News Release

Cisco Systems Announces Wiring Closet Enhancements for the Catalyst 5000 Family

New Catalyst 5000 Family Products Offer Wire-Speed Layer 3
May 10, 1999

New Catalyst 5000 Family Products Offer Wire-Speed Layer 3 and 4 Services, IP, IPX and IP Multicast Switching Along with Full Multiprotocol Routing

SAN JOSE, Calif. - May 10, 1999 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced a range of new solutions for the Catalyst. 5000 Family of multilayer switches. These enhancements provide end-users with cost-effective, intelligent multilayer services and high-density fiber connectivity to the desktop while preserving their current infrastructure investments.

The products being announced today include the Catalyst Supervisor Engine II G and III G which offer wire-speed IP, IPX and IP multicast switching across subnets, gigabit connectivity, intelligent Layer 3 and 4 services and full multiprotocol routing. Also being announced today are 24-port 10Base-FL cards for cost effective fiber connectivity and Catalyst 5.1 software with enhanced quality of service (QoS) features for increased intelligence. These solutions complement the entire Catalyst Family of products that span from the wiring closet through the distribution layer and into the campus backbone.

"We have a wide range of Catalyst solutions throughout our network, including numerous Catalyst 5000s and 5500s," said Eric Pylko, global infrastructure co-ordinator for Eastman Kodak Company. "These new options will allow us to integrate intelligent gigabit and Layer 3 solutions in incremental steps, thereby avoiding forklift upgrades."

Intelligent Layer 3 and 4 Services with Enhanced QoS

As networks and end-user applications evolve, the need for Layer 3 and 4 services in the wiring closet grows exponentially. The rapid emergence and deployment of multicast technologies and converged voice, video and data traffic are driving the requirement for intelligent network services including QoS.

To enable cost-effective Layer 3 and 4 services, Cisco is announcing the Catalyst Supervisor Engine II G and III G. These new supervisor engines have the intelligence necessary to support end-to-end QoS via integrated multilayer switching (MLS) technology. The Catalyst Supervisor II G and III G enable mission critical traffic like voice to be identified, classified and prioritized and the edge of the network. With Cisco's MLS technology, Catalyst 5000 multilayer switches can also filter broadcast traffic by protocol on a per-port basis.

Cisco protects customers' investments in Catalyst line cards and systems by making this functionality available through either a software upgrade or by installation of new "G" series supervisor engines.

Cost-Effective Gigabit Connectivity

In addition to the increased intelligence, the new "G Series" supervisor engines offer a range of options to deploy both 100 or 1000 Mbit/s Ethernet uplinks. For the Supervisor IIG, there are modular uplink options, while the Supervisor IIIG has flexible GBIC ports. This flexibility allows end users to configure their wiring closets with a range of physical media from Fast Ethernet TX or FX to Gigabit Ethernet SX, LX/LH and ZX (which can reach up to 100 kilometers) to provide cost-effective 100/1000 Mbit/s backbone connectivity.

Cisco IOS Full Multiprotocol Routing

Cisco offers a range of options that enable network managers to deploy the full suite of Cisco IOS. software features in a campus environment.

Cisco is extending the functionality of IOS to the new Supervisor Engine II G and III G via an optional Route Switch Feature Card (RSFC). The RSFC supports Cisco's proven IOS software technology and gives the new supervisor engines full multiprotocol routing capability. With this optional daughter-card module on the supervisor engine, network managers are able to deploy switching modules in all chassis slots to achieve maximum port density.

The Catalyst RSFC supports the widest set of protocols available on any multilayer switch including IP, IPX, IP Multicast, AppleTalk, DECNet, and Vines. Additional benefits of the RSFC include access lists, fast convergence times, resilience and other intelligent IOS services.

This powerful combination of high performance features and intelligent IOS software enable network managers to build scalable, mission-critical networks.

Intelligent Switching Software for Multimedia Support and Application Aware Networking

As part of its goal to increase functionality while protecting current investments, Cisco is also releasing version 5.1 of the Catalyst switch software. This version adds wire-speed IP, IPX and IP multicast switching as well as enhanced QoS features. This functionality allows multimedia traffic like video and voice to be intelligently and efficiently distributed throughout the network.

Customers can now benefit from improved performance for IPX based applications and IP multicast voice/video applications such as Cisco's IP TV and Microsoft's NetMeeting. Additionally, new QoS mechanisms such as Weighted Random Early Detection (WRED), Traffic Recognition and Traffic Classification allow network administrators using Cisco's next-generation QoS Policy Manager (QPM) to prioritize key applications through centralized policy control and automated policy deployment. The Catalyst 5.1 software also adds intelligent support for existing Catalyst 5000 Family supervisor engines.

When these intelligent capabilities are used, network bandwidth is more effectively utilized and network administrators have the control capabilities necessary to build reliable, high performance networks.

Cost-Effective Fiber to the Desktop

Cisco also announced today the availability of a 24-port 10Base-FL line card that works in any Catalyst 5000 Family switch. This new option is twice the density of previously available solutions and is enabled by deploying the new MT-RJ small form-factor connector technology. This new module will allow customers to deploy fiber to the desktop in a more cost-effective manner.

Pricing and Availability

The prices for the Catalyst Supervisor Engine IIG and IIIG are $8,995 and $13,995 respectively. The Catalyst RSFC lists for $17,995 and the 24 port 10Base-FL switching module are priced at $7,495. The Catalyst Supervisor Engine II G, III G, 10Base-FL line card, RSFC and the Catalyst 5.1 software will be available in June 1999.

Cisco Systems

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

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