News Release

Kalpana ProStack Delivers New Stackable Architecture for Ethernet Switching

NETWORLD+INTEROP, LAS VEGAS, March 28, 1995 -- Cisco
Mar 28, 1995

NETWORLD+INTEROP, LAS VEGAS, March 28, 1995 -- Cisco Systems, theworldwide leader in LAN switching, today unveiled the Kalpana ProStacksystem, a fault-tolerant, stackable LAN switching system that supports 10-,100- and 155-megabit-per-second (Mbps) connections. Through Cisco's uniqueimplementation of cut-through switching, which automatically detects andremoves errors on a per-port basis, customers receive error-freetransmissions without any degradation of switch performance.

The new ProStack system delivers up to 4.8 gigabits-per-second (Gbps)of bandwidth and consists of the EtherSwitch Pro16, a rack and stackEthernet switch; the ProStack 100Base-TX Fast Ethernet interface module;the ProStack Matrix, an eight-port, non-blocking cross-point switch forconnecting multiple EtherSwitch Pro 16s; and the Kalpana ProStack Port, anexpansion module that provides connectivity to the ProStack Matrix.

Error-Free Cut-Through Switching

The EtherSwitch Pro16 can be configured on a per-port basis toautomatically change from on-the-fly or cut-through packet switching, tostore-and-forward switching if error rates exceed a user-defined threshold.When the error rate falls below the user-selected level, EtherSwitch Pro16operation reverts back to cut-through switching.

Additional capabilities include a "runt-free" mode in which the switchdiscards packets less than 64 bytes. This ensures the filtering ofcollision fragments while maintaining the low-latency characteristics ofcut-through switching. "The Pro16 provides our customers with the best of both worlds -- thelow latency of cut-through switching technology and the error protectionprovided by conventional store-and-forward technologies," said Larry Blair,director of market development. "By integrating these two technologies,we've made it easier for customers to build switching into corporatenetworks."

Expandable Bandwidth -- Stackable Solution

Bandwidth can be incrementally expanded by interconnecting EtherSwitchPro16s. The EtherSwitch Pro16 supports full duplex across all 16 10Base-Tports and two expansion slots for high-speed 100Base-TX, 100VG-AnyLAN orATM connections. This combination of low- and high-speed connectionsenables users to create a fault-tolerant stack of up to 192 10-MbpsEthernet connections. For added flexibility, each high-speed slot also maybe configured with four switched 10Base-T ports or three 10Base-FL ports.

For mission-critical networks, the ProStack Matrix is available with aredundancy option. This consists of an additional self-contained modulewith complete logic and power supply. Should one module fail, the secondarymodule automatically begins operation within less than one second.

For existing EtherSwitch users, Models EPS-1500 and EPS-2115M can be connected to the EtherSwitch Pro16 using EtherChannelconnections. Assigning three full-duplex ports to one EtherChannelprovides a "fat pipe" connection of 60 Mbps, optimal for many environments.

Easily Managed

The Kalpana ProStack Port and ProStack Matrix enable the stacked unitsto be seen and managed as a single device, even as new switches are added.Because the management is distributed throughout the stack, customers caneasily add switches and view the entire system from a single console port,Telnet session or SNMP application.

Through Virtual EtherSwitch software, managers can assign specificports anywhere within the stack into a virtualLAN domain. This simplifiesdesktop management by enabling nodes, like telephones, to follow users asthey relocate within a facility. It also increases security by preventingports in one Virtual EtherSwitch, or domain, from communicating with portsin another domain.

The SwitchProbe monitoring port allows a user to connect a protocolanalyzer or the Kalpana SwitchProbe remote monitoring (RMON) probe to theEtherSwitch Pro16 to analyze traffic flow on any switched port in thestack. Thus, activity on switched half- and full-duplex LAN segments can beviewed from a centralized workstation.


The EtherSwitch Pro16 is available in a standard or enhanced version.The standard EtherSwitch Pro16 includes support for SNMP, Spanning TreeProtocol and Address Filtering. The enhanced version adds full-duplexEthernet, EtherChannel and Virtual EtherSwitch. Availability is as follows:

    ------------------------------------------------------    Kalpana ProStack System                 Availability      ======================================================    EtherSwitch Pro16 (Standard)            June    EtherSwitch Pro16 (Enhanced)            June    ProPort (4 port 10Base-T)               July    ProStack Port                           July    ProStack 100 Base-TX      Fast Ethernet Interface Module        June              ProStack Matrix                         July              ProStack Matrix Redundant Module        July              ------------------------------------------------------

Cisco Systems,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'sInternetwork Operating System (Cisco IOS) link geographicallydispersed LANs, WANs, and IBM networks. Cisco is headquartered in SanJose, Calif., and in the U.S. is traded under the NASDAQ symbol CSCO.

Posted: Wed Dec 2 09:57:24 PST 1998