News Release

Cisco Demos Future IBM Internetworking Technologies:

Direct Router-Mainframe Channel Connection, and APPN
May 02, 1994

LAS VEGAS, Nev., May 2, 1994 -- A combined demonstration of twoadvanced IBM internetworking technologies -- the industry's first directconnection between a mainframe and an ATM router network, and a newAdvanced Peer-to-Peer Networking (APPN) implementation -- will beconducted by Cisco Systems at NetWorld+Interop 94.

The channel-connection part of the demonstration involves a newboard-level interface processor, running in the high-end Cisco 7000router, that supports both IBM ESCON (Enterprise Systems Connection)andbus-and-tag mainframe channel architectures. The APPN portion of the demo,which shows Network Node (NN) functionality brought to Cisco-connectednetworks, is based on source code licensed directly from IBM.

First Direct Router-Mainframe Interface

The new interface for the Cisco 7000 router family -- the initial fruitof a January 1994OEM agreement between Cisco and IBM -- represents thefirst time a multiprotocol router can connect directly to a mainframe ESCONchannel.

Nick Francis, director of Cisco's IBM product marketing, said, "In thisdemo, for the first time, the highest-performance mainframe connection,IBM's 17-megabyte-per-second ESCON channel, is being linked directly to ahigh speed ATM network. This new direct channel attachment integrated withour Internetwork Operating System (IOS) for protocol processing, willincrease the mainframe's availability as a server in customers' enterprisenetworks."

In the Interop demonstration, an image file will be transferred froman IBM ES/9000 mainframe over an ESCON channel at 17 Mbps to a Cisco 7000,which will forward the file over the ATM backbone to a Cisco 7010, and fromthere over an FDDI connection to a desktop workstation. The demo also willinclude a Token Ring-attached PS/2 accessing the mainframe via a tn3270session through the same channel-attached Cisco 7000.

A modular design allows the same Cisco 7000 board to support IBM'swidely deployed 4.5-Mbps bus-and-tag and newer 17-Mbps ESCON architectures. Up to two channel interfaces -- two ESCON, two bus-and-tag, or one of each-- are supported by the board. The ESCON daughterboard employs IBM's ESCONchipset, licensed by Cisco under the OEM pact with IBM. The bus-and-tagdaughterboard is also based on technology provided to Cisco by IBM.

Cisco's direct mainframe-router interface is expected to shipduring the second half of 1994.

APPN Comes to Cisco Routers

Also demonstrated at Interop will be Cisco's implementation of APPN,the result of an August1993 OEM agreement under which Cisco licensed fromIBM the source code and intellectual property rights needed to bring APPNNetwork Node routing to its products.

In the APPN demo, a Logical Unit (LU) 6.2 application will be runningacross a combined TCP/IP-APPN Cisco backbone network, with two Ciscorouters providing APPN Network Node support for the APPN end systems. Ananimated tutorial on the LU 6.2 application will displaythe types of routes in the APPN network, APPN route calculation, APPNtopology database updating, and directory search operation.

"With Cisco's robust APPN solution, customers developing APPC/LU 6.2applications will be able to implement APPN in the manner that best suitstheir business requirements: as their primary network backbone, or as partof a multiprotocol network design within which APPN is supported," Francissaid. "Our APPN software, obtained directly from IBM rather than athird-party source, will provide our customers a higher level of assuranceof compatibility with IBM's end systems and networking products."

APPN for Cisco routers is expected to begin early field tests thesecond half of 1994.

Cisco Systems, Inc., is the leading worldwide supplier ofhigh-performance, multimedia and multiprotocol internetworking products,including routers, bridges, workgroup systems for 10-Mbps/100-Mbps datatransmission, ATM switches, communications servers, and router managementsoftware. Cisco technology is used to build enterprise-wide networkslinking an unlimited number of geographically dispersed LANs, WANs and IBMSNA networks. In the United States, Cisco is traded over the counter underthe NASDAQ symbol CSCO.

Posted: May 11 09:58:46 1994