News Release

Cisco Delivers Switching Solutions for Improved Token Ring Performance and Coexistence with Ethernet Networks

Inter-Switch Link and Desktop Switching for Integrated Switched Token Ring and Ethernet Networks
Mar 30, 1998

Research Triangle Park, NC -- March 30, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc., today announced new switching solutions that allow customers to integrate their switched Token Ring networks with switched Ethernet networks. With these solutions, customers can maximize their Token Ring investments, benefit from Token Ring switching to the desktop and support new Ethernet technologies.

These new solutions include complete high-speed, frame-based systems that support both Token Ring and Ethernet virtual local-area networks (VLANs). Cisco's Inter-Switch Link (ISL) technology is now available for Token Ring VLANs on the Catalyst. 5000 family, Catalyst 3900, and Cisco 7500 and 7200 router platforms. Customers can build 100-Mbps and gigabit backbones that support pure Token Ring, pure Ethernet, or mixed environments. Via Cisco IOS software technologies, Token Ring and Ethernet devices can coexist and communicate over the common infrastructure.

In addition, Token Ring customers can now enjoy the performance benefits of switching to the desktop. The new Catalyst 3920 stackable Token Ring switch delivers the most cost-effective solution in the industry to provide dedicated 4, 16, or 32 Mbps of bandwidth to each user on the network. The Catalyst 3920 can replace existing shared Token Ring hubs or be installed instead of hubs for new building LANs. When stacked with the Catalyst 3900, high-speed ISL or Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) uplinks are used to connect to the campus backbone.

"Token Ring customers have faced the difficult decision of how to grow their networks for years. We have consistently recommended that Token Ring customers plan on migrating to Ethernet," said David Passmore, President of NetReference, Inc. "With low-cost Token Ring switching to the desktop, Token Ring customers can take advantage of switching and position themselves to migrate to Ethernet switching as it makes business sense. They can also link these Token Ring switches via Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet backbones, creating a common infrastructure that exploits the cost, product availability, and performance advantages of high-speed Ethernet technologies."

Frank Maly, director of marketing for Cisco's InterWorks Business Unit, said, "We are committed to providing cost-effective upgrades to switching for our Token Ring customers. Not only will we provide the lowest-cost Token Ring switching to the desktop, but a cost-effective backbone solution that allows for future growth of the Token Ring network and the ability to support Ethernet customers."

Cisco Systems

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

# # #

Cisco IOS is a trademark, and Catalyst, Cisco, Cisco Systems, and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.