News Release

Cisco Expands Gigabit and Wiring Closet Solutions with Catalyst 4000 and Catalyst 2948G

New modular and fixed wiring closet solutions enable
Dec 01, 1998

New modular and fixed wiring closet solutions enable wire-speed 10/100/1000 switching with features, management and network services consistent with the Catalyst 5500 Series

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- December 1, 1998 -- Cisco Systems, Inc., today announced two new additions to Cisco's Catalyst. family of intelligent solutions that are being targeted at the wiring closet: the Catalyst 4000 and the Catalyst 2948G. Utilizing the same software as the Catalyst 5500 Series, these new platforms extend the investment protection provided throughout Catalyst solutions and offer network managers low overall cost of ownership.

The two new members of the Catalyst series are the modular Catalyst 4003 and the fixed configuration Catalyst 2948G. Specifically addressing enterprise wiring closets ranging from 48 to 96 ports of 10/100 or high-density Gigabit Ethernet, these new solutions are based on a non-blocking switching architecture which enables high performance 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet connectivity. Further enhancements are also being announced today on the Catalyst 5500; see today's press release entitled, "Cisco Enables Application Recognition and QoS on Catalyst 5500 Series Solutions" for further details.

"When we decided to expand our network, we knew that we needed to consider intelligent, high-bandwidth solutions that could scale and fit seamlessly into our Catalyst 5500-based infrastructure," said Bryan Brown, manager of network services at Helix Health Inc. "Cisco's new Gigabit and wiring closet solutions have allowed us to protect our infrastructure investments and given us the price/performance necessary while delivering important enterprise end-to-end functionality."

As enterprises begin to deploy Gigabit Ethernet, the Catalyst 4000 Series is a key platform in Cisco's goal of providing end-to-end Gigabit solutions. According to a recent report from the Dell Oro Group, Cisco currently holds the number one position in overall Gigabit Ethernet revenue with 24 percent of the total market, with the nearest competitor coming in at 17 percent.

Based on Granite Systems technology, the Catalyst 4003 is a three-slot chassis that can support up to 36 Gigabit Ethernet ports or up to 96 10/100 Ethernet ports through a 24 Gbps non-blocking switching fabric.

The Catalyst 2948G is a fixed configuration intelligent switch that has 48 10/100 ports and 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports for uplinks and is based on the same ASIC architecture as the Catalyst 4000. Both products provide wire-speed switching on all ports with the total switching capacity of the Catalyst 4003 being 18 million packets per second and over 10 million packets per second in the Catalyst 2948G.

To populate the new 4003 chassis, Cisco is also introducing new high-density line cards for both 10/100 and Gigabit Ethernet configurations. The new Catalyst 4000 line cards include options for either 32 or 48 10/100 ports, as well as 6 or 18 Gigabit Ethernet ports per card.

Scalability and High Availability

As customers evolve their enterprise networks, they want to ensure that the solutions they choose today will enable them to scale in terms of both port count and feature sets. With a modular chassis and Cisco's proven track record at providing high density/high performance solutions, the Catalyst 4000 is an ideal choice for those looking to implement Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.

As with the Catalyst 5500 Series, Fast EtherChannel and Gigabit EtherChannel capabilities are built in. EtherChannel technology delivers up to 800 megabits or 8 gigabits of resilient, fault-tolerant, load-balancing bandwidth in a single, logical link.

All Gigabit ports make use of flexible, industry-standard GBIC (GigaBit Interface Converter) technology, allowing for easy selection or upgrade of interfaces on a port-by-port basis. As additional capabilities are developed, these modules make it easy to upgrade to the latest interface technology, maximizing investment protection.

Additionally, port redundancy is supported with Spanning Tree enhancements UplinkFast and PortFast, which provide faster convergence time in the event of network reconfiguration due to component or link failures. To ensure reliable and consistent network operations, the Catalyst 4003 supports redundant, load-sharing power supplies and meets requirements for device redundancy, link resiliency and network availability, providing dedicated bandwidth directly to individual users, as well as servers, printers and high-speed connections to company data centers.

Catalyst Compatibility, Full Enterprise Functionality and Intelligent Multicast

Today's wiring closets demand intelligent support of emerging applications and need to couple tightly with Layer 3 switch routers like the Catalyst 8500 series and multilayer distribution switches like the Catalyst 5500 series for true end-to-end performance.

The Catalyst 4000 Series delivers consistent high-end enterprise features by supporting the same software as the industry-leading Catalyst 5500 series. This gives the Catalyst 4000 Series market-leading performance and intelligent wiring closet capabilities. This includes wirespeed multicast, wirespeed RMON support and enterprise-class VLAN (Virtual LAN) capabilities including protocol filtering and per-VLAN Spanning Tree.

Because enterprise networks are seeing more multicast traffic, it is essential for next-generation solutions to be able to recognize these flows and handle them efficiently. Similar to the Catalyst 5500 architecture, the Catalyst 4000 Series is optimized for environments that require intelligent, high-speed multicast traffic to be switched at wire speed. The Catalyst 4003 and 2948G forward multicast traffic at wire-speed on all ports participating in a given multicast session, but do not forward multicast traffic to links not participating in multicast which minimizes network and host resource utilization.

Availability and Further Information

The Catalyst 4003 will be available in the first quarter of 1999. The fixed configuration Catalyst 2948G will also be available in the first quarter of 1999. For more information on Cisco's Catalyst series of multilayer switches, see our Enterprise Campus Solutions Web Site.

For more information on Gigabit Ethernet, see the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance Web Site.

Cisco Systems

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