News Release

Cisco Joins the Directory Interoperability Forum

Cisco Makes Directory-Enabled Networking Technology Available to All Customers
May 10, 2000

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 10, 2000 - Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced its intention to join the Directory Interoperability Forum (DIF). The DIF was formed to accelerate the evolution and adoption of open directory-based applications. The membership of DIF, including directory customers, vendors and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), are working through existing standards bodies to ensure interoperability and reduce the investment risk for companies using directory-based applications.

"Cisco has a long history of driving and supporting standards and interoperability in today's New World networks. The use of open standards and directory support is key to delivering intelligent networks and intelligent network services. We are excited to help drive these intelligent networks through our membership in the DIF," said Anson Chen, general manager of Cisco's Intelligent Networking Services Business Unit.

Cisco recently introduced Cisco Networking Services (CNS) which builds on the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) Directory Enabled Networking (DEN) standard. CNS enables interoperability between Cisco products and devices, reduces operating costs and time-to-market, and empowers ISVs, systems integrators and service provider partners to build tightly integrated Cisco networking solutions. Cisco and Microsoft jointly launched the DEN initiative in 1997. DEN is now broadly supported by the industry under the stewardship of the DMTF as part of the CIM, and by the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) Policy Framework Working Group. "Cisco is moving quickly to ensure that all Cisco customers will be able to take advantage of this new technology regardless of their chosen directory service," added Chen. "This means working with directory vendors and industry forums such as the DIF to promote interoperability."

As a longtime leader in internetworking between diverse environments, Cisco supports a customer's choice of operating environments. CNS will use the interoperability that standards provide to expand support to standards-compliant directory platforms. In addition to Microsoft Active Directory, future CNS releases will add directories from Novell,, Sun/Netscape and IBM to the list of interoperable platforms.