News Release

Cisco/Novell Partnership to Ensure Integration of Routers With NetWare Enterprise Environments

Leading Router Vendor Adopts Novell's IPX Standards
Aug 16, 1993

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 16, 1993 -- Cisco Systems, Inc., and Novell, Inc., have entered a strategic partnership aimed at ensuring interoperability between Cisco internetwork routers and Novell NetWare network products to benefit their growing base of mutual customers in enterprise environments.

The first phase of the partnership has three elements: Novell will certify that Cisco routers support all necessary IPX router functionality; Cisco will implement Novell's NetWare Link Services Protocol (NLSP) to improve internetwork performance and scalability; and the two companies will work together to ensure that Cisco routers will support IPXWAN to provide seamless interoperability of IPX across wide-area network media.

At next week's Interop 93 August conference in San Francisco, Cisco and Novell will conduct a joint interoperability demonstration of their products.

Kanwal Rekhi, executive vice president of Novell's Interoperability Systems Group, said, "As major companies deploy client-server systems with legacy systems, they are looking to tie these new systems together in open, router-based enterprise internetworks. With 30 million Novell NetWare nodes and 100,000 Cisco routers installed in the world's largest internets, our partnership will ensure Novell customers that they can send data over Cisco backbones in the enterprise as easily as they can over a departmental or branch network."

Cisco President and Chief Executive John Morgridge said, "As IPX becomes even more prevalent across the internetwork, our work with Novell will ensure our growing base of mutual customers the highest possible applications availability. As network industry leaders, Novell and Cisco together meet customer demand for increased IPX internetworking, giving customers easier and more manageable access to information resources across the enterprise."

Cisco joined Novell's Router Development Program in January 1993, receiving the IPX router specification and compliance test programs. Cisco is using these test programs in its internal test labs and later this year will submit its router software to Novell for compliance testing.

Support for NLSP on Cisco routers is expected in 1994. "NLSP and its open architecture will ensure that customers have seamless routing in NetWare and Unix enterprise environments," Morgridge said. NLSP is Novell's state of the art link-state protocol that provides improved performance, reliability, scalability and manageability of IPX traffic in large LAN-WAN internetworks.

In the joint Cisco/Novell demonstration at Interop 93 August, a Ciscorouter supporting IPXWAN will communicate across a WAN serial line to a Novell NetWare MPR Plus router running on a Compaq DESKPRO 486-based PC. The WAN link will run between Cisco booth #2326 and Novell booth #6152. The IPXWAN protocol, introduced by Novell in late 1992, is used to exchange necessary router-to-router information prior to exchanging standard IPX routing information and traffic over WAN data links.

Cisco router software, which has supported the IPX protocol since 1989, already includes features, such as SAP filtering, which enhance IPX operation over large-scale internets.

Novell, Inc., is the computer networking company, developer of network services and specialized and general purpose operating system products, including NetWare, UnixWare and Novell DOS. Novell's NetWare network computing products manage and control the sharing of services, data and applications among computer workgroups, departmental networks and across enterprise-wide information systems.

Cisco Systems, Inc., is the leading worldwide supplier of high-performance, multimedia and multiprotocol internetworking products, including routers, bridges, communication servers and router management software. Cisco technology is used to build enterprise-wide networks linking an unlimited number of geographically dispersed LANs, WANs and IBM SNA networks. In the United States, Cisco is traded over the counter under the NASDAQ symbol CSCO.