , EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and L2 geographic extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For converged wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) for Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage 1000 APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches ConsultantsThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for distribution and campus backbone environments that require maximum availability and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a wide range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless, traffic analysis, and security. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches work with the Supervisor Engine 2T.

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

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot form factor and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a system capacity of up to 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configured system can support 8 Tbps of switching capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, 180 10GE connections, and up to 44 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone switches intended to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 GE support. The Cisco Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, compact switch for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps performance and features four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or up to 20 40GE access ports. Configured with VSS, these switches can provide 4 Tbps switching bandwidth and handle as many as 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor chassis with 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and five are for modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver as much as 880 Gbps of switching throughput per slot and up to 11.4 Tbps of switching bandwidth while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE ports or 20 40GE connections. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.

Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad backgrounds delivering online and on-premises support expertise for legacy Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life. These outdated switches typically cost more to operate and support than current switches, deliver less performance and functionality, and for many situations may subject organizations to compliance and liability risks. Progent are available to assist your business to support and repair these older Cisco products and can also help you to plan and implement non-disruptive upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst family or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus line of switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Older Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Line of Switches
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst Express 500 family of fixed-configuration switches are designed for organizations with up to 250 workers and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and features small companies require at an affordable cost. Power over Ethernet support makes it easy to add network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.

Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus the option of redundant power supplies with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows businesses to build a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers strong security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.

Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco 2900 Series Switches SupportCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental small-group connectivity for small to midsize companies. These wire-speed desktop appliances offer IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic support at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series switches are small, stackable devices with 8 Ethernet connections and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in space-constrained locations like on or under a user's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branch offices. Current versions have 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and deliver throughput of up to 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four Catalyst 2960-S chassis to be combined in a FlexStack stack to act like one switch that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts management expense with single-switch configuration. IPv6 FHS capability guards networks against address interception and malicious attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Consulting FirmCiscoís Catalyst 3560 family is a selection of non-modular switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series switch is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network connectivity or satellite-offices, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the installation of key applications such a VoIP, wireless access, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. Customers can deploy comprehensive smart features such as QoS, rate limiting, access control lists, multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional LAN switching.

The Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series has a powerful set of features that permit network expandability and higher resilience through IP routing as well as a full suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) improvements designed to maximize availability in an access Layer LAN. Improvements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, such as Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus, and Uplink Fast, combined with enhancements like Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup links to take advantage of the additional bandwidth inherent in a redundant design.

Important routing mechanisms including OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), static routing, and Policy Based Routing increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultingFor mid-size organizations and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of unified applications and accommodates evolving business environments by offering setup flexibility, ability to manage converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart system services. Also, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a wide selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity demands of small or mid-size systems.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading 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 high-end features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for Gigabit interfaces. StackWise is intended to respond to installs, deletions, and relocations while maintaining predictable operation. Cisco StackWise technology combines as many as nine separate switches into a single logical device, using special stack-interface cables and utilities. Any of the switches can be any mix of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switches and the Catalyst 3750-E switches. The stack operates as a single switching unit that is directed by a control switch, chosen from one of the member switches. The control switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and optional routing databases. A running stack can accommodate new switches or delete existing devices with no service interruption.

Ways That Progent Can Assist Your Business with Catalyst Switches
Progent offers the online or on-premises support services of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and medium sized organizations, branch offices, enterprise campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus lines of smart switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Support services available from Progent for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing and validation, network analysis, topology planning, migrations and project management, virtualization, wired and wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery and business continuity preparedness, and information security and compliance testing and verification.

Progent has broad expertise with industry standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies associated with switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, ISIS, virtual LANs, FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network consultants also offer familiarity with key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to develop a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they offer optimal support for your network security policies.

If you need the highest available Ethernet density or extremely low latency Cisco switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist your organization to evaluate, design, and manage a transition to Cisco's Nexus family of switches. For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Nexus Series switches, refer to Cisco Nexus Switch consulting services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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