News Release

Cisco Announces New Solutions for Enterprise Site WAN Connectivity

New Multichannel Networking Capabilities Enable Scalable Enterprise WANs
Mar 17, 1998

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- March 17, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced new solutions for enterprise WAN connectivity. The new capabilities for the Cisco 7500 and 7200 series routers include multichannel networking, enhanced Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) port adapters and high-speed quality-of-service (QoS) capabilities, consistent with the CiscoAssure Policy Networking Initiative. These new products enable network managers to reduce WAN costs and grow their networks to meet the demands of enterprise network applications.

Multichannel Networking

Multichannel networking provides the flexibility to connect a central site via leased lines or Frame Relay to many remote sites with a wide range of speed requirements, all over a single interface. Instead of requiring multiple, central site router ports for each remote site leased-line or Frame Relay access line, multichannel networking enables enterprise networks to use the service provider infrastructure to combine multiple lines into a single connection. "Multichannel" refers to the ability to support individual DS0 (64 kbps) channels, as well as T1/E1 circuits or combinations of both.

"Our network has a large number of remote sites with varying speed requirements," said Chuck Ganguss, director, data networks at American Stores. "Multichannel networking provides the most cost-effective and flexible solution."

"These new multichannel port adapters for the Cisco 7500 and 7200 reduce equipment costs and management complexity, shrink required rack space, simplify sparing, and enable users to better manage WAN costs," said Richard Palmer, director of marketing for Cisco's Routed WAN Business Unit. "They eliminate the requirement for external DSU/CSUs to convert leased lines into serial interfaces, and require far fewer router ports than traditional solutions."

As remote site performance needs change, or as tariffs alter the cost equation, it is simple to change the configuration of the multichannel networking interfaces via software to accommodate the new requirements. In addition, channelized T3 access is typically less expensive at the central site than individual T1 circuits, with a crossover point of six to eight T1s, thus saving significant monthly costs.

The multichannel port adapters provide up to 128 channels per card and support a range of interfaces including T1, E1, T3 and E3. These multichannel interfaces are compatible with Cisco's broad range of branch and remote office solutions.

"With multichannel interfaces, its easy to manage and configure channels while avoiding the cost and complexity of DSU/CSU's and lots of cables," said Stan Christensen, senior network engineer at PeopleSoft. "Also, as our needs at remote sites grow, we can easily increase bandwidth beyond a single T1 with multichannel bundling."

Multichannel bundling enables new higher-speed applications and IP access by combining multiple T1 or E1 circuits into a single logical connection. This bundling provides a connection faster than T1/E1, but without the expense of moving all the way up to a full T3/E3 link. Today, external inverse multiplexers are deployed to provide this solution, but using them requires more equipment, more rack space and yields poorer management integration. Using multichannel bundling via either Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) load balancing or Multilink Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), network managers can deploy these higher-speed links without external inverse multiplexers.

ATM Interfaces

For enterprise customers who choose ATM for WAN connectivity, the Cisco 7500 and 7200 now support a family of WAN-capable ATM port adapters. With a choice of DS3, E3, OC3/STM-1 single-mode (intermediate and long reach) or multimode interfaces, the enhanced ATM port adapters provide key ATM traffic-shaping features needed to efficiently use ATM WAN services. The new port adapters also have hardware support for ATM Available Bit Rate (ABR) service built in, enabling network managers to take advantage of cost-effective, high-throughput ABR WAN services as they become available from service providers.

Quality of Service

Cisco's Internet QoS features are now available for enterprise customers of the Cisco 7x00 series routers as part of CiscoAssure Policy Networking which enables business users and applications to use the QoS intelligence that is embedded in a network. These new features, which include Committed Access Rate (CAR), Weighted Random Early Detection (WRED) and Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ), enable enterprise backbones to provide IP QoS at speeds up to 155 Mbps. By classifying traffic on a per application basis, the enterprise routed WAN can prioritize packets properly on high-speed WAN links when congestion occurs. This feature ensures that a mission-critical application packet, or time-sensitive, real-time traffic such as voice, is sped to its destination. These QoS features are also complementary to the NetFlow measurement tools for routed networks, including the new support for NetFlow in Cisco Enterprise Accounting Version 2.0.

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