News Release

Cisco Scales the Campus Intranet with Additions to Catalyst 5000 Family of Switches

More Information on Cisco Catalyst 5000 Family More
Apr 07, 1997

SAN JOSE, Calif., - April 7, 1997 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced thatit has expanded its offerings in the high-performance switching market by addingtwo new models and extending NetFlow(TM) Switching capabilities to its CiscoCatalyst(TM) 5000 series. The two new modular switches are the Catalyst 5500 andthe Catalyst 5002.

The Cisco Catalyst 5500 is a 13-slot, chassis-based switching platform thatincorporates the award-winning architectures of the Catalyst 5000 family andAsynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) cell switching capabilities into a singlechassis. The Cisco Catalyst 5002 offers workgroup functionality and benefits ina flexible, two-slot chassis.

As part of its CiscoFusion(TM) multilayer architecture, Cisco is now extendingNetFlow Switching to the Catalyst 5000 family for multiprotocol, Layer 3switching capabilities. Further enhancements to the Catalyst 5000 family includea comprehensive suite of Cisco IOS(TM) network service capabilities (seeaccompanying news release). These new additions increase flexibility and providea way to scale and manage campus intranets.

"Cisco is going well beyond platform and hardware products to deliver users ascalable network architecture," said David Passmore, Senior Analyst, DecisysCorp. "They're not just selling boxes, they're addressing the huge challenge ofintegrated network services for corporate intranets."

Expanding the Catalyst 5000 Series

The Catalyst 5500 is targeted at high port-density wiring closet andhigh-performance backbone applications. It is the first solution to address allthe requirements for fast-growing corporate intranets, including scalability,performance, manageability and reliability.

The Catalyst 5002 is positioned for the users who want the same high performanceand flexibility benefits of the Catalyst 5000 series in a streamlined, compact,two-slot chassis.

Because of its consistent, media-independent architecture, the Catalyst 5000series supports all LAN and ATM switching technologies including Ethernet,Fast Ethernet, Fast EtherChannel, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), and futureToken Ring and Gigabit Ethernet switch modules.

All three Catalyst 5000 series chassis (2-, 5-, and 13-slot) support hot-swappingof all system components including Supervisor Engines, interface modules andfans. This is the first time a consistent system architecture has been deliveredon next-generation solutions, which validates many customers' decisions tostandardize on the Catalyst 5000 series.

Full Investment Protection

Because the Catalyst 5000, Catalyst 5002 and Catalyst 5500 all share the same setof LAN switching line cards and software features, a network manager can hot-swapany module from one chassis and put it into another. It is equally possible toblend ATM into the same network by mixing modules from LightStream( 1010 ATMswitches or Catalyst 5000 LAN switches into a single Catalyst 5500. This featuredemonstrates Cisco's commitment to preserving current infrastructure investmentswhile still providing leading-edge options for the future.

Multiprotocol NetFlow Switching

The Catalyst 5000 family provides high-performance switching at Layer 2 and Layer3 for multiple-protocol environments. The first packet is processed by a router,which then passes the flow identity to the Catalyst 5000 multilayer switches. Subsequent packets are "cut through" to dramatically scale performance. Usinghardware-based Catalyst 5000 implementations, NetFlow Switching can scale fromhundreds of thousands of packets per second to multiple millions of packets persecond.

NetFlow Switching not only increases performance for users but providesintelligent services and accounting capabilities. Already available in Cisco75xx routers, NetFlow Switching adds a simple and evolutionary extension to theCatalyst 5000 series by installing an additional Route Switch module.

Complementing NetFlow Switching on the campus, the Catalyst 5000 series,LightStream1010 and the Cisco 75xx routers will support Tag Switching for routedbackbone and Internet scalability in mid to late 1997.

Gigabit Ready

The Catalyst 5000 series now supports Cisco's recently announced FastEtherChannel technology. This bandwidth aggregation technology provides userswith up to 800 Mbps (four full-duplex, 100-Mbps Ethernet links) of load-sharing,redundant bandwidth between switches, routers or servers. Not only will theCatalyst 5000 series support Fast EtherChannel, but as the technology scales upthrough gigabit speeds, so will EtherChannel.

The Catalyst 5000 series is now gigabit-ready, with advanced capabilities toscale to more than 50 Gbps of bandwidth with a throughput of 36 million packetsor cells per second. Standards-compliant Gigabit Ethernet switching will be madeavailable on the Catalyst 5000/5500 following its official standardization in theIEEE 802.3z committee.

Suitable for Both Wiring Closets and Backbones

The new Catalyst family delivers high port density and switching capacity forboth ATM and LAN switching applications. A new 100-Mbps group switching modulehas been added to the Catalyst 5000 series and offers additionalprice/performance benefits with per-port costs of less than $300.

The Catalyst 5000 series offers the most flexible port density in the markettoday, with densities ranging from 12 to 528 ports for wiring closets. Dependingon which modules are installed, the Catalyst 5000 series can be used in backboneapplications as a scalable Fast Ethernet, FDDI or ATM switch or in wiring closetapplications supporting a wide array of switched Ethernet, Token Ring and ATMmodules.

Integration of Frame and Cell

The Catalyst 5500 delivers best-in-class Ethernet and ATM switching on a singleplatform by integrating both frame- and - cell switching fabrics as part of theoverall architecture. Even though the majority of applications will be framebased, users can utilize frame-based modules but also have the option forhigh-density ATM switching by installing a cell-switching ATM switch processor.

When both switching fabrics are used in a single chassis; the integration is doneby installing a fabric bridge module that provides high-speed integration of theframe and cell fabrics on a single platform.

"Our customers want the ability to mix and match ATM and Gigabit Ethernet," saidJayshree Ullal, vice president, Workgroup Business Unit, Cisco Systems. "TheCatalyst 5000 family offers flexibility and performance that are unmatched in theindustry."

Network Services and Management

As corporate networks become more complex and users demand higher performance,network services become key enablers of powerful, efficient and cost-effectivesystems. These network services are focused in the areas of management,security, multicast/multimedia capabilities, reliability, mobility, andclass-of-service parameters as well as policies to manage these services.

For management, the Catalyst 5000 series will continue to support a variety ofintelligent embedded agents as well as future support of Web-based management. CiscoWorks( for Switched Internetworks (CWSI) provides full device topologytraffic management for the Catalyst 5000 series.

The optimization of these network services in the Catalyst 5000 series and otherstrategic Cisco platforms provides users with numerous options and a high degreeof functionality.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is theworldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information areavailable at

# # #

Cisco IOS and Cisco Systems are trademarks, and Cisco and the Cisco logoare registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. All other trademarks, servicemarks, registered trademarks or registered service marks mentioned in thisdocument are the property of their respective owners.