News Release

Cisco and Microsoft Help Customers Integrate Windows-Based Networks with Mainframes

Solution Combines Cisco Routers with Microsoft SNA Server
Mar 30, 1998

SAN JOSE, Calif. and REDMOND, Wash. - March 30, 1998 - Cisco Systems,Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced today a new program to help customersdeploy a combination of Cisco and Microsoft products to achieve highperformance integration between Microsoft Windows operating system-based solutionsand IBM-compatible mainframes.

This program responds to enterprise customers who have asked Cisco andMicrosoft to help them preserve their existing mainframe investment whiletaking advantage of applications built on the Windows Platform as well asnew networking technologies. To help customers successfully deploy thiscombination of products, Cisco and Microsoft will execute joint performanceand interoperability testing and will make tuning and configuration guidanceavailable to customers. Tested products will include Cisco's mainframechannel-attached router, Cisco 7xxx router family with the Channel InterfaceProcessor (CIP) and the new Channel Port Adapter (CPA), and Microsoft SNAServer. The combination of Cisco's channel-attached routers andMicrosoft's SNA Server forms a powerful, high-speed solution.

"Westpac's business depends on Cisco's routers and Microsoft SNA Serverto carrymission-critical mainframe traffic to our 1,500 branch offices 24 hours aday", said Loran Fite, chief information officer of Westpac BankingCorporation. "We're delighted to see Cisco and Microsoft add mainframeintegration to their technology alliance as it gives us an assurance that bothvendors are committed to solving our host access issues and needs today andin the future."

"Companies everywhere are migrating their traditional SNA networks torouter-based TCP/IP networks," said Selby Wellman, Cisco senior vicepresident, and general manager, InterWorks Business Unit. "By combiningMicrosoft's market-leading SNA Server withCisco's leading high-performance channel-attached routers, we can providebest-of-breed solutions for our customers' host access requirements."

"Our enterprise customers tell us they continue to need reliable, highperformance access to legacy data and transactions from a rapidly growingnumber of applications based on Windows NT Server and the BackOfficefamily", said Steven A. Ballmer, executive vice president of sales at Microsoft. "With this announcement, we will enable our customers to combine Ciscoand Microsoft products to achieve integration of new and legacytechnologies."

Cisco and Microsoft will jointly promote and support the deployment ofCisco's channel-attached routers and Microsoft SNA Server within mainframedata centers. Customers benefit by utilizing Cisco's high performancechannel access to their mainframes in conjunction with Microsoft's terminal,database, file system, transaction, printing, andsecurity integration.

Under this program, new areas in which the companies will work togetherwill include these:

  • Compatibility testing and verification - Cisco and Microsoft willverify the integrated use of these products.

  • Joint support - Microsoft and Cisco will work together to providesupport for these combined products.

  • Performance Optimization - Cisco and Microsoft will work together tooptimize the performance of their products and provide customers withperformance tuning information.

    Cisco and Microsoft have concluded preliminary testing and verificationof the interoperation of their respective products. The initial result is ajoint white paper which includes an explanation of the integration of theproducts, and Cisco configuration parameters. It can be found on theMicrosoft web site at, or, on the Cisco web siteat

    This announcement is the latest in a series of activities within theCisco and Microsoft alliance. Cisco and Microsoft have previously announcedcollaboration in the areas of directory services, multimedia and security.

    About Cisco Systems

    Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ "CSCO") is the worldwide leader in networkingfor the Internet. News and information are available at

    About Microsoft Corporation

    Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader insoftware for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of productsand services for business and personal use, each designed with themission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage ofthe full power of personal computing every day.

    # # #

    Microsoft, Windows NT and BackOffice are either registered trademarks ortrademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.Cisco is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems. All other trademarksare property of their respective owners.