News Release

Cisco Systems Leads Industry with Innovative Dynamic Packet Transport Technology Shipping 10,000 Ports

Resilient Packet Ring Solution Now Deployed in Over 150 Customer Networks
Mar 19, 2001

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 19, 2001 - Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, announced today that it has shipped 10,000 ports of its resilient packet ring (RPR) solution, called Dynamic Packet Transport, or DPT. More than 150 service providers worldwide now are running DPT in their networks, validating the powerful benefits of DPT in terms of enhanced scalability, reliability and simplified network operations.

DPT is a Cisco-developed, IP+Optical innovation which combines the intelligence of IP with the bandwidth efficiencies of optical rings. By connecting IP directly to fiber, DPT eliminates unnecessary equipment layers thus enabling service providers to optimize their networks for IP traffic with maximum efficiencies.

"DPT provides us with a highly scalable solution for aggregating IP traffic from our various metro Points of Presence (PoPs) while maintaining the high redundancy traditionally associated with SONET/SDH technologies," said Sean Doran, chief technical adviser, Ebone, Europe's original and most experienced broadband IP and optical networking company. "Moreover, DPT allows us to exploit the full potential of our metro fibers, with minimal equipment layers, giving us the flexibility to quickly and cost-effectively upgrade or light a new metro IP ring when required."

"Ebone has been on the cutting-edge of deploying DPT both for intra-PoP connectivity and regional metro applications," said Graeme Fraser, vice president and general manager, Metropolitan IP Access Business Unit, Cisco. "They quickly appreciated the real business benefits of coupling IP directly to the optical layer." In addition to DPT, Ebone uses Cisco 7200 and 12000 series Internet routers to power their Internet PoPs and regional metro network for an end-to-end solution that delivers unmatched scalability while also reducing operational costs.

As a resilient packet ring solution, a DPT network is designed primarily for application in metropolitan area networks (MANs) because its dual fiber ring architecture is compatible with the ring topologies typically found in metro areas. "One of the most pressing challenges for service providers today is responding to the very rapid growth in IP traffic in the metro environment," said Deb Mielke of Trelliage Network Strategies. "Resilient packet rings offer a compelling means to unlock the IP bottleneck in the metro and with this announcement Cisco has established itself as the clear resilient packet ring leader."

Unlike traditional SONET/SDH MAN infrastructures, which become increasingly inefficient with greater IP traffic loads, resilient packet ring technology easily scales to allow for higher throughput and more efficient bandwidth allocation. And the connectionless, ring configuration of resilient packet ring solutions like DPT reduces operational and equipment costs compared to older, manually provisioned MAN topologies.

Resilient packet ring technology combines high scalability and operational efficiencies with carrier-class reliability. Cisco's DPT uses Intelligent Protection Switching to ensure full restoration in less then 50 milliseconds and the self-healing mechanisms of fiber rings to automatically repair fiber cuts and restore service.

Cisco's DPT family of products includes line cards for the Cisco 7200 and 7500 series routers, the Cisco 12000 and 12400 series Internet routers, the ONS 15190 IP transport concentrator and the ONS 15104 IP-manageable Optical Regenerator. DPT is available at 622 Mbps and 2.4-Gbps and readily scales to 10-Gbps systems.

DPT is based on the open, freely available Spatial Reuse Protocol (SRP). SRP was developed by Cisco and submitted in late 1999 to the IETF as informational RFC 2892. SRP-based products, including silicon, test equipment, systems and software are available from a growing number of vendors. Cisco has submitted SRP to the newly formed IEEE Working Group 802.17 on RPR technology for consideration as the RPR industry standard.

Cisco actively supports the IEEE's efforts to create a RPR standard. In January Cisco joined with other technology companies, including Dynarc Inc., Lantern Communications, Luminous Networks and Nortel Networks, to form the RPR Alliance. The Alliance is dedicated to supporting the IEEE standards process, driving convergence to a new standard once adopted and educating the market on the compelling advantages of RPR solutions.