Cisco Helps Users Prioritize Network Traffic

SAN MATEO (03/03/2000) - Cisco Systems Inc. this week rolled out products designed to speed content delivery and deployment of services across enterprise networks.

The company enhanced its existing QoS (quality of service) capabilities in recognition of Internet traffic continuing to flood enterprise networks.

Recognizing applications and applying the correct network services to them is now a crucial capability for IT managers.

The Secure Integrated Firewall capability has been added to the Catalyst 5000 switch. This brings firewall security into the campus by leveraging a packet inspection technology called CBAC (content-based access control). CBAC allows selective firewall penetration by recognizing applications based on the user and application identification, Cisco officials said.

"We are focusing our [products] to offer agility to enterprise customers who need a flexible infrastructure and more QoS as more traffic becomes Internet-based," said Paul McNab, director of marketing for the enterprise line of business at Cisco.

The Cisco Network Services Engine-1 is a processor engine for the 7200 WAN router that offloads routing functions. In this way, it allows multiple intelligent network services to be turned on without application performance degradation, Cisco officials said.

Cisco is also rolling out two cache engines, the 570 and the 590, which target midsize and larger enterprises and ISPs, respectively, and enhancements to its CiscoWorks2000 Routed WAN Management solution.

One IT manager, whose network uses Cisco gear, welcomed the company's focus on content delivery. He said that having these capabilities supplied by the same vendor who supplied the equipment should minimize infrastructure changes.

"We have terminals in three cities where we dispatch freight and that traffic needs top priority because we have customers waiting on the phone. I'm thinking a lot about QoS, but I want to leverage my existing infrastructure," said Bill Louth, director of IT at Wooster Motor Ways, in Wooster, Ohio. "We want to be able to take advantage of emerging solutions but to keep complexity to a minimum; we don't want four or five different products."

The Cisco Network Services Engine-1, which will be available this month, is priced starting at $12,000. The Cisco Cache Engine 570 will be available in April, priced at $17,995. The 590 is slated for a June release, priced starting at $29,995. The CiscoWorks2000 Routed WAN Management product starts at $15,000.

Cisco Systems Inc., in San Jose, Calif., is at www.cisco.com.

A need for speed

Cisco spiced up its CiscoWorks2000 Routed WAN Management product with two modules designed to make networks more efficient.

* Internet Performance Monitor 2.1: identifies and isolates congestion points over the network* QoS Device Manager: allows device-level management of network performance

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