News Release

Cisco Announces Advanced Router System for Cisco 7500 Series Routers

Next-Generation Routing Technology Increases Switching Capabilities and Accelerates Services
Nov 12, 1997

SAN JOSE, Calif. - November 12, 1997 - Cisco Systems, Inc. announced today an advanced routersystem for the Cisco 7500 series routers. This system increases the performance and switchingcapabilities of the Cisco 7500, while enabling Internet service providers and enterprisecustomers to accelerate advanced network services such as security, quality of service (QoS)and detailed accounting.

"Service providers need advanced routers to enable them to scale Layer 3 switching performanceand advanced IP services to meet the increasing demands of the Internet," said Richard Palmer,director of marketing for Cisco Systems' Internet Service Provider Business Unit. "Enterprisenetworks also require scalability to support a mix of applications with different bandwidth andlatency requirements such as multimedia and mission-critical applications. To meet theserequirements, an advanced router must have a distributed switching architecture, deliver highlyscalable control and forwarding and accelerate IP services. The advanced router system for theCisco 7500 series achieves these goals with a set of hardware products and Cisco IOS software enhancements."

Conventional routers use a centralized processor to perform all Layer 3 switching, applyadvanced services and manage route updates. This process can significantly limit overall routerperformance. To achieve the performance necessary for today's Internet and intranets, advancedrouters such as the Cisco 7500 series and the Cisco 12000 series Gigabit Switch Router (GSR)use a distributed system architecture. The Cisco 7500 implements a distributed architecturethrough the use of versatile interface processors (VIPs) that enable significantly higherthroughput and switching performance by spreading the switching activity to multipleprocessors.

"Upgrading to VIP technology boosted the performance of our 7500 router backbone tremendously,"said Ed Kern, vice president of engineering at Digex Corporation. "Having VIP technologycoupled with Route/Switch Processor 4s (RSP4s) has given us the performance necessary for anext-generation class of service. It has also created packet switching rates that will take usall the way to the next platform, the Cisco 12000 Gigabit Switch Router."

As part of the advanced router system, Cisco is announcing a second generation VIP, model 50(VIP2-50), which increases the switching capacity of the Cisco 7500 by more than 500 percentover basic Cisco 7500 systems without the benefit of VIP technology. The increased switchingcapacity in a single router improves router throughput and reduces the number of routersnecessary to manage a given load, thereby saving equipment costs. Cisco's advanced routersystem also protects initial investments in Cisco 7500 routers by scaling performance withoutcostly chassis upgrades for the latest network interfaces such as Fast Ethernet, AsynchronousTransfer Mode (ATM), high-speed serial interface (HSSI), Packet over SONET Interface Processors(POSIPs), channelized T3/E3 and packet over T3/E3.

Conventional router performance also suffers in complex network environments that experiencemultiple route topology changes. The distributed architecture of the Cisco 7500 allows forscalable control and forwarding functions, minimizing the impact of constant route updates. The Cisco 7500 does this by separating data functions such as packet routing, switching and QoSprovisioning from control functions like route processing, allowing the overall systemperformance to scale. Advanced router system features such as Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF),Tag Switching and RSP4 streamline switching decisions and manage complex network topologychanges to ensure packet throughput in highly dynamic environments.

With the integration of the VIP2-50, RSP4, CEF and Tag Switching advanced router systemfeatures, the Cisco 7500 delivers the products and software for the most scalable, distributedrouter platform available today. Other advanced router system extensions for the Cisco 7500,such as Distributed Weighted Fair Queuing and Distributed Random Early Detection, allow thesequeuing systems to scale to support OC-3 line rates. This feature represents an increase often times over previous methods. Future advanced router system extensions for the Cisco 7500will accelerate the performance of IP services and bring high-performance Gigabit Ethernet andOC-12 interfaces to the Cisco 7500.

Cisco Systems

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

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