News Release

Cisco Introduces an Easier, More Scalable SNA Solution for IP Infrastructures

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -- September 7, 1999 -- Cisco
Sep 07, 1999

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC -- September 7, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced Systems Network Architecture (SNA) Switching Services (SNASw), the next generation Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networking (APPN), for enterprises that need SNA routing without the complexity of the original APPN architecture. With SNASw, Cisco demonstrates its continued commitment to deliver best-of-breed solutions to customers with IBM internetworking requirements. SNASw is the latest solution delivered as part of the Cisco Blue roadmap, introduced in 1991 to enable enterprises to leverage their investments in SNA applications and equipment as they move to an IP infrastructure.

Cisco has supported APPN in the Cisco IOS software since 1995 and thousands of Cisco routers run the APPN feature set today. With SNASw, Cisco provides an APPN solution that minimizes network traffic, maximizes scalability, improves availability, and simplifies network design and installation. In addition, SNASw enables native transport of SNA data across an IP network, providing another means to consolidate SNA and IP networks while enabling an enterprise to take advantage of Internet services and multiservice network consolidation.

"With most of the world's mission-critical traffic still accessing SNA applications and data, APPN remains an essential technology-but not everywhere in the network," said Frank Maly, Marketing Director at Cisco Systems. "With SNASw Cisco is providing 'smart APPN'-a minimum amount of SNA traffic and routing, while providing the needed SNA routing and traffic prioritization. In most enterprises this can be accomplished within the data center while the network and remote sites converge on IP."

With a declining SNA skills set, it is imperative to offer SNA solutions that simplify network design, installation, and management, while still providing the required SNA functionality to take advantage of parallel sysplex capabilities and new, high-speed channel solutions. SNASw offers a number of features that make it the most usable, scalable APPN solution on the market.

To address scalabiltiy, SNASw drastically reduces the amount of broadcast traffic generated to maintain APPN directory and topology information. It implements the APPN Branch Extender (BX) feature set that enables APPN routing functionality without the complexity and broadcast traffic of traditional APPN network nodes. By eliminating this broadcast traffic, APPN networks are simpler to design and migration to APPN is safer.

To improve availability, SNASw enables transport of SNA in IP packets directly to a mainframe, allowing enterprises to take the next step toward migrating their infrastructures to IP. It implements the APPN Enterprise Extender (EX) feature set that uses APPN features for reliable transport, but relies on an underlying IP infrastructure for routing, bandwidth management, and switching-leveraging the strengths of a Cisco IP infrastructure.

Finally, SNASw offers several features that make SNASw the most usable APPN solution on the market. With several APPN operands dynamically generated, only a minimum number of configured commands are required for SNASw to be operational. Also SNASw automatically gathers information about what is happening in the APPN network. The data is viewed on a console or transferred to a file server as either an SNA-formatted text file or a binary formatted file, readable by popular network management applications.

As enterprises move to corporate intranets, the ability to support SNA applications is essential to reducing development costs and providing faster time to market for new Internet services. At the same time, the ability to add IP applications in the data center and support IP client access to all applications empowers the enterprise to develop new services and attract new customers. SNASw enables access to SNA applications, while the other features of the CiscoBlue roadmap enable a new consolidated network, new clients and new applications.


SNASw will be orderable and is shipping on September 7, 1999, as part of Cisco IOS software Release 12.0(5)XN. It will be orderable during the fourth quarter of 1999 as part of Cisco IOS software Release 12.1.

Cisco Systems

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

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