News Release

Cisco Expands its Offerings to the Enterprise with New Switching Options

New Options Enable Cost-effective 10/100 Fast Ethernet Switching
Sep 30, 1997

SAN JOSE, Calif., - September 30, 1997 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced several newswitching options for the Catalyst. family, which will give customers greater density, higherperformance, and affordable 10/100 Fast Ethernet connections into advanced local area networks. With these new products, customers can implement cost-effective switched networks whileretaining current investments in infrastructure and technology.

The new products include four new advanced modules for the Catalyst 5000 series, the Catalyst2926, enhancements to the Catalyst 2901 and new Enterprise versions of the Catalyst 1900 and2820.

"Cisco commands the leadership position in the high-end modular Ethernet market because theyare consistently bringing down the price curve and maximizing port densities," said TamDell'Oro, principal analyst at the Dell'Oro Group. "This raises the bar for the competitionand further fortifies Cisco's position in the 10/100 switching market."

Additions to the Catalyst 5000 family include a new 48 port Ethernet (10Base-T) switchingmodule, a 24 port 10/100 autosensing, autoconfiguring module and two new Fast EtherChannelmodules.

"Because of the Catalyst 5000's modular architecture, we continue to incorporate newtechnologies and increase densities, while enhancing functionality, in a phased approachwithout requiring forklift upgrades," said Soni Jiandani, director of marketing in Cisco'sEnterprise Line of Business. "The Catalyst products enable our customers to deploy leadingedge systems and technology where and when they need them for maximum investment protection."

Add-in Modules for the Catalyst 5000 family

The 48 port line card increases the port density of the Catalyst 5500 to support 528 switchedEthernet connections and will bring the cost of 10 megabit Ethernet down to under $185 perport. It gives users the flexibility, reliability and investment protection delivered bymodular architectures.

The 24 port Fast Ethernet switching module is an autosensing, autoconfiguring 10/100 optionthat will increase the density in the Catalyst 5500 to 264 high performance ports forapporoximately $495 per port. Now, customers will be able to consolidate wiring closetconnections, which will enable wide-spread deployment of Fast Ethernet and provide theinvestment protection benefites of a modular solution.

With Gigabit Ethernet on the horizon for many companies, a technology migration to these higherspeeds is a requirement and is delivered by Cisco's Fast EtherChannel. Cisco is offering twoFast EtherChannel modules (one for 10/100Base-TX, one for 100Base-FX) for the Catalyst 5000family and Fast EtherChannel enhanced uplink ports on the Catalyst 2926 and in the future, onthe Catalyst 2820 Enterprise Edition.

Cisco's Fast EtherChannel solution has gained wide industry acceptance since its announcementin March 1997, with many industry supporters preparing to ship products. With this option,network managers can now safely scale performance and manageability all the way to multipleGigabits with industry standard ports and cabling.

The 12 port Fast EtherChannel line cards allow the aggregation of 100 Mbps interfaces to yielda single communication channel capable of 800 Mbps between switches, routers or servers. Thisbandwidth provides load balancing, fault tolerance, fast failover and supports the Inter-SwitchLink (ISL) Virtual LAN Trunking protocol. These features ensure reliable performance withminimal downtime and network delays. With these new line modules, the Catalyst 5500 will nowbe capable of supporting 144 Fast EtherChannel ports at under $1000 per port.

Standalone Desktop Ethernet Switches

To better address the enterprise wiring closet needs, Cisco is also enhancing the Catalyst2901 and announcing the new Catalyst 2926. These new solutions are fixed-configuration, havingeither 14 and 26 ports respectively, of 10/100 Mbps auto-sensing/auto-negotiating Ethernetcapacity. Additionally, the Catalyst 2926 comes equipped with a choice of either two fiber ortwo copper enhanced uplinks (Fast EtherChannel) for backbone or server connections.

Both the Catalyst 2901 and the Catalyst 2926 complement the entire Cisco Catalyst switchoffering, allowing users to benefit from common features found therein, multimedia support andcommon network management user interfaces like those in CiscoWorks for SwitchedInternetworks (CWSI).

For workgroups and extended networks, the new Catalyst 1900 and 2820 Enterprise Editionswitches provide enhanced performance, security and scalability. They deliver advanced CiscoIOS technologies that include, Cisco's ISL virtual LAN (VLAN) protocol and multipleemulated LAN (ELAN) support to allow for the extension of logical networks from the end-useracross an entire network of Cisco layer 2 and 3 switches. Further, by providing multi-levelsecurity, network administrators can permit administrative access and prevent accidental orunauthorized alterations to the switch's configuration.

Additionally, the new switching options for the Enterprise were designed to be highlyfunctional and contain the essential features to support networks today and many advancedcapabilities for the future. Many of these switching products support a whole host of CiscoIOS. software and CWSI capabilities, which give network managers consistent functionality inareas such as multimedia/multicast, monitoring and management, security and VLANs.

Cisco Systems

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

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