News Release

Cisco and StrataCom Team for Advanced Internet and Intranet Access Services

SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 13, 1996 - StrataCom, a leading
May 13, 1996

SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 13, 1996 - StrataCom, a leading network switchsupplier, and Cisco Systems, the leading supplier of internetworkingsoftware and hardware, today announced plans to implement a new StrataComnetworking specification with the goal of reducing current bottleneckproblems between dial access servers and Frame Relay/ATM switches. Ciscoplans to implement these new Dial Access Service interface (DASI) softwarecapabilities within its Cisco IOS(tm) software to giveInternet ServiceProviders (ISPs) and carriers a more cost-effective means of providing dialaccess services such as building virtual private networks (VPNs) orintranets using their existing infrastructure and the Internet. Cisco IOSsoftware ensures robust, reliable internetworks by supporting the switchedrequirements of both LAN and WAN protocols, optimizing WAN services andcontrolling intranetwork access.

To assure widespread adoption of the new interface by the industry, thespecification is being made available to other dial access product vendorsat no cost. Ascend, Cisco Systems, ControlWare and Microcom are planningto implement the dial access specification within their respectiveproducts. Cisco intends to deploy the new DASI specification throughoutits product suite, including the AS5200 Universal AccessServer platformusing Cisco IOS software. The goal of the new DASI specification is anintelligent signaling interface between dial access servers and FrameRelay/ATM switches that allow ISPs to increase the price/performance by afactor of up to four.

DASI significantly improves dial-up (analog) and ISDN (digital) basicrateinterface (BRI) access to existing StrataCom Frame Relay and ATM-basednetworks. According to Dataquest, the bulk of today's Internet access isat speeds below 64 Kbps, with the majority of that access represented byanalog dial-up users.

A New Model for Providing Corporate Intranet Services

The collaboration between Cisco Systems and StrataCom is aimed at helpingISPs and carriers provide more robust, flexible and secure Internet andcorporate intranet service by enhancing the connection-oriented environmentprovided by Frame Relay and ATM technology. The new signaling interfacewill also enable connections to be established dynamically between Cisco'sdial access servers and StrataCom switches, thereby eliminating previousrestrictions that prevented more than one customer from connecting into asingle switch port.

Corporate intranets represent one of the fastest-growing technology marketsand biggest opportunity for networkers. According to Zona Research ofRedwood City, Calif., the sale of Web server software will hit $8 billionby 1998, more than four times the size of the Internet server business.This is up from $476 million in 1995. A recent survey of 50 majorcorporations by Forrester Research Inc. revealed that 16 percent havecorporate intranets and 50 percent are planning or consideringimplementation.

With Frame Relay-to-ATM service internetworking, DASI now provides a meansby which analog and ISDN calls can be supported over an ATM infrastructure-- a fundamental requirement for many ISPs planning to migrate tohigher-speed network environments.

Compared to alternative solutions, the new DASI will provide dramaticallyhigher-density call processing between Cisco and StrataCom equipment --increasing call capacity by allowing virtual circuits to be allocateddynamically without users having to upgrade equipment to support FrameRelay switched virtual circuits (SVCs) [see technical footnote to editors].DASI also provides the added advantage of being able to interface to theinstalled base of dial access servers.

User Benefits

The benefits of DASI translate into higher availability and betterperformance for end users. At the same time, ISPs now have a morecost-effective Internet dial-up solution that enables them to make moreefficient use of valuable network bandwidth and access ports.

The current interface between a dial access server and the network islimited in how many customers it can support by the number of PVCsavailable on the switch access port. DASI removes this limitation and theassociated bottlenecks by enabling the dial access server to dynamicallyestablish a Frame Relay PVC based on the identity of the calling party.With this method, PVCs are only used when a call is active, rather thanbeing "nailed up." This saves network resources by allowing a large poolof virtual circuits to be shared by all network users.

In addition to providing a more flexible and cost-effective dial-upsolution for Internet applications, the new DASI interface will be used tosupport analog, point-to-point (PPP) and Serial Line Interface Protocol(SLIP) calls over StrataCom-based Frame Relay and ATM networks.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the leading global supplier ofinternetworking solutions for corporate intranets and the global Internet.Cisco's products, including routers, LAN and ATM switches, dial-up accessservers and network management software, are integrated by the Cisco IOSsoftware to link geographically dispersed LANs, WANs and IBM networks.Company news and product/service information are available at World WideWeb site Cisco is headquartered in San Jose, Calif.


StrataCom, Inc. (NASD: STRM), based in San Jose, Calif., develops,delivers and supports FastPacket networking systems for ATM applications inprivate wide-area networks and public carrier service offerings, such asInternet, Frame Relay and ATM. StrataCom's family of products, includingIPX, IGX(tm), BPX(tm), AXIS(tm), FastPAD(tm) and EdgeConnect(tm), is usedto integrate and transport a wide variety of corporate information,including voice, data, video, LANs, image and multimedia traffic innarrowband to broadband ATM network applications. Visit StrataCom's homepage at

Technical Note to Editors -- DASI: What It Is and How It Works

The new dial access service interface (DASI) is an intelligent signalinginterface that enables dial access server equipment to establish individualconnections on a dynamic basis. Cisco Systems' AS5200, equipped with DASI,will receive end user modem or ISDN Basic Rate Interface (BRI) calls andconduct the necessary authentication checks - presenting the call to astandard Frame Relay port on a StrataCom switch.

The dial access server uses standard Q.931 call setup messages to indicateto the switch the identity of the calling customers and the date linkcontrol identifier to be used. The call is then processed throughStrataCom's Intelligent Network Server (INS) to determine the details ofthe Frame Relay connection that needs to be established. The INS theninstructs the switch to establish a connection from the DASI port to thepredefined destination Frame Relay port that is specified in the subscriberdatabase.