News Release

Cisco Delivers the Industry's Only Enterprise-Class Wireless System with Market-Leading Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Multilayer LAN Switch

Cisco Structured Wireless-Aware Network Augmented with Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Wireless LAN Services Module, Cisco Aironet 1300 Series IEEE 802.11g Outdoor Access Point/Bridge and CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine 2.7 Enhancements
May 05, 2004

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 5, 2004 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today set the new standard for enterprise-class wireless local area networks (LAN) with the introduction of the Wireless LAN Services Module (WLSM) for Cisco's premier multilayer switch, the Catalyst® 6500 Series. As part of the Cisco Structured Wireless-Aware Network (SWAN), the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series is the industry's first enterprise-class switch capable of delivering large network scalability, performance, manageability, and proven security across the entire integrated wireless/wireline network without the added complexity and cost of a completely separate overlay wireless LAN.

Leading the industry in scalability, a single Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM deployed anywhere in the network supports out-of-the box configuration and operation of up to 300 Cisco Aironet® Series Access Points (AP) and up to 6,000 users. The new Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM also delivers the industry's fastest, highly secure user roam times, allowing users to now move throughout the campus seamlessly even under high network utilization.

By integrating the Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM into the best-in-class Catalyst 6500 Series switch, customers can use their existing wireline infrastructure to reduce total cost of network ownership, making it ideal for any enterprise, university, health care institution or service provider planning to deploy a large scale wireless LAN network. Deployment of a wireless LAN is now fast and easy with the new Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM which does not require any changes to the underlying wireline infrastructure. Management and availability of the wireless/wireline network is also greatly improved with centralized configuration and policy enforcement and Layer 3 Supervisor Non-Stop Forwarding/Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO). Additionally, the Catalyst 6500 Series switch capabilities are transparently available to wireless LANs either natively through the Supervisor Engine 720 or through the addition of other service modules such as the Firewall Services Module, Intrusion Detection Services Module and VPN Services Module.

These services can also be applied to various types of wireless users, such as staff, guest and temporary workers via Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM mobility-group separation and policy application. Up to 16 logical mobility groups across different subnets can be established, providing network managers with greater control of user access to network resources. Wireline services such as firewall, intrusion detection, rate limiting and filtering can also be implemented on a per mobility group basis. Finally, with continued Catalyst 6500 Series switch feature enhancements planned, customers' network investments will continue to grow in value over time.

"We chose the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Wireless LAN Services Module to help simplify the management and operations of our wireless network as it grows in scale and expands to support applications requiring layer 3 mobility such as Voice over WLAN- all while keeping our existing network topology in tact," said Steve Randich, executive vice president and CIO of the NASDAQ Stock Market. "The Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM also allows us to aggregate wireless traffic from our main campuses and remote branch offices and segment users into employee, guest and voice mobility groups so that we can centrally apply policies such as firewall."

With this announcement, Cisco also delivers additional components in its Cisco SWAN framework. The Cisco SWAN framework encompasses four key areas: Cisco IOS Software-based Aironet APs; centralized management and security servers; wireless LAN client devices; and Cisco wireline infrastructure devices such as the Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM.

Simplified Network Operations: CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine 2.7

CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine (WLSE) is a centralized management system that helps reduce operating expenditures by simplifying management of the wireless LAN infrastructure. CiscoWorks WLSE 2.7 with new self-healing wireless LAN capabilities detects and compensates for out-of-service APs as well as maintaining security policies by suppressing rogue APs through switch port shut-down and automatically helping to protect the radio frequency (RF) environment from unauthorized access with a robust wireless intrusion detection system (IDS). The Auto RF Optimization capability also automates the previously manual, expensive, and time-consuming process of adjusting AP radio transmit power and channel selection for optimal RF coverage. Other new features include warm standby redundancy and real-time client tracking and reporting.

"To further reduce total cost of ownership considerations for our customers, one element of our technology strategy is to integrate relevant features into our core product platforms," explained Mario Mazzola, chief development officer at Cisco. "By incorporating technologies, such as wireless, into the network, we can help customers reduce costs such as network operations and management while also increasing end-user productivity."

Outdoor Wireless Capabilities: Cisco Aironet 1300 Series Outdoor AP/Bridge

The Cisco Aironet 1300 Series IEEE 802.11g Outdoor AP/Bridge is a flexible product that extends Wi-Fi to hotspots and provides an outdoor infrastructure for mobile networks and users. The Cisco Aironet 1300 Series provides highly secure, industry-leading performance that is tightly integrated with the Cisco SWAN framework. The Cisco Aironet 1300 Series can also be used to provide traditional building-to-building and temporary network infrastructure in a rugged and portable form factor.

More Cisco Compatible Devices Now Commercially Available

To enable customers to use a broad variety of Wi-Fi mobile devices and client adapters that support IEEE and industry standards as well as key features of Cisco Aironet infrastructure, Cisco introduced the Cisco Compatible Extensions program in early 2003. Cisco Compatible Extensions has gained significant traction not only with silicon vendors but with 802.11 client device vendors as well, to date over 130 devices have been found Cisco Compatible under the established testing conditions. After interoperability testing with Cisco Aironet infrastructure at an independent testing lab, Cisco today announced new Cisco Compatible devices, including a USB client adapter and additional notebooks. Support for Version 2 of Cisco Compatible Extensions, which adds features like Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Cisco SWAN RF measurement capabilities, is expected on many devices in the 2HCY04. For more information, please visit

Pricing, Projected Availability and Further Information

The Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM is orderable now for projected availability in June 2004 with a U.S. list price of $18,000 for the base module which includes a license for support of up to 150 APs. For $8,000 U.S. list, customers can purchase one of the Cisco IOS Software licenses supporting up to 300 APs per Catalyst 6500 Series WLSM. The CiscoWorks WLSE 2.7 is available now at no additional cost for customers with SmartNet Maintenance. The Cisco Aironet 1300 Series Outdoor AP/Bridge is scheduled to be available in May at a U.S list price of $1,299.

Further information on Cisco SWAN can be found at