News Release

Cisco Systems Ships Cisco LocalDirector to Meet Demands of High-Volume Web Traffic

New hardware device eases network jams through intelligent
Jul 23, 1996

New hardware device eases network jams through intelligent load balancingbetween Web servers

SAN JOSE, Calif. - July 23, 1996 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today began volumeshipments of CiscoLocalDirector, a network hardware device that enablesWeb sites to accommodate a larger number of users by distributing networktraffic across multiple servers. Cisco LocalDirector acts as a transparentfront end to a group of servers and manages the workload of each bydetermining the most available server in the network. With CiscoLocalDirector, intranet managers, Web masters and Internet serviceproviders (ISPs) can deliver high performance and reliable operation fromtheir Web servers.

Cisco LocalDirector enables network managers to add and remove servers froma group transparently, and manage and support a single IP address for acollection of heterogeneous Web servers and operating systems. Sincenetwork managers only need to manage a single IP address with CiscoLocalDirector, management of multiple heterogeneous Web servers issimplified.

"Companies that want to take advantage of data-intensive applications suchas electronic commerce, high-density video and graphics on their Web siteshave to provide high-speed and reliable Web connections to their users,"said Matthew Howard, product line manager at Cisco Systems. "CiscoLocalDirector provides a high-performance solution to maximize a company'sability to scale Internet and intranet services."

"Our Web site delivers multimedia information to 150,000 people every day.We cannot afford to have our network discontinue service for server updatesor maintenance," noted Jorgen Wahlsten, senior infrastructure engineer atTime, Inc. New Media. "By tracking our server loads and rerouting eachsession to the next available server, Cisco LocalDirector enables ournetwork to deliver high-density data to users continuously andefficiently."

Maximizes Web site accessibility

Web sites and networks that were designed to accommodate hundreds of usersare now facing demands from thousands, and in some cases, millions ofusers. According to a study by International Data Corporation, the numberof Web users will increase from 8.3 million users in 1996 to 1.2 billion bythe year 1999.

While Cisco LocalDirector provides the appearance of a single, "virtual"server, it is not a proxy server and does not require specialized client orhost software. Cisco LocalDirector also provides support for all commonTCP/IP Internet services, such as the Web, File Transfer Protocol (FTP),Telnet and Gopher.

"Cisco LocalDirector makes it simple to add or remove servers as needed todeliver consistent, high-speed access to our Web site," said StevePlastrik, vice president of Technical Operations of Interactive Services atViacom, Inc. "Our site contains lots of data-intensive information, makingload balancing essential. In our testing environment, we were able tobenchmark over one million hits per hour, spread over five servers byLocalDirector. Throughout the test, the servers appeared to the clients tobe one virtual server."

High-speed traffic control

Cisco LocalDirector supports more than one million simultaneous TCPsessions and features a real-time kernel that provides over 45 Mbps ofthroughput with support for 10BaseT and 100BaseTX Ethernet ports. Inaddition, the device provides TCP fault tolerance to Internet and intranetservices.

Managing global Web traffic

Cisco LocalDirector is part of the CiscoAdvantage(tm)product family,designed to improve network managers' ability to cope with the challengesposed by the growing popularity of the Internet. These products include firewalls, IP/IPX gateways and TCP/IPapplication.Also part of the CiscoAdvantage product family, CiscoDistributedDirector performs load-balancing tasks similar to CiscoLocalDirector, but overgeographically dispersed servers. Cisco DistributedDirector will ship thisfall.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the leading globalsupplier ofinternetworkingsolutions 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 is headquartered in San Jose, California.