Cisco's Catalyst family of modular and fixed managed 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 branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and SPs. Progent's Cisco-certified consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst family switches to help your organization to design an efficient network architecture that addresses your unique business needs, set up pilot testing, install Catalyst switches, establish and verify a sound security and compliance strategy, automate system management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and maintenance services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant technology for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to the latest models of Catalyst switches following industry best practices to make sure that you receive the most return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a combination of fairly new networking patterns whose overall effect is a virtual tsunami of data:

  • Cloud computing and a consequent need for intensive virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Data guzzling rich media apps
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics

Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures slash costs by permitting very high resource utilization and demanding very little data center space and power consumption. However this also requires that relatively limited network resources have to accommodate large volumes of data. The BYOD revolution has created a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these users tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social media for business is replacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing a growing requirement for data. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are adopting Big Data techniques to mine enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which as a result produces Big Network Traffic. All of these computing trends are fairly new, and combined they cause a serious demand for an advanced generation of switches that feature significantly higher speed, control, uptime and manageability than previous platforms were designed to deliver.

Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution and core layers layers of enterprise campus deployments where office workers must be supported with dependable performance, strict user access management, tight segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching throughput as high as 11.4 Tbps per chassis and double that per switching system, an extensive suite of tools including Easy Virtual Network (EVN) to simplify the creation of virtual networks, Virtual Switching System (VSS) technology for stateful interchassis failover with subsecond backup switch restoration and 99.999% availability, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control (AVC) to maximize system utilization, and sophisticated QoS capabilities for HD video traffic control.

Catalyst Switches Consulting Firm

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching and routing features into their network infrastructure, creating an environment that can deal with real-time needs, expand to accommodate future growth, guard sensitive data, and separate and manage tasks to optimize network operations.

Cisco Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is low-profile, fanless, power efficient, and includes a variety of mounting alternatives. The switch incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplink ports and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX appliance is a fixed-port managed switch packaged in a sleek, quiet and energy-efficient unit that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with 8 or 12 1-GE ports or with six 1-GE ports and two multigigabit ports. Up to four uplinks are available, and PoE+ power is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration switches designed for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have eight to 48 GE ports and either 2 or 4 Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for most models does away with noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.

Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S family by delivering switching performance 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 FlexStack Plus stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Cisco Catalyst 2900 Series switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch is capable of Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of having one device for L2 and L3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and 3850 Series Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and featuring full wireless network controller capability that lets you control wired and wireless infrastructure on a one platform managed by one operating system. Cisco offers versions with 24 or 48 built-in 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and capacity for as many as nine Catalyst switches in a FlexStack stack. All models provide expandable Quality of Service, fast switchover for maximum availability, software support for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.

Since wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic by means of Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution along with advanced Quality of Service features for a better user environment and faster problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-throughput called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling infrastructure. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Cisco's Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Planning and Deployment Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking performance of 160 Gbps and supports as many as 25 Wi-Fi access points and 1000 wireless clients on each switch or stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 offers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 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 ports at line rate on every port, offering far reaching connectivity, enhanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-E and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution environments where space for networking hardware is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE OS software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network (EVN) and VSS solutions. Network virtualization allows you to segment a hardware network into multiple virtual networks whose data planes and control planes are logically distinct. This provides the high resource utilization, security and compliance, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other situations where a single infrastructure is shared by applications and services that need to operate in total isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network speeds up the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes features of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) and includes additional technologies including VNET Tags and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series platforms to create zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.

Catalyst 4500E Switches
Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch includes a built-in wireless network controller that works with Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired/wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on a single switch powered by IOS XE software. Technologies included are Cisco's FNF technology for capacity planning encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, identical Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-quality availability.

Available in chassis that have from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches with Supervisor 8-E can support as many as 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, 193 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired access for each system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi access points and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported per chassis, and 250 APs and 4000 wireless clients can be managed in a multi-switch deployment without a separate wireless controller.

Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches Consulting FirmCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10-Gigabit Ethernet aggregation switches that can deliver up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per device. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE connections on the unit's baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections. Eight 10GE uplinks can be added via another module. In addition to providing zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS solution on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers higher system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by activating all available capacity between redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Additional advanced features include Flexible NetFlow solution for application visibility, TrustSec protection, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared over a dozen years ago and have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series switches provide the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch supports the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing enhancement preserves your technology investment and enables you to update your network backbone with minimal downtime or management staff retraining.

Common features of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with the Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, single-point administration to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS Quad Sup SSO (VS4O) capability for maximum uptime through multi-level switchover, and Cisco's LISP protocol to facilitate roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to segment distinct client groups and support the unique security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete MPLS, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless environments, the WiSM2 for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches can manage up to 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.

Catalyst 6500-E Switches
Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Cisco Catalyst 6500-E family of modular switches are intended for aggregation and campus core networks that need maximum uptime and high concentrations of 10/100/1000 Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Models have three to 13 expansion slots and accept a broad range of interfaces. Integrated service modules enable wireless management, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad line of 6500 switches accept the Supervisor Engine 2T.

The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E switch has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 expansion slots, and delivers as much as 180 Gbps of switching capacity per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber access ports, up to 34 10GE ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The top-of-the-line Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and offers as much as 180 Gbps of capacity per slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can handle 8 Tbps of bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports up to 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports, up to 534 1GE fiber connections, up to 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40GE ports.

Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus core platforms intended to provide optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, small form factor platform for Ethernet aggregation designed for small or midsize enterprise campus backbones. The Catalyst 6880-X switch delivers as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port concentration per chassis is 80 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. With Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps switching capacity and support up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or up to 20 40GE access ports.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10 RU form factor chassis that has 7 expansion slots and supports standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and service modules. (Two of the slots are for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL switch can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching bandwidth on each slot and 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching performance while handling up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40GE connections. A two-chassis 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

Legacy Catalyst Series Switches Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive experience providing remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst switches which have reached End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches typically cost more to manage and support than contemporary switches, provide lower capacity and fewer features, and for many situations may subject businesses to regulatory and liability risks. Progent's consultants are available to help you to manage and repair these older Cisco products and can in addition assist you to plan and carry out non-disruptive upgrades to current products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which build upon Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst switches for which support is available from Progent include:

Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Line
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family of fixed-configuration switches are intended for organizations with as many as 250 workers and deliver the reliability, protection, extensibility, and feature set small companies require at an economical cost. PoE capability makes it easy to add network devices like VoIP phones and IP cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer up to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T ports plus the option of redundant power with automatic switch-over for additional reliability. Integration with Cisco wireless access points allows organizations to build a local wireless network rapidly and easily. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family offers strong protection against viruses With Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Clean Access solutions.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches Professional ServicesCisco Catalyst 2900 non-modular, managed 10/100 switches offer basic small-group connectivity for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop appliances offer Cisco IOS Software functions for simple data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 Series fixed-configuration switches are compact, stackable devices featuring 8 Ethernet connections and a single built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be installed outside the wiring cabinet in space-constrained areas like on or under a worker's desk or in a conference room.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branches. Available versions offer 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-GB Ethernet uplink connections, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows as many as four 2960-S chassis to be combined in a stack to perform like a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces administrative costs because of one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability protects against address theft and other attacks.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches SupportThe Catalyst 3560 family is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. The Catalyst 3560 is an ideal access-layer switch for small enterprise network access or satellite-office environments, combining both 10/100/1000 and PoE configurations for high productivity while streamlining the deployment of key technology including Voice over IP, Wi-Fi, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy comprehensive smart services including QoS, rate management, ACLs, multicast administration, and fast IP routing with the simplicity of traditional LAN switching.

Cisco's Catalyst 3560 family switch offers a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network expandability and enhanced resilience via IP routing as well as a complete suite of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) enhancements designed to increase throughput in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the conventional STP Protocol, such as PVST+, Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations like Flex Links Layer 2 interfaces, improve network uptime. PVST+ allows for Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup connections to exploit the extra bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Efficient technologies including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and static routing improve system capacity; PIM increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Series Switches ConsultantsFor midsized businesses and corporate branches, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch simplifies integration of unified applications and accommodates evolving business environments by offering configuration versatility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of intelligent system services. Also, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and includes a diverse selection of switches that address the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized deployments.

Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch has either the IP Base or the IP Services image. The IP Base image functions include industry-leading QoS, rate-limiting, ACLs, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer selection of enterprise-grade features, such as sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast and multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. StackWise is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing dependable performance. Cisco StackWise combines up to nine individual switches into one logical device, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. The individual switches can be any combination of the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switches and the 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as a single switching appliance that is managed by a master switch, selected from among the member switches. The master switch automatically creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete old devices without service interruption.

How Progent Can Help You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent offers the remote or onsite expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have broad backgrounds providing Catalyst switch technology solutions for small and midsize organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and SPs. Progent's practice areas include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus families of smart switches and Cisco's IOS, IOS-XR and NX-OS operating systems. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include proof-of-concept testing, network analysis and monitoring, topology design, upgrades and project management, virtualization, wired/wireless convergence, network management, performance optimization, problem mitigation, disaster recovery and business continuity planning, and IT security testing and remediation.

Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have deep knowledge of industry standards and with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing including Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, STP, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, OSPF, Virtual Switching System (VSS), and LISP. Progent's infrastructure consultants also have experience with important networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified network security consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security and compliance plan and deploy Cisco Catalyst switches so they provide optimal support for your security policies.

In case you need the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency Cisco switches for an enterprise-class data center, Progent can help you to evaluate, design, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To find out about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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