News Release

Cisco Expands Catalyst 2900 Series XL Family of 10/100 Desktop Switches

New features include VLAN trunking, and Gigabit Ethernet and ATM uplink modules
Jan 11, 1999

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 11, 1999 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today expanded its desktop switching portfolio with five new 12- and 24-port, Standard and Enterprise Edition models of the award-winning Cisco Catalyst. 2900 Series XL, a family of autosensing 10/100 Fast Ethernet desktop switches.

The Cisco IOS. software-based Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches, now available in Standard and Enterprise Editions, start at a low price of $104 per port for the Catalyst 2924 XL Standard Edition. Standard Edition models include features such as Fast EtherChannel. technology, enhanced Web-based management and software upgradeability. Enterprise Edition models add advanced end-to-end virtual LAN (VLAN) trunking (IEEE 802.1Q or ISL tagging) capabilities. Three new Fast Ethernet modules support VLAN trunking functionality across modular models including the current Catalyst 2916M. Forthcoming high-speed uplink Gigabit and ATM modules enable network managers to future-proof their desktop and segment switching infrastructures, while enabling affordable and immediate migration to higher-performance networks.

"The Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches are very reliable, like all Cisco products," said Wayne Palmer, Network Services manager at National Pen Corporation, a manufacturer and marketer of pens, mugs and key chains. "It was critical that we choose a strong networking vendor with a good product offering, and reliable service and support. The new Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches from Cisco fit the bill perfectly."

"The latest market share numbers indicate that customers are embracing Cisco desktop switching solutions at an industry leading level," said Larry Birenbaum, vice president and general manager of the Small Internetworks Business Unit at Cisco Systems. "The new 2900 Series XL switches deliver enterprise-class features at workgroup prices and offer a manageable, end-to-end switching solution targeted to meet the needs of customers from small workgroups to enterprise wiring closets."

New Models Offer Growth and Flexibility

The new Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches are part of Cisco's Catalyst family of end-to-end, high-performance switches designed to help users easily migrate from traditional shared LANs to fully switched networks. The Catalyst family, consisting of the Catalyst 1900, 2820, 2900, 4000, 5000 and 8500 series switches, delivers scalable flexibility and cost effectiveness required for today's desktop, workgroup and backbone applications, while enabling enterprise-wide switched internetworks.

Now available in Standard and Enterprise Editions, the software embedded in the Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches is upgradeable so customer investments are protected as their networks grow or change. Standard Edition versions can be purchased and upgraded to Enterprise Edition via an economical software upgrade program. The Enterprise Edition versions will be part of an ongoing software release program that periodically delivers new features.

The Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches are available in five new models each available in a variety of port densities, media and modular configurations. The modular 24-port Catalyst 2924M XL switch is an excellent aggregation device, as well as an ideal solution for delivering dedicated 10- or 100-Mbps bandwidth to individual desktops. The modular 12-port, all fiber Catalyst 2912MF XL switch is well-suited for aggregating small campus networks over 100BaseFX fiber connections. The Catalyst 2912MF XL and Catalyst 2924M XL's two versatile module slots provide 10BaseT/100BaseTX and 100BaseFX expansion capabilities and support for future Gigabit Ethernet and ATM modules, allowing users the flexibility to upgrade their networks while preserving initial investments. The 12-port Catalyst 2912 XL, 24-port Catalyst 2924 XL and Catalyst 2924C XL switches are ideal for delivering low-cost, high-performance, 10- or 100-Mbps bandwidth to individual desktops and servers.

The new high performanceVLAN capable modules include a Fast Ethernet ISL/802.1Q-capable module and future Gigabit Ethernet and ATM modules that will support the current installed base of 2916M XL switches. The Gigabit Ethernet module will support industry-standard Gigabit Interface Converters (GBICs) enabling a choice of transceiver types - SX or LX/LH.

Extensive Security and Simplified Management

The advanced software embedded in the Enterprise Edition Catalyst 2900 XL Series switches provides VLAN support, advanced security and unequaled scalability. VLAN trunks can be created from any port using either standards-based IEEE 802.1Q protocols or the Cisco ISL VLAN architecture. ISL VLAN and ATM Emulated LAN (ELAN) support enables the deployment of enterprise-wide VLANs spanning multiple switches, routers and servers. The switches also provide enhanced security via a future software upgrade, enabling centralized access control through TACACS+. Enterprise Edition software delivers the best end-to-end management in a network with Cisco routers, chassis switches and access servers.

Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches provide extensive management capabilities, including support for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Telnet interfaces, and a Command Line Interface (CLI)-based management console, providing detailed out-of-band management. Cisco Visual Switch Manager (CVSM), a robust Web-browser interface, makes the switches exceptionally easy to use and enables network administrators to manage the switches and obtain network and stack views from anywhere on the network through a standard Web browser. Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches are also manageable through CiscoWorks 2000 network management software on per-port and per-switch basis, providing a common management interface for Cisco routers, switches and hubs. The switches support four groups of Remote Monitoring (RMON) for enhanced traffic management, monitoring and analysis.

Lifetime Warranty

Emphasizing Cisco's commitment to product reliability, all new models of the Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches are covered by a new limited lifetime warranty. With this new warranty coverage, demonstrating a high level of confidence in product quality, Cisco delivers support for as long as the customer owns the product. The fan and power supply are backed for five years.

Pricing and Availability

The new Catalyst 2900 Series XL switches are available now with a limited lifetime warranty, with U.S. list prices starting at $1,795 for the Catalyst 2912 XL and $2,495 for the Catalyst 2924 XL. The Fast Ethernet ISL/802.1Q-capable modules are also available now with U.S. list prices starting at $995.

The Gigabit Ethernet module will be available in March 1999 with a U.S. list price of $995. The Gigabit Interface Connectors are shipping now, the SX module is U.S. list priced at $500. The ATM module will ship in April 1999, with a U.S. list price of $3,495 for the multimode fiber version.

Cisco Systems

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

# # #

Catalyst, EtherChannel, Cisco IOS, 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.