News Release

New Cisco IOS NetFlow Software and Utilities Boost Service Provider Revenues and Service Management Capabilities

NetFlow Data Are Key to Delivering Advanced, QoS-Based Internet Services
Jul 01, 1997

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- July 1, 1997 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today introduced enhanced Cisco IOSTM NetFlowTM software for its high-end routers, along with new management utilities and partnerapplications, designed to help service providers make and save money through improved networkbilling, planning and monitoring.

The new software and utilities also give service providers key building blocks for deliveringadvanced, quality of service (QoS)-based Internet services. These tools originally werereferenced in Cisco's March 25 announcement with MCI. (See press release, "Cisco and MCI Leadthe Way in Bringing 'Premium' Grade Service to the Internet." )

Cisco IOS NetFlow software was first announced in April 1996 for the Cisco 7000 family ofhigh-end routers. NetFlow software identifies IP packet flows, performs efficient statisticscollection, accelerates security filtering and exports the collected statistics to downstreamcollectors -- all while maintaining high router performance.

In a related announcement today, Cisco introduced a new Route Switch Module that will extendNetFlow capabilities to its Catalyst. 5000 and 5500 LAN switches for campus networkenvironments. (See press release, "Cisco Introduces Route Switch Module for the Catalyst 5000Series."

Cisco's enhanced NetFlow software includes highly scalable flow-cache management, which can betuned to meet the most demanding service provider requirements in large networks with many dataflows. The software also has been enhanced to record source and destination autonomous system(AS) numbers and export flow data more reliably.

NetFlow software now collects and exports data required by service providers to flexibly billby usage, time, traffic volume, application, distance and quality-of-service level.Additionally, NetFlow software gives service providers information needed for sophisticatednetwork planning and value-added network and service management.

"NetFlow software gives us the kind of information we need for usage-sensitive billing, whichwill help drive profitability," said Milo Medin, vice president for network at @Home Network."It also forms the foundation for offering different levels of quality of service within thenetwork. We view this as absolutely critical to providing a scalable and manageable,high-performance network infrastructure."

NetFlow data can be collected and utilized by a variety of powerful network managementutilities. Today, Cisco introduces two such products, NetFlow FlowCollector and NetFlowFlowAnalyzer.

FlowCollector provides a reliable, high-speed software solution for data collection, datavolume reduction and storage management of network flows received from routers.

FlowAnalyzer provides network managers with a powerful, Java-based, flow visualization,monitoring and analysis solution. It retrieves filtered and aggregated data from FlowCollectorsfor subsequent analysis and display.

Network managers can use this tool for network traffic monitoring and analysis, as well as fortrouble diagnosis and resolution. By better understanding network- and application-usagetrends, they also can make optimal resource-allocation and network-connectivity decisions.

"The latest Cisco IOS software flow-export features are invaluable in an IP network serviceprovider environment," said Daniel McRobb, advisory engineer at ANS Communications, Inc. in AnnArbor, Mich. "These features reduce the error margins in capacity planning, as well as thehuman resources required for inter-provider traffic analysis and network securityinvestigations. They also open up new possibilities for usage-based billing systems."

NetFlow data also can be used by Cisco Enterprise Accounting (CEA) and Cisco NetsysTechnologiesTM applications to help customers manage and control the cost of owning andoperating global networks. CEA applications can receive detailed flow records from theFlowCollector and perform data roll-up and management reporting based on user-specifiedparameters. Netsys applications use NetFlow data for both transport-link and router-performancemodeling, analysis and simulation.

Cisco has developed open interfaces on NetFlow Data Export and FlowCollector that the company,customers and partners can use to develop value-added applications.

For example, Cisco is working closely with American Management Systems (AMS), NetScout Systems(formerly Frontier Software) and Solect Technology Group to deliver network billing, monitoringand capacity planning solutions.

AMS, which provides data billing and rating services, plans to offer a variety of NetFlow-basedsoftware and consulting solutions for service provider customers. NetScout's NetFlow Monitorapplication can read NetFlow data export and use the information in a variety of its NetScoutManager applications, including capacity planning, flow monitoring, reporting, trend analysisand troubleshooting. Solect has integrated NetFlow data export into the latest release of itsInternet Administration Framework, or IAF, for dedicated provisioning, rating and billing.

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is theworldwide leader in networking for the Internet. at

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