News Release

Cisco Workgroup ATM Switch Gains Enhanced Connectivity, Easier Administration through New Interface Cards and Hardware

SAN JOSE, Calif., Mar. 20, 1995 -- Cisco Systems has
Mar 20, 1995

SAN JOSE, Calif., Mar. 20, 1995 -- Cisco Systems has enhanced itsLightStream 100 ATM switch with new software and hardware features thatenhance the product's connectivity to wide-area networks, simplifyadministration and extend ATM connectivity direct to the desktop.

The LightStream 100 modular workgroup/campus ATM switch supports up to16 ATM interfaces. Originally introduced as the HyperSwitchA100, it hasbeen shipping since September 1994. Along with Cisco's LightStream 2020enterprise ATM switch, it provides the only full end-to-end solutionfor ATM connectivity across the enterprise.

Extending ATM Connectivity To WANs, MANs

Three new hardware interfaces and specialized software will extend theLightStream 100's high-performance ATM connectivity beyond the LAN arena ithas already supported via 155-megabit-per-second SONET/SDH OC3 multimodeand 100-Mbps TAXI 4B/5B interfaces. The new modules will support 45-MbpsDS3 and 34-Mbps E3 over coaxial cable, and 155-Mbps SONET/SDH OC3 oversingle-mode fiber.

Equivalent interfaces will be available for the ATM InterfaceProcessor(AIP), which operates in the Cisco 7000multiprotocol router family.The LightStream 100 and AIP combination will let users create high-speedswitched internetworks that address the congestion problems typical ofcorporate backbones.

Larry Lang, Cisco's director of marketing for ATM products, said, "Thenew cards will let users set up ATM networks of their own or tap into theATM services their long-distance carriers are beginning to offer. With DS3and E3 they can connect to a carrier's wide-area ATM network to link upremote locations. And with OC3 they can interconnect sites within a largecampus."

In addition, a new software feature, permanent virtual path (PVP)tunneling, will enable the network manager to set up temporary switchedvirtual connections over previously established PVPs. Even if a carrier'sATM service offers only permanent connections, for example, PVP tunnelingwill allow a user who is setting up an ATM network signal through thatservice.

"Soft" PVCs Ease Switched Network Administration

The introduction of "soft" permanent virtual circuit software for theLightStream 100 will allow network managers to create permanent connectionsacross multi-switch networks simply by designating the two end-points ofthe connection. This will dramatically shorten the time-consuming processof manually creating connections between all devices along the connectionpath. The administrator need only specify two switches, for example, andthe intelligent software does the rest.

Soft PVCs operate in conjunction with Cisco's implementation of the ATMForum's Interim Inter-Switch Signaling Protocol (IISP) -- formerly calledPrivate Network-to-Network Interface (PNNI) Phase 0 -- the only standardmechanism for switch-to-switch connection and signaling.

Cisco was the first vendor to offer an ATM switch compliant with theIISP specification (which the company helped define and standardize withinthe ATM Forum), and the first to offer ATM Forum UNI 3.0 standards-basedsignaling. Cisco's soft PVC feature is being introduced in anticipation ofthe Forum's forthcoming specification for soft PVC capability.

Bringing ATM to the Desktop

For those "power" users who require high-speed ATM connectivity directto their desktops, the LightStream 100 will provide a fourth new hardwareinterface, supporting 155-Mbps STS3 over Category 5 unshielded twisted pair(UTP-5). This will enable organizations to take advantage of the low-costcopper-wire connections already in place for desktop connections, and stillenjoy the benefits of ATM-speed data transmission.

Pricing and Availability

New LightStream 100 interface cards are priced as follows:

      DS3 interface                   $3,500    Now shipping      E3 interface                    $3,500    Now shipping      Single-mode OC3 interface       $3,800    Now shipping      UTP-5 STS3c interface           $  995    April 1995

The soft PVC and tunneling software options will ship beginning inApril as part of the standard software upgrade available to LightStream 100users enrolled in Cisco's software maintenanceprogram.

CiscoSystems, Inc. is the leading global supplier of enterprisenetworks, including routers, LAN and ATM switches, dial-up accessserversand network management software. These products, integrated by Cisco'sInternetworkOperating System (Cisco IOS) link geographicallydispersed LANs, WANs and IBM networks. Cisco is headquartered in San Jose,Calif., and in the U.S. is traded under the NASDAQ symbol CSCO.

Posted: Wed Nov 19 14:52:54 PST 1997