News Release

Cisco Introduces New Classification, Policy and Intelligent Network Service Solutions to Enable E-Business Applications

New Products Form Network Framework for Cisco's Content Networking Initiative
Nov 02, 1999

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- November 2, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced new classification, policy and intelligent network service solutions necessary for essential e-business applications. Supporting the Cisco Content Networking initiative also announced today, these new products and features include:

  • Network Classification Mechanisms: Network-Based Application Recognition and the Multimedia Conference Manager
  • Intelligent Network Services: Multi-Node Load Balancing, the Cisco Cache Engine 500 Series and Cisco IOS. software release 12
  • Policy Management: the Cisco Quality of Service (QoS) Policy Manager 1.1

"Cisco is combining sophisticated network classification mechanisms with the richest suite of intelligent network services and policy management tools to make Cisco-based networks even more application aware," said Richard Palmer, vice president of marketing for Cisco's enterprise wide area network (WAN) business unit. "This powerful combination creates an architecture with the flexibility to enable true enterprise agility and rapid deployment of e-business applications."

Network Classification Mechanisms: Network-Based Application Recognition

Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR), a new Cisco IOS software classification engine that dynamically recognizes network applications, enables Cisco devices to intelligently apply QoS policies. NBAR provides the intelligence to distinguish between mission-critical and less important applications, a function which requires in-depth inspection of the data traffic using information embedded in layers four through seven of the ISO model. For example, NBAR allows network devices to distinguish between WWW traffic being used for enterprise-critical tasks such as order entry from casual Internet browsing. This allows users to access mission-critical applications with minimal delay-without costly WAN link upgrades or cutting off access to less important applications.

Concurrent with internal developments, Cisco is also working with partners to enable Cisco network devices to distinguish between critical and non-critical transactions and sessions in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications such as those based on Oracle, SAP or PeopleSoft and applications deployed using Citrix Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTXS) Independent Computing Architecture (ICA.). For example, in Citrix ICA-connected applications NBAR allows network devices to distinguish between real-time data, such as screen updates and batch or print job traffic, and then apply the appropriate QoS mechanisms to ensure a positive user experience. [See today's related announcement on Citrix/Cisco relationship]

"We face all of the traditional network challenges-most notably, reliability and adequate bandwidth," said Greg Williams, technical program manager of managed operations for The Taylor Group. "With the increased popularity of interactive and web-based applications, we need to ensure each application and each individual function within these applications gets the appropriate network resources. With NBAR we can easily and intelligently allocate network bandwidth and priority to meet these requirements."

Network Classification Mechanisms: Cisco Multimedia Conference Manager

The Cisco Multimedia Conference Manager (MCM) provides content-aware intelligent policy networking capabilities for IP-based videoconferencing applications. These capabilities ensure high quality for H.323 videoconferencing connections over LANs and WANs while other applications are running simultaneously on these network infrastructures.

Implementing IP precedence classification or RSVP bandwidth reservations on conferencing streams, the MCM Proxy provides QoS and route connections according to customer-specified parameters and performs address translation to maintain H.323 endpoint security. In addition, the MCM gatekeeper and proxy work in tandem to register and authorize users, resolve destination addresses, route video calls and apply the appropriate bandwidth management policies to optimize throughput and functionality of Cisco multiservice IP networks.

Intelligent Network Services: Multi-Node Load Balancing

The explosive growth of the Internet economy and IP-based ERP applications is creating a heightened requirement for continuous availability of mission-critical data residing in UNIX, Windows NT and IBM servers. Cisco MultiNode Load Balancing (MNLB) is designed to meet this need for large enterprise or Internet service provider (ISP) Web sites and IBM Parallel Sysplex data centers requiring high availability and scalability for e-commerce and Internet business applications.

MNLB is an IP server load-balancing solution that distributes load-balancingcapabilities across any number of switches or routers, enabling the highest levels of availability, scalability and performance for server applications. MNLB consists of softwarerunning on Cisco LocalDirector, switches, routers and application server platforms. Cisco's DistributedDirector and LocalDirector work together with switches and routers to enable global and localized server load balancing for optimized content delivery.

Intelligent Network Services: Cisco Cache Engine 500 Series

Cisco's pending acquisition of Tasmania Network Systems, a leading developer of network caching software technologies, will provide additional high-performance caching technology for integration into the Cisco Cache Engine 500 Series product line. Announced in September 1999, the next-generation Cisco Cache Engine 500 Series products are network elements that accelerate content access, reduce WAN bandwidth costs and increase Web site scalability by transparently caching frequently accessed content. Designed and managed like networking products, the Cisco Cache Engine 500 Series products dynamically adapt to the network via bypass technology and Cisco's industry-leading Web Cache Communication Protocol v2 (WCCPv2).

Policy Management: Cisco QoS Policy Manager 1.1

The Cisco QoS Policy Manager (QPM) 1.1 features enhanced policy administration tools that enable content networking for Internet business applications across LAN and WAN policy domains. Cisco QPM 1.1 provides centralized policy control required for enterprise customers planning to implement new network services such as delay-sensitive voice over IP and bandwidth intensive multimedia while also protecting ERP application traffic.

Featuring new NBAR capabilities, Cisco QPM 1.1 now extends classification policies to content-based application signatures, Web URLs and dynamic protocols, delivering intelligent classification to a broad range of mission-critical applications. Cisco QPM 1.1 also extends QoS policy control into the campus environment, supporting network-wide differentiated services required to enable data, voice and video integration over a common network infrastructure.

"By reducing the complexity of quality of service feature provisioning, QoS Policy Manager makes delivery of voice, video and data over a common network infrastructure much easier," said Stan Christensen, network engineering manager at PeopleSoft. "We can more quickly make changes to the configurations as priorities and needs shift. QPM, with the advanced QoS features in Cisco IOS software and Cisco equipment, also adds more granular control and easier change management into our policies that improve performance for web-based multimedia along with mission-critical applications and departments."

Pricing and Availability

Available on the Cisco 7100 and 7200 platforms, NBAR is included at no added charge as part of Cisco IOS software version 12.0(5)XE2. The Cisco MCM is a Cisco IOS image that can be purchased as an upgrade, starting at U.S. $2,300, or as a standard software feature, starting at U.S. $3,100. The MNLB feature set for Cisco LocalDirector is U.S. $5,000 list. The Cisco Cache Engine 500 Series ranges from U.S. $4,995 to U.S. $45,000 list. Cisco QPM 1.1 is U.S. $9995 list. All products are currently available.

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