News Release

Cisco to Market ATM Adapters, Create Partners Program for Third-Party ATM Products

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 24, 1995 -- Cisco Systems will begin
Apr 24, 1995

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 24, 1995 -- Cisco Systems will begin marketing ATM(Asynchronous Transfer Mode) adapter cards for desktop systems and serversas the result of a new agreement with ZeitNet, Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif.The two companies also will work together to accelerate the development ofATM applications.

The addition of ATM adapters to its product line will make Cisco the firstinternetworking vendor to offer a complete end-to-end ATM solution,including enterprise ATMswitches ,workgroup/campus ATMswitches,ATM interface cards for internetworkrouters and LAN switches , andnow ATM adapters for desktop systems and servers.

To maximize users' flexibility in choosing ATM adapter products, Cisco hasalso established a program under which it will partner with other ATMadapter vendors to test their products for interoperability with Cisco ATMequipment, exchange technical and product information, and cooperate inaddressing customer problems.

SBus Adapters First, PCI Bus Versions to Follow

Initial products to be available from Cisco under the ZeitNet agreement aretwo SBus ATM adapters that run in Sun Microsystems SPARCstations,SPARCservers and compatibles. Both operate at 155 Mbps (SONET/SDH), oneover multi-mode fiber cable, the other over unshielded twisted pairCategory 5 (UTP-5) cable.

These single-slot SBus cards support data, voice and video transmission,enabling such desktop applications as multimedia, video conferencing,distributed computing and medical imaging. The units support ATM Forumsignaling specifications and incorporate a high-performance AAL-5integrated circuit for Segmentation and Reassembly (SAR) and Direct MemoryAccess (DMA). Future releases will support the LAN Emulation andMultiprotocol Over ATM (MPOA) specifications being developed by the ATMForum. Cisco's ATM adapters will be fully SNMP-manageablethrough the CiscoWorks (tm)suite of management applications.

ATM adapters that work with Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI)bus-based personal computers running the Microsoft Windows NT and NovellNetware operating systems will be added later to the Cisco lineup. Alladapter products will be fully supported by Cisco.

Mario Mazzola, vice president and general manager of Cisco's WorkgroupBusiness Unit, said, "Cisco's multi-year agreement with ZeitNet will let usbring ATM adapters to market quickly, giving us an end-to-end ATM solutionthat starts at the backbone, encompasses the workgroup and router, and nowtakes ATM all the way to the desktop for 'power users' such as scientificresearchers and stock traders. With all these elements now available fromone source, users can safely implement enterprise ATM solutions today, eventhough ATM technology and standards are still evolving.

"Cisco chose ZeitNet because we both recognize the value of software indelivering complete ATM solutions," Mazzola added. "ZeitNet combineshardware expertise with the strong, proven software competencies we werelooking for."

ZeitNet President Amit Shah said, "ZeitNet is focused on providingcomplete, high-performance ATM solutions to the desktop. This strategicpartnership to supply Cisco with our technology and products brings us amajor step closer to becoming the leader in the desktop ATM arena."

Cisco and ZeitNet will jointly enable, by specifying ATM ApplicationProgramming Interfaces (APIs), the development of applications that exploitthe unique Quality of Service(QoS) capabilities of ATM networks. Further,the two companies will work together to ensure that such applications workacross enterprise networks made up of ATM and other technologies bybuilding upon the multimedia software infrastructure of the CiscoInternetwork Operating System (tm) (Cisco IOS(tm)) for switching.

For example, Cisco will team with ZeitNet on support for the ResourceReservation Protocol (RSVP) , an end-to-end internetwork protocol thatallows applications to dynamically reserve necessary resources fordifferent classes of service using the capabilities of the underlyingnetwork (e.g., FDDI, ATM, Frame Relay). In addition, the two companieswill cooperate to speed the deployment of new ATM protocols such as MPOA.

Cisco ATM Adapter Interoperability and Support Program

The new Cisco ATM Adapter Interoperability and Support Program will ensurethat applications run over connections between third-party ATM adapters andCisco ATM products. The program will focus not only on basic ATM-levelinteroperability but also on interoperability with Cisco's complete suiteof protocols for ATM internetworking, including ATM signaling, LANEmulation and classical IP over ATM (RFC 1577). Initial members of the newCisco ATM Adapter Interoperability and Support Program include EfficientNetworks, Inc. and Interphase Corporation. The program will test onlyshipping products.

What's unique about the program is that it also offers post-sales support,including (1) second-level technical support channels between the partnerand Cisco, (2) technical information exchange on products under developmentto ensure interoperability of new products and software releases and (3)the documentation of test results.

Establishing second-level technical support channels ensures that, ifcustomers encounter difficulties with products, Cisco customer engineershave ready access to their counterparts in the partner's organization. Inaddition, Cisco and each partner will designate a technical contact toexpedite problem diagnosis and resolution. These contacts already will befamiliar with Cisco switches and can jointly resolve issues more quickly.

"This program is much more than interoperability testing," said LarryLang, Cisco's director of ATM product marketing. "It involves realcooperation between partners to exchange expertise and equipment with aneye to achieving truly effective support and avoiding the finger-pointingtoo often associated with customer problems."


The Cisco SBus multi-mode fiber ATM adapter and UTP-5 adapter will beavailable in the third quarter of 1995. PCI versions of the adapters willbe available during the fourth quarter.

ZeitNet, Inc., headquartered in Santa Clara, is a pioneer in providinglow-cost solutions for connecting workgroups and servers tohigh-performance ATM networks. ZeitNet's product line includes ATM adaptersfor SBus, PCI and EISA platforms, as well as its highly integrated ZATMSoftware Module Suite.

Cisco Systems,Inc. is the leading global supplier of enterprisenetworks,including routers, LAN and ATM switches, dial-up access servers and networkmanagement software. These products, integrated by the Cisco InternetworkOperating System (tm) (Cisco IOS(tm)) link geographically dispersedLANs,WANs and IBM networks. Cisco is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., and inthe U.S. is traded under the NASDAQ symbol CSCO.

Posted: Apr 24 09:24:41 1995