Cisco Gives Catalysts New Ethernet and ATM Options

As expected, Cisco Systems this week unveiled several new products to help users integrate ATM networks with Layer 3 packet infrastructures.

The products for Cisco's Catalyst 8540 switch include a two-port Gigabit Ethernet module, an enhanced ATM uplink and an OC-12c packet-over-SONET uplink.

For the Catalyst 8510 and LightStream 1010 switches, Cisco rolled out an ATM Routing Module (ARM) and RFC 1483 IP-over-ATM encapsulation software for the ARM.

The two-port Gigabit Ethernet module features integrated Access Control List (ACL) hardware, support for up to 256,000 routing table entries, and load balancing. Prices range from $US8,000 for 16,000 routing table entries to $US17,000 for 256,000 entries. It is available now.

The enhanced ATM uplink supports OC-3c and OC-12c speeds. It also supports the RFC 1483 software, traffic shaping and more routing table entries - 256,000, instead of 64,000 - than the OC-12c ATM link Cisco announced a year ago (Cisco to meld Ethernet, ATM nets, 07/12/99). The module also supports integrated ACL hardware, up to 8,000 virtual circuits and Jumbo Frames, which help alleviate server interrupts in gigabit networks. The module is priced from $US23,000 to $US36,000 and is available now.

The OC-12c POS link also supports Jumbo Frames, up to 256,000 route table entries and integrated ACLs. In addition, it features IP, IPX and IP multicast routing, and intermediate- and long-reach single mode fiber, for distances from 15 kilometers to 80 kilometers. It costs $US29,000 to $US39,000 and is available now.

The ARM for the 8510 and LightStream 1010 supports IP, IPX and IP multicast routing, bridging, and routes between the ATM and 10/100/1000M bit/sec Ethernet interfaces of those switches. It costs $US15,000 and is available now.

The RFC 1483 software offloads the switch CPU of IP encapsulation in ATM. It integrates Layer 3 packets and ATM cells over WAN links and supports IP Precedence for quality-of-service.

Going forward, Cisco says it will continue to enhance the IP multicast capabilities of its ATM switches. The company will also add Multiprotocol Label Switching to the 8540 in the next six months to support IP VPNs and to scale IP/ATM integration in large networks beyond the per-VC limitations in RFC 1483, says Carl Engineer, director of marketing in Cisco's metropolitan area networking (MAN) business unit.

IP class-of-service to ATM QoS mapping is also a future enhancement to the switches, as is voice-over-ATM for adapting voice-over-IP to ATM MANs and WANs.

Cisco will also add the Common Open Policy Services protocol for policy- and directory-enabled networking to its ATM switches, Engineer says.

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