News Release

Cisco Introduces New Catalyst 5000 Switch Solutions For Wiring Closets

Modular Catalyst 5000 "Group Switching" Module Gives Users
May 06, 1996

Modular Catalyst 5000 "Group Switching" Module Gives Users Switchingat less than $100 Per Port

SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 6, 1996 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced newhardware and software solutions for its Catalyst(tm) 5000 switch,delivering cost-effective switching and leading network management servicesto provide customers with a strategic platform for migrating their wiringclosets from shared 10BaseT hubs to switching systems.

The new products include a "group switching" interface module for theCatalyst 5000, which provides desktop switching while reducing equipmentcosts to customers, and new embedded software, Cisco IOS(tm) for Switching,supporting the leading high speed interfaces.

Cisco's new Catalyst5000 Module integrates the cost and management benefits of sharedmedia hubs with performance and scalability of switching on a single card. The module offers 48 10BaseT interfaces, which can be micro-segmented intomanaged switched groups of users.

The new Cisco IOS for Switching software is extended to the wiringcloset with a set of embedded capabilities on the Catalyst 5000 that providesimproved performance over trunk links, integrated RMON,comprehensive traffic diagnostic tools, and enhanced virtual LAN (VLAN)support to enable dynamic configuration of VLANs across Catalyst 5000's.

"Preliminary results show Cisco's Catalyst 5000 captured in excess of 50%of the high-end Ethernet switch market sales in Q1 '96," said Tam Dell'Oro,founder of Dell'Oro Group, a consulting company based in Menlo Park, CA."Adding a shared media module will further drive their presence from thecore out to the edge of the network."

Catalyst 5000 Group Switching Ethernet Module

Each 48-port module segments four 10BaseT Ethernet segments into groups oftwelve users, providing greater bandwidth by limiting contention fornetwork access. Up to four Group Switching cards can be installed in theCatalyst 5000 chassis offering high density configurations of up to 192Ethernet ports and two switched Fast Ethernet connections.

Combining wire speed performance and direct access to ATM, FDDI and FastEthernet, the Group Switching Ethernet module offers high performanceaccess to network resources across the common switching backplane of the5000. With the Group Switching module, and existing switch 10 and 10/100modules on a common platform, the Catalyst 5000 offers the flexibility toaddress current and future high speed technologies in the wiring closet.To ensure reliability in the wiring closet, each module is hot-swappableand supports the spanning tree algorithm on physical and VLAN connections.

"With this innovation, Cisco provides customers with a cost-effectiveapproach to getting the best switch technology on the market," said DaveRogers, lead advisor, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc. "The Catalyst 5000combines shared and switched connectivity with a clear and immediatemigration path to Fast Ethernet, ATM or FDDI under one architecture. We'reeager to use the new module in wiring closet applications previouslyserviced by outdated and limited hub products."

Catalyst 5000 IOS for Switching

Version 2.1, IOS forSwitching software embedded on the new module provides improved VLANmanagement, enhanced network monitoring, improved performance across fastEthernet trunk ports and support for the new Catalyst 5000 module. Forimproved VLAN management, Cisco has developed a VLAN Trunk Protocol (VTP)that aids intelligent enterprise-wide VLAN communications across Ethernet,Fast Ethernet, CDDI/FDDI and ATM. VTP enhances VLAN deployment byintegrating Cisco's Interlink Switch (ISL), 802.10 and ATM LANE-basedVLANs, and dynamically synchronizing these tagging protocols without userintervention. The VTP protocol also keeps track of network changes andcommunicates them to all Cisco switches and routers within the network,eliminating time consuming network administration and automatingconfiguration of VLANs across switches.

A Dynamic ISL Protocol, also included in the new software releaseautomatically configures the switch port to the VLAN to which new orrelocated users have been assigned. This automated configuration processimproves network reliability and eliminates network misconfiguration.

To promote enhanced network monitoring, Release 2.1 also provides userswith the industry's first embedded RMONcapabilities for both Ethernet andFast Ethernet. This built-in service eases analysis and monitoring tasksand helps network managers tune network performance, easily troubleshootand identify heavy network users. An enhanced switched port analyzer(SPAN) feature enables the user to mirror traffic from any port or VLAN toanother Ethernet or Fast Ethernet port for analysis by a sniffer or a CiscoSwitchProbe.

The new release also significantly increases network backbone capacitythrough load sharing, boosting client/server applications and increasingthroughput between multiple Catalyst 5000s.

All of the new software features, including embedded RMON and VLANtechnologies, are managed by an umbrella tool, CiscoWorks for SwitchedInternetworks(tm), which enables network managers to view and manage thenetwork. Included in CiscoWorks for Switched Internetworks isVLANDirector, which enables networks to be configured on logical ratherthan geographic locations; TrafficDirector, a traffic monitoring andanalysis application; and CiscoView, for device management and monitoring.

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.

Posted: Mon Oct 13 16:02:23 PDT 1997