News Release

Cisco Systems Announces Backbone Switching Modules for the Catalyst 5500

New Catalyst 5500 Products Provide Increased Performance, Resiliency and Load-Balancing Capabilities for Incremental Bandwidth Migrations
Apr 27, 1998

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- April 27, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced additional options for the Catalyst. 5500 series of LAN switches. With these solutions, customers are able to continue enhancing their network backbones using high-performance, multilayer, scalable campus systems.

The new options include a 24-port 10/100 Fast EtherChannel(R) backbone switching module and a 12-port 100BaseFX Fast EtherChannel backbone switching module. To enable wire-speed, nonblocking IP/IPX routing, Cisco is also announcing the Catalyst 8510/5500 Switch Route Processor, new eight-port Fast Ethernet routing modules, and the Fabric Integration Module (FIM).

"Customers continue to look for additional options to leverage their current investments through gradual integration of new technologies to enhance the performance and manageability of existing campus infrastructures," said Rolf McClellan, of McClellan Consulting. "Cisco's announcement demonstrates their ongoing commitment to the Catalyst 5500 and to provide a smooth migration path for enterprise customers."

High-Performance Solutions

For those customers looking for increased performance in the backbone, Cisco is providing additional solutions for the Catalyst 5500. These line modules will not only assist in migrating customers to higher performance, but protect current and future networking infrastructure investments.

The Catalyst Switch Route Processor (SRP) and new eight-port Fast Ethernet routing modules fit in either the new Catalyst 8500 CSR series announced today (Cisco Systems Announces Advanced Campus Switch Router Family, April 27, 1998) or the Catalyst 5500. The SRP is an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)-based card that is capable of fully routing IP and IPX traffic at 6 million packets per second and runs Cisco IOS. software.

With the SRP running full Cisco IOS software within the Catalyst 5500, customers will be able to use industry-leading network services in the areas of multimedia, security, CiscoAssure Policy Networking, multicast and network management throughout their networks. The SRP enables a nonblocking, low-latency 10-Gbps switching fabric in the Catalyst 5500. Additionally, the SRP ensures that line-rate performance is maintained for routing IP/IPX and IP Multicast traffic without packet loss.

Also announced today is the Fabric Integration Module. This optional module is used when fully integrated routing is desired across all modules in a Catalyst 5500. It further delivers the integration needed to scale solutions from 30 to 200-plus ports in large server farm environments.

To provide bandwidth in incremental steps using industry-standard Fast Ethernet, Cisco is also announcing high density Fast EtherChannel line cards for the Catalyst 5500 series. These include a new 24-port 10/100 Fast EtherChannel line card and a 12-port 100BaseFX card that allows the aggregation of up to four 100 Mbps connections to yield a single communication channel capable of 800 Mbps between switches, routers or servers.

This bandwidth provides load balancing, fault tolerance and fast failover and supports the Inter-Switch Link (ISL) Virtual LAN Trunking protocol. These new backbone modules also provide support for 802.1Q VLAN trunking and 802.3x flow control. These features reduce the possibilities of network downtime and delays because of the flexibility, resiliency and reliability of the connections.

Cisco Systems

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


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