The Catalyst line of modular and fixed-configuration switches offers speed and control at the access, aggregation, and core levels of converged IP voice, video, and data networks for organizations that range in size from small businesses and branches to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants offer online and on-premises support for Catalyst switches to assist your organization to design a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business needs, configure proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security and compliance plan, automate network management and monitoring, provide repair and support services, optimize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions for near-zero downtime, Progent can assist you to maintain and repair your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you get the maximum return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.

The need for intelligent, fast switching is driven by a confluence of fairly new computing patterns whose net impact is a cyber avalanche of data:

  • Cloud networking and a consequent demand for intensive network virtualization
  • The pervasiveness of always-connected mobile devices
  • Bandwidth-intensive rich media applications
  • Social media for business
  • The rise of Big Data in data analytics

Private, public and hybrid clouds are only operationally realistic because of virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash expenses by allowing very high resource utilization and demanding minimal real estate and energy consumption. However this also means that comparatively limited resources have to support substantial volumes of data traffic. The BYOD paradigm has caused a steep rise in the number of mobile users that must be supported by business networks, and these clients tend to run a great deal of data-intensive, rich media apps. Social business technologies are displacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is generating an ever increasing thirst for bandwidth. Enterprises who are trying to stay competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and disparate repositories of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Traffic. All of these trends are fairly recent, and put together they cause a serious demand for a new generation of switches that offer significantly higher capacity, control, uptime and ease of management than older solutions were designed to provide.

Cisco's current portfolio of Catalyst switches are designed for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be provided for by offering predictable high speed, secure access control, tight group isolation, application intelligence, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches are designed to meet the demand for speed and intelligence with features such as high-density 10G/40G/100G services, switching performance of up to 11 Tbps per switch and twice that for each system, a comprehensive catalog of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the creation of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for switch failover with instant backup switch recovery and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv6 capability, Application Visibility and Control to optimize system resource usage, and sophisticated QoS tools for video data control.

Cisco Catalyst Switches Consultants

Cisco Offers Catalyst Switching Solutions for Businesses of All Sizes

Catalyst switches enable businesses of any size to benefit from incorporating smart switching services into their network architecture, creating an ecosystem that can meet real-time requirements, expand to accommodate future growth, protect sensitive data, and separate and control tasks to optimize network operations.

Catalyst 2960 Swiches and 3560-CX Switches
Catalyst 2900 Series Switches Integration and TroubleshootingCisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and includes flexible mounting options. The switch has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power unit that can be mounted virtually anywhere convenient. Models are available with 8 or 12 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or with six 1-GE ports and 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and Power over Ethernet (PoE) is also available.

Cisco Catalyst 2900-L Switches ConsultingCisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches targeted for small offices, retail venues, and other places where space is at a premium. These low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either two or four Small Form-Factor Pluggable uplink ports. Power over Ethernet support saves space and fan-free design for the 8- models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors support 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-based ports.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR switches improve on the 2690-S family of switches by offering switching throughput of up to 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus Stacking by means of a live-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. The Catalyst 2960-XR switch features Layer 3 dynamic routing, providing the convenience of using a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.

Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Cisco Catalyst 3650 Switch and Catalyst 3850 Switches Consulting FirmCisco Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access devices based on Cisco's IOS XE OS and featuring full wireless controller functionality that allows you to converge wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by one OS. Cisco offers models with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet plus (PoE+), four 1-Gigabit or four 10GE uplink ports, and support for up to nine switches in a FlexStack stack. All versions provide modular Quality of Service, fast failover for high availability, support in software for IPv4/IPv6 routing, multicast, and advanced security.

Because wireless data traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 family switch, it is possible to spot and assign priorities to wireless data by means of Cisco's FNF technology along with sophisticated Quality of Service capabilities for an improved user environment and faster problem mediation. Fast Ethernet switching supports the high-throughput called for by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (To find out about Progent's support for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Access Points and Controllers.)

The Cisco Catalyst 3650 Series switch delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 160 Gbps and can control up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 wireless users per switch or stack. The Catalyst 3850 switch delivers stacking bandwidth of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 Wi-Fi users on each stack. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches incorporate 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate, providing long distance connectivity, advanced protection, and an identical wired and wireless user experience.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series and Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution deployments where space for infrastructure hardware is limited. Powered by Cisco's IOS XE software, the 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families facilitate network virtualization by supporting Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and Virtual Switching System technologies. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the high resource utilization, protection, resilience, and ease of management needed for Cloud computing or other scenarios where a common infrastructure must be used by software and services that must operate in complete isolation from one another. Easy Virtual Network simplifies the task of creating VNs and scales to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network utilizes the capabilities of Multi-VRF and includes new technologies including VNET Tags and a simple way for duplicating replicating routes between VNs. Virtual Switching System makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to create zero-downtime VNs with optimized load balancing.

Cisco Catalyst 4500E Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesThe Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor engine to allow wired as well as wireless services on one switch based on Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analytics encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, and the extension of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to cover Wi-Fi data traffic for enterprise-class availability.

Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E switches with Supervisor 8-E can support up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 192 1GE non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10-Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, and eight 10GE uplink ports. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and up to 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless clients can be handled on each switch, and 250 access points and 4000 wireless users can be managed in a two-switch installation without requiring a separate wireless network controller.

Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Family Switches Consulting and TroubleshootingCatalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can deliver as much as 800 Gbps of core switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports up to 32 10GE ports on the baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the optional expansion module for a total of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE connections. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks are also available via another module. In addition to offering zero-downtime operation and simple manageability, Cisco's VSS technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system throughput of as much as 1.6 Tbps by enabling all available bandwidth across redundant Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other features include Cisco's FNF solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.

Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the proven DNA of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which first appeared more than a decade ago and have been continually improved since then. Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 switches offer the same general features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL supports the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and the associated family of line cards and modules. This cross compatibility and program of ongoing improvement preserves your IT expenditures and enables you to upgrade your network with little service interruption or management team re-education.

Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 Series modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include Cisco's Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized management to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, VSS capability for maximum uptime via multi-level failover, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Other virtualization tools to segment distinct user groups and support the special security and Quality of Service policy needs of each group include Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPN, full MPLS, EVN, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services. For unified wired/wireless environments, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches can manage as many as 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.

Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Family Switches Consulting FirmThe Catalyst 6500-E line of modular switches are designed for distribution and campus backbone environments that require world-class uptime and high concentrations of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 GE fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models have three to 13 slots and work with a wide range of modules. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and data protection. Only E-Series versions of Cisco's extensive line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.

The value-priced Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, includes 3 slots, and offers 180 Gbps of switching bandwidth per slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E switch supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 99 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

The high-end Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot chassis and can deliver up to 180 Gbps of throughput on each slot, with a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A Virtual Switching System configuration can handle 8 Tbps of capacity. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E switch supports a maximum of 529 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, up to 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and up to 44 40GE access ports.

Catalyst 6800 Switches
Catalyst 6800 Family Switches Planning and Support ServicesCisco's Catalyst 6800 Series switches are programmable core platforms designed to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed, small form factor switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize enterprise campus cores. The 6880-X switch supports as much as 2 Tbps switching bandwidth and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Configured with VSS, a two-chassis system can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 10GE connections or as many as 20 40GE connections.

The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch has a 10-rack-unit form factor 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 five are for expansion modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL offers up to 880 Gbps of switching throughput on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while providing up to 240 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber ports, up to 80 10GE access ports or 20 40GE access ports. an 6807-XL system configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching bandwidth, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10GE access ports or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.

End-of-Life Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have broad experience delivering online and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for older Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These legacy switches typically are more expensive to manage and maintain than current models, provide lower capacity and functionality, and in some situations may subject businesses to regulatory and even liability risks. Progent's consultants can assist your business to support and troubleshoot these older Cisco products and can also help you to design and implement seamless migrations to newer products from the Catalyst family or to solutions from Cisco's Nexus line of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst technology. Legacy Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:

Catalyst Express 500 Switches
Catalyst Express 500 Series Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst Express 500 line of Layer 2 switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 workers and provide the reliability, protection, extensibility, and features small and mid-sized businesses require at an economical cost. PoE support makes it simple to add network devices such as wireless access points and IP cameras.

Versions of the Catalyst Express 500 managed switches offer from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports plus optional backup power supplies with automatic switch-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points allows organizations to set up a local wireless network quickly and effectively. The Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid security against viruses thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access agents.

Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Cisco Catalyst 2900 Family Switches ConsultantsCisco Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 switches offer fundamental workgroup networking for small to midsize companies. These wire-speed desktop appliances deliver Cisco IOS Software functions for basic mixed-media traffic control at the edge of the network. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of switches are compact, stackable devices with 8 Ethernet connections and a single integrated Fast or Gbit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring closet in space-constrained areas such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.

Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small companies and branches. Available models have either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink connections, and provide throughput as high as 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to perform like a single switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that cuts management costs with one-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) capability guards networks against address theft and malicious threats.

Cisco Catalyst 3560 Switches
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches Professional ServicesThe Catalyst 3560 Series is a selection of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet implementations. The Cisco Catalyst 3560 is an ideal Layer 2 switch for midsize business network access or local-office environments, offering both 10/100/1000 and PoE configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of key technology such a IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and remote video kiosks. IT managers can deploy network-wide smart services such as QoS, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast administration, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.

The Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful set of capabilities that allow for network scalability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a complete suite of STP improvements aimed to increase availability in an access Layer network. Improvements to the standard STP Protocol, including PVST+, and Port Fast, combined with enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, improve network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer traffic sharing on backup connections to take advantage of the additional bandwidth associated with a redundant architecture.

Important routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Border Gateway Protocol, static routing, and PBR increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) increases utilization of network resources; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) secures network traffic.

Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches ConsultantsFor midsized organizations and enterprise branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series facilitates deployment of converged applications and accommodates evolving competitive needs by offering setup flexibility, support for unified network patterns, and automatic configuration of intelligent network services. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet deployments and incorporates a diverse range of switches that address the access, aggregation, and backbone-interface demands of small or midsized networks.

The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series includes either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image functions include advanced quality of service, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and basic static and RIP routing support. The IP Services image offers a richer set of enterprise network features, such as advanced hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.

StackWise technology is a mechanism designed for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to respond to additions, deletions, and relocations while maintaining consistent operation. StackWise unites as many as 9 individual switches into a single logical unit, using custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking utilities. The individual switches can be any combination of Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series and the 3750-E switches. The stack operates as an individual switching appliance that is directed by a master switch, chosen from among the stack of switches. The master switch automatically builds and keeps current all the switching and user-selected routing tables. A deployed stack can accommodate new devices or remove old members without operational discontinuity.

How Progent Can Assist You with Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience providing Catalyst switch technology support for small and midsize organizations, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and service providers. Progent's areas of expertise include Cisco's Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS operating systems. Services offered by Progent for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing, system analysis, network architecture design, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, network management, performance optimization, troubleshooting, disaster recovery preparedness, and information security testing and remediation.

Progent offers broad expertise with industry standards as well as with Cisco-owned technologies associated with switching and routing including BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, Protocol Independent Multicast, VPNs, STP, VLANs, FabricPath, VPC, OTV, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure specialists also offer deep knowledge of key networking technologies such as TCP/IP, IPv4/IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and IGMP. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified data security and compliance consultants can show you how to create an enterprise-wide security strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so that they offer optimal support for your security posture.

If you require the highest available Ethernet density or sub-microsecond latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can assist you to evaluate, plan, and carry out a transition to Cisco's Nexus switches. To learn about Progent's consulting services for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support offered by Progent. Progent can also help you to connect Catalyst core switches with Cisco Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)

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To ask Progent about consulting help for Cisco networking, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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