News Release

Cisco Launches New Era for Wired and Wireless Networking

Debuts Unified Wireless Network Strategy and Services into Premier Routing and Switching Platforms
Nov 15, 2005

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 15, 2005 - Cisco Systems® today unveiled major additions to its wireless networking portfolio, delivering enhanced unification of wireless and wireline networking via the Cisco Unified Wireless Network strategy. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network roll-out provides enterprise, public sector and commercial information technology decision makers with the foundation to implement a complete wired and wireless network deployment, with a focus on end-to-end services and investment protection. Cisco's new introductions - the Cisco Wireless Service Module (WiSM) for the Catalyst 6500 Series and the Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module for the Integrated Services Router (ISR) family - forge high-performance wired networking solutions with secure wireless LAN technologies.

"As organizations embrace wireless LANs to increase productivity, enhance collaboration and improve business flow, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network provides the high levels of security, scalability and resiliency required of today's business-critical applications," said Brett Galloway, vice president and general manager, wireless networking business unit at Cisco Systems. "With the full integration of Airespace and Cisco wireless technologies completed, customers now have a forward-facing architecture that protects network investments, builds upon current network assets and provides a foundation that scales for the future."

Cisco Unified Wireless Network - Platform for Security, Management and Growth

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network is a unified, integrated end-to-end, wired and wireless solution to cost-effectively address WLAN security, deployment, management, and control issues facing enterprises. It includes innovative radio frequency (RF) capabilities that provide real-time access to core business applications. This allows organizations to accelerate business processes and provides the same level of reliability, ease of deployment and network management for wireless LANs that they expect from wired LANs.

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network helps reduce operational expenses by simplifying network deployment, operations and management. With this solution, several hundreds or thousands of central or remotely located access points can be easily managed from a centralized management console. The flexibility of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network allows network managers to design networks to meet their specific needs, whether implementing highly integrated network designs or simple overlay networks.

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network integrates with the Cisco Self-Defending Network, the Cisco strategy for integrated network security. The Cisco Self-Defending Network helps organizations identify, prevent and adapt to security threats. Network Admission Control (NAC), is a part of this solution and is also supported by the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. NAC helps ensure that all wired and wireless endpoint devices (such as PCs, laptops, servers, and PDAs) accessing network resources are adequately protected from security threats.

New Cisco Wireless Service Module (WiSM) - Industry-Leading Scalability

The Catalyst 6500 Series is one of the world's most widely deployed, high-performance modular switches and provides the core networking backbone to many enterprise environments. Today, Cisco is delivering its leading Wireless LAN Controller technology as an integrated service into this platform with the introduction of the Cisco Wireless Services Module (WiSM), a network adapter card that operates within a Catalyst 6500 Series switch. Each Catalyst 6500 series switch with the Wireless Services Module can centrally control and manage up to 1,500 lightweight access points (APs) per chassis, with each module supporting 300 APs. This solution also supports up to 3,600 APs per roaming domain, clustering across modules, non-blocking and high-availability performance, zero-touch AP configuration for large-scale deployments and enhanced wireless LAN intrusion prevention capabilities.

The University of British Columbia is one of the largest campus-wide wireless network deployments in North America. More than 1,600 APs provide wireless access to approximately 20,000 users in more than 200 buildings. To manage this large of a deployment, the University is testing two Cisco WiSM services modules in their campus distribution Catalyst 6500 Series switches. The WiSM service modules are allowing the University to provide failover redundancy, utilize the processing power of the Catalyst switches, and provide the scalability to manage more of its APs. This added scalability enhances ease of deployment and ease of management, while reducing deployment costs.

"Instead of buying multiple AP controllers, we can maximize our investment by adding the WiSM modules into our Catalyst 6500 switches," said Jonn Martell, manager, UBC wireless, at University of British Columbia. "Besides having N+1 failover redundancy and fast secure layer 3 roaming, the WiSM services modules provides greater AP scalability, simplified management and with its AP auto-configuration feature, the easiest way to manage so many APs on a single network."

Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module - Accelerating Branch Office Deployments

The new Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module builds upon Cisco's popular Integrated Services Router (ISR) solutions. With more than 500,000 deployed and world renowned for high-performance, embedded security features, voice support and modularity, Cisco ISRs create an ideal platform to inject wireless LAN controller capabilities and allows customers to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy wireless in branch and small offices. In addition to an array of wireless management features, the Cisco Wireless LAN Controller Module provides enhanced security features, such as wireless intrusion protection in an easy-to-use module. It supports up to six lightweight APs, and with its zero-touch capabilities, it automatically handles AP configuration, monitoring and management.

Unified Wireless Network - Indoor and Outdoor Wireless Mesh

Cisco is also extending their Unified Wireless Network to the vast outdoors. Cities, universities and multi-campus enterprise organizations will now be able to integrate their indoor wired and wireless networks and applications and securely expand them to cover city-wide areas with the introduction of the Cisco Wireless Mesh Networking solution. This enables users to seamlessly roam throughout a covered area while remaining connected to their business-critical applications. It symbolizes the ultimate end-to-end application of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network.

These new Cisco Unified Wireless Network solutions will be available at the end of 2005. For more information about Cisco's enterprise wireless solutions, go to