News Release

Enterprises, Government and Education Institutions Build New and Upgrade Multi-gigabit Networks with Cisco Catalyst 6500 Next Generation

New Gigabit Interfaces and Software Enable Integrated Multi- gigabit Data Center Services to Increase Network Efficiency, Performance and Operational Manageability
Sep 22, 2003

SAN JOSE, Calif.-September 22, 2003-Cisco Systems, Inc. today showcased a number of customer deployments featuring the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series, the company's premier multilayer switch, using 10 Gigabit and Gigabit Ethernet in Enterprise, Government and Education markets. Building on the next generation intelligent network capabilities and market-leading, high performance interfaces announced in March 2003, this announcement also features: the industry's first data center-class 48-port 10/100/1000 Ethernet over copper module and the industry's first 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) over multi-mode fiber platform that enables new customer deployments using the substantial installed base of existing customer infrastructure. A new high performance 24-port Gigabit Ethernet module increases Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series fiber optic-based Gigabit port densities by 50% and decreases suggested price per port by 33%. By using the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series forward-thinking architecture, new modules and capabilities are introduced using a lasting and evolutionary approach that help enable customers to retain existing investments, and increase user productivity, network scalability and availability while reducing operational complexities.

Providing additional investment protection, a new distributed forwarding daughter card, for all new next generation interfaces, distributes system intelligence and delivers sustained system throughput of 400 Million packets per second (Mpps) for Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and 200 Mpps for IPv6. The new intelligent system management feature, "Call Home" Event Notification, informs network personnel of system conditions via email and pager. The new capabilities and interfaces complement recent introductions of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 720 with hardware-accelerated IPv4, IPv6, Quality of Service and network policy enforcement. Coupled with 10 GbE modules, intelligent security and content switching modules, customers can use their existing Cisco Catalyst 6500 investments to build the industry's only application-aware, high performance, 10 Gigabit and IPv6-ready-end to end networks, from the wiring closet to the network core to the data center.

"As our premier switching platform, the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is setting the new standard for multilayer switches with industry leading features using Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet," said Luca Cafiero, senior vice president of the Cisco Switching, Voice, and Storage Technology Group. "We are very pleased by the broad customer adoption of the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series next generation innovations. Across multiple market segments - from Service Providers to Enterprises to Government entities - we are seeing customers migrate from 10/100 to 10/100/1000, from Gigabit EtherChannel to 10 GbE and from IPv4 to IPv6 to evolve their network backbones. Customers also want to add application-aware capabilities to their existing switching investments, such as multi-gigabit services modules, to enhance security and control of network traffic."

Enabling Advanced Network Designs

The new Cisco Catalyst 6500 next generation enhancements allow customer to implement networks in innovative ways such as an integrated, multi-gigabit data center services layer to improve network traffic flow, maximize application server utilization by removing historic server bottlenecks, improve data center scalability and enhance operational manageability.

Woodside Energy, a leading Australian resources company focusing on the exploration, development and production of oil and gas products, has selected the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series equipped with new 10/100/1000 Ethernet, high performance mixed media Gigabit Ethernet, 10 GbE, and content services modules for a network deployment that covers wiring closets, distribution/core layers, the WAN edge and the data center. The full suite of Cisco products and capabilities is designed to give Woodside a highly secure, state-of-the-art network infrastructure that allows the company to reduce operational costs while improving employee productivity.

Argonne National Laboratory, headquartered in Argonne, Illinois, is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. Argonne has deployed the Cisco Catalyst 6509 for its network core and is moving quickly to advanced Gigabit Ethernet applications. Argonne plans to transition to 10 GbE in its core network and deploy Gigabit-to-the-Desktop (GTTD) for select end-user applications, to better serve the bandwidth needs of its resident scientists.

"The Argonne National Laboratory's network requires leading-edge services in order to accommodate the large GRID computing cluster and Teraflop computational needs demanded by researchers and scientists worldwide," said Scott Pinkerton, networking solutions manager, Argonne National Laboratory. "The transition to Gigabit Ethernet is real, and Cisco offers us the networking expertise and product quality we demand. The Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 720 is an ideal solution for us, and will serve as our 10 GbE platform as we evolve our network for campus and WAN requirements. The new modules offer a large variety of options to better service our users, while preserving our investment in the Cisco Catalyst 6500 chassis."

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL), in Massachusetts, is deploying Cisco-based 10 GbE in the wiring closets to the core in their new Stata Center. The CSAIL laboratory will be the largest laboratory on the MIT campus in terms of research volume, and will be home to more than 750 students, faculty and staff. "We chose the Cisco Catalyst 6500 with Supervisor Engine 720, 10 GbE modules and 10/100/1000 modules to provide high density 10 GbE in the edge and core of the network," said Jack Costanza, lab Information Technology director, MIT CSAIL. "The CSAIL lab is home to some of the world's most prominent research projects, and we needed a network with advanced capabilities to support our research efforts. Research applications require high bandwidth throughout the network and working together with Cisco, we have developed the necessary infrastructure to meet our requirements now and into the future."

Additional Product Details

  • 24-port mixed media Gigabit Ethernet module - Featuring 20 Gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth, this module is designed for high performance enterprises and service provider distribution/core and data center interconnects or Metro Ethernet installations using fiber optic or copper cabling. Up to 288 fiber/mixed media -based Gigabit Ethernet ports can be consolidated in a single Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series. "Hot-swappable" industry standards-compliant Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP), modular physical connectors provide flexibility and improved serviceability.
  • 48-port 10/100/1000 Ethernet module for the datacenter - Ideal for enterprise and service provider high performance server, datacenter, and compute intensive environments, the module features a 40 Gbps of bandwidth and 9 Kilobytes "Jumbo Frame" support for large scale data transfers, storage interconnections, and tape archival operations.
  • 10 Gigabit Multimode Fiber Optics for Catalyst 6500 multi-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules - Ideal for high bandwidth 10 GbE uplinks to distribution layer, Gigabit Ethernet aggregation, Core and Data Center deployments using lower cost multi-mode fiber optic cable plants. Two new versions of "hot-swappable" IEEE 802.3ae standards-compliant XENPAK modular optics support 850nm (10GBASE-SR) and 1310 (10GBASE-LX4) wavelengths. With station to station distances of at least 65 meters (SR) and 300 meters (LX4) using standard fiber cabling, these modules provide flexibility, improved serviceability while significantly broadening 10 GbE deployment options.
  • Modular field-upgradeable distributed forwarding daughter card - Compatible with both the 48-Port 10/100/1000 and 24-Port Gigabit Ethernet modules, this daughter card is designed for enterprises and service providers seeking to increase performance to support high network traffic environments. IPv4 and IPv6 packet forwarding decisions, Quality of Service and security policy enforcement are made locally on the interface module, freeing Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series system resources to perform other tasks.
  • "Call Home" Event Notification - Driven by system management events to intelligently generate messages that can be sent via email or to a pager, allowing faster response to network or system issues in any size network environment.

Pricing, and Projected Availability and Further Information

Product Starting List Price Availability
Cisco Catalyst 6500 48 port 10/100/1000 for the datacenter $15,000 U.S. Available Now
Cisco Catalyst 6500 24 port mixed media Gigabit Ethernet Module $15,000 U.S. Available Now
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Distributed Forwarding Card for the above module as well as recently announce 4-port 10 GbE interface modules $7,500 U.S. Scheduled October 2003
Cisco 10 Gigabit BASE-LX4 Serial 1310nm XENPAK (MMF) $4,000 U.S. Scheduled November/December 2003
Cisco 10 Gigabit BASE-SR Serial 850nm XENPAK (MMF) $3,000 U.S. Scheduled November/December 2003

Further information on the Catalyst 6000 family can be found at

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