News Release

Cisco Technology and Microsoft Systems Architecture Enable High Performance Data Centers, Reduce Deployment Time and Expenses

Collaboration provides foundation for LearningStation's innovative eLearning model
Jan 22, 2003

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 22, 2003 - Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) announces that it has completed a data center networking infrastructure design for the Microsoft Systems Architecture (MSA) program for the Internet Data Center. As a result, Cisco and Microsoft now offer customers like the LearningStation, the leading, full-service application service provider focused on the K-12 educational market, a high performance, highly available data center networking infrastructure.

Cisco collaborated with Microsoft to jointly define data center customer requirements and to design a corresponding network architecture for the MSA. The two companies also undertook a series of tests to help ensure that the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, 7200 Series routers and PIX 500 Firewall Series meet the specifications for integration into the MSA initiative. Because Cisco and Microsoft have pre-tested and pre-integrated this Cisco technology as part of the MSA program, customers can more quickly and with greater confidence deploy the solution.

"Ultimately, our business depends on making our customer, the teacher in the classroom, more productive by delivering a broad range of media-rich applications which can easily be tailored to meet the teacher's particular requirements," said Craig Larsen, CEO and co-founder, LearningStation. "Working with industry leaders like Cisco and Microsoft ensures LearningStation's Education Desktop and back office content integration is rock-solid and that teachers can get the applications they need when they need them. The benefits and results are in improving academic performance. The ability to produce the benefits come from providing an architecture for the long-term. That's what Cisco and Microsoft provide with MSA IDC."

LearningStation's state-of-the-art data center, based on Cisco networking technology as part of Microsoft's IDC architecture, delivers over 200 content titles from more than 70 content providers to classrooms around the U.S. Systems are managed centrally and technical support is provided over the Internet, ensuring that LearningStation's programs are easy-to-use and maintain and are also cost-effective. Applications can be requested on demand and delivered via the Internet, resulting in a flexible, immediate and affordable means to expand or customize curriculum. As schools and Districts seek to deal with disparate, standard and non-standard technologies and software for educational initiatives, LearningStation is the glue for virtually any Internet-enabled device regardless of the operating system (Windows, Mac or UNIX) to act as a learning device.

"Cisco was part of the team that worked side-by-side for nearly a year in order to fully plan, build, and test the Internet Data Center MSA. Microsoft and Cisco have carefully validated the networking components of our data center architecture guide," said Jim Hebert, general manager, Windows Server Product Management Group, Microsoft Corp. "It's gratifying to know that the efforts of Microsoft and Cisco are helping provide a solid Windows Server foundation that directly affects the way children learn."

"LearningStation recognized early the power of using the Internet to deliver multimedia content to the edge of the network," said Steve Sneddon, director, Strategic Alliances, Cisco. "Working with Microsoft we've helped to reduce operations risk and enhanced reliability, performance and time-to-benefit for our customers like LearningStation."