News Release

Cisco Scales the Internet with the Industry's First Fully Integrated ATM/IP Switching Wide-Area System

Tag Switching support and new family of broadband ATM
Sep 16, 1996

Tag Switching support and new family of broadband ATM products transformthe StrataCom BPX into the world's most scalable multiservice platform

SAN JOSE, Calif. - September 16, 1996 - Representing one of the first majorsynergies from the Cisco/StrataCom alliance, Cisco Systems, Inc. today announcedmajor enhancements to its StrataCom wide-area Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switches as part of a comprehensive plan it has outlined to scale the Internet. (See accompanying release, "Cisco Scales the Internet.")

The new products and technology for the StrataCom switches are specificallyaimed at solving fundamental problems associated with scaling the size andperformance of the Internet and corporate intranets. The new products andtechnologies include:

  • a family of intelligent Broadband Switching Modules (BXMs) for the StrataCom BPX/AXIS ATM platform that enables a four-fold improvement in performance and scalability;
  • the addition of Cisco IOS software to the BPX/AXIS for the support of Internet services and the Point-to-Point (PPP) protocol; and
  • the addition of Tag Switching support to the BPX,
  • which provides significant performance enhancements for IP and, in the future, other frame-based protocols.

The integration of Stratm Technology into the BPX creates the industry'smost scalable carrier-class ATM system. The addition of the StrataCom BPXto Cisco's current ATM offerings brings together what now can be consideredthe most comprehensive end-to-end ATM solution available today. This includesthe leading voice/data integration product, the IGX, the price/performanceand functionality leader in the campus switching market, the

Stratm Technology provides complete control and flexibility of each users'service on a per-connection basis. Equipped with Stratm Technology andhigh-performanceRISC processors distributed on each BXM, a BPX is now capable of supportingthe industry's highest levels of call processing and connection densities- up to 750,000 concurrent connections and 4,000 calls per second.

As part of the Internet scaling initiative, the StrataCom BPX/AXIS systemwill support Cisco's newly announced Tag Switching technology and CiscoIOS software, giving customers a highly integrated and seamless solutionthat brings together routing and switching on a single wide-area platform.The AXIS shelf, a narrowband interface concentrator for StrataCom switches,has been upgraded to support Cisco IOS services and the point to point protocol(PPP) through the integration of Cisco 7500 series router technology intothe BPX/AXIS multishelf architecture.

"With the introduction of Tag Switching and integration of StratmTechnologyin the BPX, Cisco is attempting to leap-frog the industry in terms of deliveringa massively scalable, full-function Internet platform," said Tom Nolle,president of CIMI Corporation, a telecommunications consultancy in Voorhees,N.J. "They are taking all of the most critical processing-intensiveATM functions and optimizing them on high-performance ASICs that will driveup efficiency and drive down cost."

BXM Product Details

The new BXM products seamlessly integrate and interoperate with the StrataComBPX multiservice ATM platform. These new products dramatically extend thefeature/functionality and price/performance of the StrataCom BPX.

The new family of BXM products includes a 6- and 12-port T3/E3 (45/34 Mbps),a 4- and 8-port OC-3/STM-1 (155 Mbps) and 1- and 2-port OC-12/STM-4 (622Mbps) modules.

Fully equipped with BXM modules, the StrataCom BPX breaks new ground inscalability and price per port - offering the industry's highest densityport concentrations in a single platform. With the BXM products, a BPX cannow support up to 8,000 T1/E1, 144 T3/E3, 96 OC3/STM-1 or 24 OC12/STM-4ports.

Advanced BXM Features

Cisco's new BXM products also support a variety of advanced networking featuresthat give customers unprecedented control and flexibility. These includevirtual trunking, the ATM Forum's Private Network-to-Network Interface (P-NNIversion 1.0) specification, multicasting for up to 8,000 branch connectionsand advanced traffic management.

Each port on the new BXM cards can be individually configured to operateas a trunk or access interface. Additionally, virtual trunking featuresallow users to establish virtual private networks across public ATM services.This gives customers increased flexibility and control by maintaining consistentrouting, signaling and traffic and network management across public services.

The BXM products support all classes of ATM services, including constant,unspecified, variable and available bit rate services (CBR, VBR-RT, VBR-NRT,UBR and ABR). Cisco is currently the only vendor to deliver both UBR withearly packet discard and ABR with virtual source/virtual destination (VS/VD)support, allowing customers to choose the most robust class of service andassociated congestion management techniques based on specific applicationrequirements. Support for ABR's VS/VD capability is a critical element indelivering robust public network services that guarantee bandwidth on demandwhile insuring both user fairness and predictability.


The BXM OC-3 and OC-12 cards for the BPX/AXIS will begin shipping in thenext 30 to 60 days, with the DS-3/E-3 cards to follow in the first halfof 1997. Pacific Bell, NASA and LDDS WorldCom will be among the first customersto receive trial products. New products, based on Stratm technology, forthe IGX ATM enterprise switch, Cisco's voice and data integration platform,will be introduced by the end of the year.

Support for Cisco IOS software in BPX/AXIS multi-shelf architecture hasbegun testing and will be available at the end of this year. Tag Switchingsupport will be a software upgrade to existing BPX switches and 7500 seriesrouters and will be added during 1997.

Cisco Systems(NASDAQ:CSCO) is theleading global supplier ofinternetworking solutionsfor corporate intranets and the global Internet.Cisco's products --including routers,LAN and WAN switches, dial-up accessservers and network management software -- are integrated byCisco IOS(tm)software 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, Calif.

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BPX, Cisco IOS, NetFlow and Cisco Systems are trademarks, and LightStream,Cisco and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems,Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks or registeredservice marks mentioned in this document are the property of their respectiveowners.

Posted: Mon Sep 16 08:00:44 PDT 1996