News Release

Cisco Scales Ethernet Across the Network Unveiling 10 Gigabit Technology and New Copper Gigabit Solutions from Desktops to Data Centers

N+I Booth # 5063 LVCC
May 08, 2000

LAS VEGAS, Nev., May 8, 2000 - Cisco Systems today debuted the company's first public technology demonstration of 10 Gigabit Ethernet and announced a range of Gigabit over copper (1000BASE-T) solutions for its Catalyst 6000, 4000 and 2900 series XL switching families. With its latest offerings, the company is further expanding the market for Ethernet technology and delivering Gigabit bandwidth and intelligent network services across traditional enterprises as well as service provider environments while preserving investments in today's existing network infrastructure.

Moving the Decimal Point on Ethernet to 10 Gigabit

A founding member of the 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, Cisco is committed to support the IEEE 802.3 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard process as it helps to accelerate the introduction of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in local area network (LAN), metropolitan area network (MAN), and wide area network (WAN) markets. To that end, Cisco's technology demonstration at Networld+ Interop will show a 10 Gigabit Ethernet solution that supports data center applications. As the leading provider of Gigabit Ethernet switching solutions, this demonstration reiterates Cisco's commitment in bringing advanced technologies to market based on customer demand. The company's roadmap targets 10 Gigabit offerings to become available in second half of 2000 (calendar) timeframe.

For enterprise LAN applications, 10 Gigabit Ethernet is a natural evolution that will enable network managers to scale their networks from 10, 100 or 1000 Mbps to 10,000 Mbps while maximizing their investment in Ethernet as they increase their network's performance.

As the density of 100 Mbps links at the edge of the network increases, 10 Gigabit will be utilized to aggregate 1 Gigabit connections in data centers and for backbone applications. In addition to aggregating Gigabit Ethernet segments, 10 Gigabit will be used in the LAN to build high-speed connections between switches and between switches and servers. 10 Gigabit will also extend to new markets including MAN and WAN environments. For example, in the future for the metro area, enterprise customers can use 10 Gigabit over dark fiber to support services such as serverless buildings, remote backup and disaster recovery. MAN service providers can use the technology to build 10 Gigabit backbones, build simpler networks and deliver Gigabit services to their customers at costs comparable to traditional T3 and OC-3 services. 10 Gigabit will also support attachment to the OC-192 SONET transport backbone which will enable customers to run Ethernet directly over the infrastructure.

Delivering Gigabit Intelligence on Copper Infrastructure

Available today, Cisco's Catalyst 1000BASE-T solutions can be deployed for applications such as data centers for server switching, in enterprise wiring closets for Gigabit to the desktop, and uplinks from desktop switches to distribution switches in the backbone. In both enterprise and service provider environments, 1000BASE-T is ideal for scenarios that require gigabit-per-second speed where horizontal copper cabling (Category 5 or 5e) is currently installed. By utilizing existing network and cabling infrastructure investments, customers eliminate the need to run expensive fiber throughout their networks. This ensures a smooth migration from 10/100 Ethernet to the new 1000BASE-T offerings.

"In concert with earlier Ethernet solutions we have deployed from Cisco that offer smooth migration, the new 1000BASE-T solution provides an ideal investment protection scenario for our growing bandwidth challenges today within our existing infrastructure," said Pete Bronder, network engineering manager at Carnegie Mellon University. Along with performance, Cisco gives us the ability to scale more advanced services such as intelligent traffic handling that become baseline requirements as network applications become more demanding."

The company's 1000 BASE-T Gigabit portfolio includes a 16-port module for the Catalyst 6000 family, a 14-port module for the Catalyst 4000 family and an uplink module for the Catalyst 2900 series XL switching platforms. All new Catalyst 1000BASE-T modules are compliant with the IEEE 802.3ab standards allowing Gigabit speed transmission up to 100 meters. The Catalyst 6000 family scales up to 128 1000BASE-T ports and offers multiple queues per port to ensure the highest levels of QoS.

For the Catalyst 4000 family the 1000BASE-T module is comprised of 12 port RJ-45 interfaces as well as two GBIC ports. The switch can scale up to a total of 60 1000BASE-T and offers a high-performance modular solution for wiring closet uplinks to the backbone. Both the Catalyst 6000 and Catalyst 4000 families offer a full wire speed, non-blocking architecture.

In today's "New World" Internet economy intelligent networks at Gigabit rates enable e-commerce expansion for enterprise and service providers alike. For example, the data center is a mission-critical resource that requires not only higher speed and greater bandwidth but also the ability to deploy intelligent network services for server farm aggregation and application hosting. The Catalyst family of switches directly addresses these issues and deliver intelligent services that operate at Layer 2, Layer 3and Layer 4-7 services at multi-Gigabit speeds. These include high availability, QoS, security and policy enforcement, server load balancing (SLB), Web caching as well as IP/IPX and mulitcast routing, 802.1p, 802.1Q, Gigabit EthernetChannel, Fast EtherChannel, ISL, VLANs, and spanning tree.

Affordable High-Speed Backbone Uplink with 1000BASE-T

Beyond the data center, additional applications for 1000BASE-T include serving as an uplink technology offering high-bandwidth connectivity from desktop switches to the next point of aggregation. Cisco has added a new 1000BASE-T uplink module for the Catalyst 2924M XL and 2912MF XL switches. With this new module, Cisco's Catalyst 2900 series XL line of 10/100 autosensing switches offers small enterprises and mid-market (250-1000 users) customers an affordable high-speed uplink for wiring closet connectivity to the backbone. The advanced architecture of the 2900 series XL incorporates a switching fabric of 3.2 Gbps and a forwarding rate of three million packets per second to deliver wire-speed performance across all ports.

Pricing, Availability and Further Information

Cisco's 1000-BASE-T offerings are all immediately available and are list priced as follows: The Catalyst 6000 1000BASE-T module is $15,995 ($999 per port), the Catalyst 4000 1000BASE-T module is $6995 ($500 per port) and the 1000BASE-T uplink module for the Catalyst 2900 series XL switches is $795. Further information can be found at