News Release

Cisco Systems and Microsoft Deliver Platform to Prioritize Business Traffic

N+I Demonstration Shows Performance Optimization of Business-Critical SAP Solutions
Sep 14, 1999

ATLANTA, GA - Sept. 14, 1999 - Today Cisco and Microsoft will demonstrate on the showfloor at Networld + Interop a new quality of service (QoS) solution supporting The powerful combination of Microsoft Windows 2000 Server operating with Cisco's Catalyst switches, which utilizes policy-based networking, gives enterprise applications like SAP the capabilities to enhance performance. Cisco and Microsoft have collaborated on a new standards-based technology enabling customers to prioritize traffic on their networks easily and effectively to guarantee performance for all of their business-critical applications.

As network use increases with more demanding applications, the need for network administrators to set business priorities for application traffic becomes critical. The collaborative development of new QoS technologies by Microsoft and Cisco allows improved management of network resources through more granular application recognition, which in turn allows the network infrastructure to define and enforce policies necessary for optimal business performance.

"The Cisco and Microsoft combination will raise the bar for QoS solutions," said Deborah Willingham, vice president of marketing, Business and Enterprise Division, Microsoft Corporation. "With enterprise application providers like SAP developing their applications to take advantage of this solution, our mutual customers will have a mechanism to more effectively manage network congestion."

"The newly developed Microsoft and Cisco QoS platform will enhance the performance of solutions," said Harold Rostoker, director of technology, SAP America,Inc. "Our customers benefit from an enhanced network infrastructure that would allow network administrators to differentiate and prioritize application transactions and optimize their SAP solutions."

"Through the shared vision enabling applications with an intelligent networking infrastructure, Cisco and Microsoft have developed the richest QoS solution available to enterprise customers," said Peter Alexander, vice president of enterprise marketing at Cisco Systems. "This is the first solution where the network and the application communicate, fully integrating the QoS solution and fulfilling a major objective set by Cisco's policy networking initiative."

This first implementation of the new QoS technology will enable applications to communicate their different transaction types to the network. This is achieved using standard protocols, including RSVP, published in various Internet drafts. For example, an SAP payroll transaction type could be prioritized over an SAP print job. Support for the new mechanism will ship with the initial release of Windows 2000, scheduled for the second half of 1999, and will be supported by the Cisco Catalyst 6000 Family switches by end of year. The Cisco QoS Policy Manager will support the solution in the first half of 2000. SAP solutions will be ready to support the newly developed QoS solution when Microsoft ships Windows 2000.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of person computing every day.

Cisco Systems

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

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Cisco, Cisco IOS, 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. Micorsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. SAP, and all SAP product and service names mentioned herein are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAP AG. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.