News Release

Cisco Adds High-Performance Options to its Catalyst 5500 Series of Multilayer Switches

Gigabit-optimized solutions give customers more options for
Sep 08, 1998

Gigabit-optimized solutions give customers more options for enterprise connectivity

SAN JOSE, Calif. - September 8, 1998 - Cisco Systems, Inc., today announced the availability of a new gigabit-optimized multilayer switch, a 9-port Gigabit EtherChannel. module and a Network Analysis Module. These new enterprise solutions provide the scalability, performance, redundancy and Internet services required for building next-generation enterprise networks.

With a gigabit-ready architecture that scales to over 50 Gbps of switching capacity, the Catalyst. 5509 multilayer switch delivers Catalyst 5500-class, wire-speed, frame switching in a nine-slot chassis. Cisco is also introducing the Network Analysis Module, which provides key data points for analyzing, troubleshooting and streamlining complex networks. Additionally, MPOA and LANE services are now available on the Catalyst platform for OC-3 and OC-12 speeds.

"When we decided to install gigabit Ethernet in our next-generation network, we evaluated a number of solutions to ensure reliability, scalability and performance," said Eric Pylko, Global Infrastructure Coordinator at Eastman Kodak Company. "Not only did the Cisco gigabit solution meet our requirements and provide investment protection in both our wiring closets and backbone, we were able to maintain all the important Internet services via Cisco IOS. software throughout our network."

Platform Flexibility

The Catalyst 5509 is ideally suited for both wiring closet and backbone applications and supports up to 384 switched Ethernet users. As a low cost wiring closet solution, the Catalyst 5509 supports high density, dedicated token ring or 10/100/1000 Ethernet switching. The Catalyst 5509 also supports all of Cisco's advanced features for the wiring closet, such as automatic protocol broadcast filtering to conserve valuable bandwidth, intelligent multicast forwarding to handle multimedia traffic, and load balancing over redundant links.

For Gigabit Ethernet backbone applications, the Catalyst 5509 supports up to 38 ports of Gigabit Ethernet and can leverage Cisco's Gigabit EtherChannel technology on the line cards. Gigabit EtherChannel enables multiple gigabit Ethernet links to be treated as one logical link, for up to 8 Gbps (full duplex) of device-to-device throughput. For example, a Catalyst 5509 could be connected to a Catalyst 8500 series Campus Switch Router using gigabit EtherChannel for a robust, high performance backbone with multi-gigabits of throughput.

Both the Catalyst 5509 and the Gigabit EtherChannel modules leverage Cisco's Catalyst switching technology and are compatible with the other members of the Catalyst 5500 series of multilayer switches. These include key solutions such as the Supervisor Engine III that supports Cisco's NetFlow Feature cards (delivering high-speed, layer-3 switching), Route Switch Modules and ATM capabilities.

Reaffirming its commitment to ATM, Cisco is announcing the availability of standards-based MPOA and LANE solutions at OC-3 and OC-12 rates. Currently available are the OC-3 and OC-12 MPOA modules as well as uplinks that support LANE up to OC-12 rates. These enhancements are in response to customers' demands for high performance, hardware-based Layer 3 switching for ATM platforms and will enhance the ability to integrate data, voice and video on a single network.

Intelligence Throughout the Network

As the demands to support more applications on the network continue to grow, so must the intelligence within the infrastructure. Applications like real-time stock quotes, broadcast news, multimedia training, video on demand and distance learning are flooding onto the network and network managers need to provision for these next-generation tools.

With that goal in mind, Cisco is introducing the Network Analysis Module that can be installed into a single slot on a Catalyst 5000/5500 series chassis. With full RMON, RMON2, NetFlow and VLAN monitoring capabilities, network managers now have the option to do real-time, proactive trend analysis, capacity planning and extensive troubleshooting. The new Network Analysis Module is optimized to monitor Layers 1 through 7 and can export this data to any IETF standards-compliant network management application, including Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks (CWSI).

As with all Catalyst 5000 family members, the Catalyst 5509 supports the CiscoAssure policy networking architecture with extensive quality of service (QoS) and a number of features to assist in the management and control of a network. This includes a protocol-filtering feature, which automatically controls broadcast traffic on a port-by-port basis. In the future, Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) will be mapped to Catalyst 5500/5000 series priority queues, ensuring timely delivery of time-sensitive intranet applications.

Fully integrated support for Cisco IOS software multiprotocol routing intelligence is provided via the route switch module. This module delivers the enterprise Cisco IOS routing feature set in the Catalyst 5500/5000 series and provides true multilayer connectivity in a multiprotocol environment.

Reliability, Resiliency and Internet Services

Network resilience is achieved through a combination of device, link, and network service redundancy supported on the Catalyst 5509 series. Device redundancy is provided with support for redundant switch engines, power supplies, and route switch modules. Link redundancy is implemented with Fast EtherChannel or Gigabit EtherChannel technology, and supported on all virtual LAN (VLAN) trunk links. Network service redundancy is achieved through ATM Simple Server Redundancy Protocol (SSRP), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) and support for Spanning-Tree Protocol on a per-VLAN basis.

Security in the intranet is supported with secure port filtering, enabling individual ports to permit access only to certain workstations. Mobility or moves, adds, and changes in the intranet is supported using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS), along with dynamic VLAN services and layer 3 switching for optimal, scalable performance, regardless of location.

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