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Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches with IOS Software Modularity Make IT Managers More Productive and Further Improve Network Reliability


Software advancements help close the ’operational gap’ between IT staffing and network-service requirements

SAN JOSE, CA, August 29, 2005 - Cisco Systems ® today introduced several Cisco Internetwork Operating System (IOS)-based software advances for its flagship Catalyst® 6500 Series switches that will help IT managers become more productive by boosting their operational efficiency and increasing network uptime.

Specifically, Cisco has evolved its existing IOS software for the Catalyst 6500 switches so that modular Cisco IOS subsystems now run in independent, self-healing processes. This advance sets a new standard for network availability, delivering the following benefits:

* Minimizes unplanned network downtime through faster fault containment and recovery with Process Fault Containment and Stateful Process Restart features, which will help companies save money;
* Simplifies software changes through subsystem In-Service Software Upgrades. This feature reduces the time required for certifying and deploying maintenance software, which decreases business risks and minimizes planned downtime;
* Enables process-level, automated policy control by integrating Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager (EEM). This feature uses an intelligent network to help IT managers automate time-consuming tasks, thus saving time.

This higher level of software intelligence for the Catalyst 6500 switches addresses an important IT trend. Today’s networks are becoming the most strategic part of a company’s IT infrastructure. At the same time, however, companies in general are not significantly increasing their IT staffs to keep pace with these technological innovations.

“We characterize this trend as the ’growing operational gap’ between the level of IT staffing and the requirements their companies are placing on their infrastructure, particularly their networks,” said Zeus Kerravala, VP, Yankee Group. “A solution for bridging this operational gap is for networking vendors to develop more intelligent products and features that will help boost an IT manager’s operational efficiency.”

American Century Investments, a premier investment manager with more than $100 billion in assets, trial tested Cisco IOS Software Modularity for the Catalyst 6500. Based on this test, the company predicts that the new features will boost their operational efficiency significantly. “We estimate that Cisco IOS Software Modularity will reduce the time required to upgrade software on our company’s more than 60 Catalyst 6500s from six weeks, given the need for planned outages, which in our case could only occur on the weekends, to less than six hours,” said Dave Rogers, senior IT network manager at American Century Investments.

“Because of our competitive business environment, we challenge our IT staff to deliver world-class services while keeping costs in check,” said Rogers. “Intelligent networking advances such as Cisco IOS Software Modularity for the Catalyst 6500 switches provide the means to accomplish this by making our IT staff capable more than ever to support crucial business processes and transactions.”

Swisscom IT Services, one of the leading Swiss providers of information technology services focusing on the integration and cost-effective operation of complex IT infrastructures, has also been testing Cisco IOS Software Modularity on its Catalyst 6500 switches.

“By taking advantage of Cisco IOS Software Modularity and high availability features on our Catalyst 6500 switches within the IT Services group, we can now deploy targeted software patches to help us increase network availability while reducing operational expenditures,” said Hugo Hirzel, head of corporate network engineers, Swisscom IT Services.

“We can significantly reduce the need to schedule lengthy maintenance windows outside office hours, by avoiding having to reboot switches after a patch has been applied. And Embedded Event Manager integration gives us the granular control to automate routine operations and simplify the detection of irregularities, helping us work more efficiently. This is a welcome step from Cisco, and we look forward to deploying software modularity capabilities on our widely deployed Catalyst 6500s.”

Cisco IOS Software Modularity for the Catalyst 6500 switches is another technology delivery proof-point of the Intelligent Information Network (IIN), Cisco’s technology vision and roadmap for the evolution of networks to systems. It demonstrates Cisco’s heavy investment in its flagship Catalyst 6500 switching platform, particularly in the area of high-availability networking (HAN). Cisco IOS Software Modularity is the latest innovation to extend the Cisco Catalyst 6500’s leadership in HAN.
Pricing and Availability

Cisco IOS Software Modularity for the Catalyst 6500 Series switches will be delivered on the existing Cisco IOS 12.2SX release. It is expected to be available in Q4 CY05 on the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 720 and in Q1 CY06 on the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 32. No additional licensing is required for customers with Cisco SMARTnet contracts. For more information about the Cisco IOS Software Modularity for the Catalyst 6500 Series switches go to:

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