Cisco Upgrades Its Mainframe Connectivity Solutions

November 9, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS LIVEwire

Dallas, Texas — Maintaining its commitment to offer customers affordable, yet fully functional solutions for direct mainframe channel connectivity, Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) today announced new features for its TN3270 Server and the availability of its latest ESCON Channel Port Adapter, the ECPA4. Both products are a part of the Cisco mainframe channel connectivity solutions family, which gives customers access to IBM and IBM-compatible mainframes using the reliability and scalability of Cisco 7200 and Cisco 7500 series IP routers.

New TN3270 Features and Benefits

The new TN3270 Server features improve security, simplify configuration, and add support for more 3270 protocol functions. TN3270 Server is a software program that can be used to connect a desktop computer to a mainframe and emulate a mainframe terminal (3270) session. This application runs on every Cisco Channel Port Adapter (CPA) for the Cisco 7200 series and every Channel Interface Processor (CIP) for the Cisco 7500 series platforms. The new TN3270 features and their correlating benefits are:

— Logical unit (LU) naming in a load-balanced and redundant configuration: This feature allows the TN3270 Server to pass an LU name to the Virtual Telecommunications Access Method (VTAM), a component of Communications Server for OS/390, and to ask VTAM to dynamically create an LU with that name. Previously, a TN3270 Server user that required a specific LU name had to be directed to a TN3270 Server that had a predefined relationship with that name. With the new support, a TN3270 client can connect to one of multiple TN3270 Servers, and each server can support the request for a named LU. This allows LU naming in a load-balanced or redundant configuration.

— Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption: This feature improves security during 3270 sessions by adding SSL encryption between TN3270 Servers and clients. SSL is the de facto standard for protecting data transmitted over TCP/IP networks.

— Inverse nailing of LU names using Domain Name System (DNS) lookup: Using this feature, TN3270 Server customers can use DNS symbolic names instead of an IP address when creating and assigning LU names. This feature is particularly useful in environments where IP addresses change frequently, such as the use of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) to assign IP addresses to users.

— Additional support for 3270 functions: The TN3270 Server can now support more 3270 functions including SNA sense codes, function management headers, keyboard restore indicator, and suppression of multiple x “FF” bytes in 3270 datastreams.

ECPA4 Features and Benefits

The ECPA4 offers 150 percent increase in processing capability and more than 300 percent increase in memory over previous ECPA models. These enhancements result in performance boosts for the mainframe applications ECPA4 supports, which includes Cisco SNA (CSNA) and TN3270 Server sessions. Specifically, for the CSNA environment, ECPA4 is able to support up to 8,000 LLC2 sessions, 5,000 sessions more than the previous version. For the TN3270 Server environment, ECPA4 can support up to 30,000 LU sessions, an increase of 25,000 sessions from the previous version.

“With so much attention paid to client/server computing issues today, it’s easy to forget how vital mainframes still are to the business world,” said Ken Kauffman, a product manager in the InterWorks Business Division at Cisco. “But Cisco recognizes that customer demand for solutions that harness the latest networking technologies for use in mainframe environments is very strong. Our announcements today demonstrate the dedication we have for supporting this market.”

Pricing and Availability

The new TN3270 Server features are expected to be available later this month on CPA and CIP cards running the latest version of Cisco IOS, 12.1 (5) T or later. Customers on SMARTnet(TM) contracts who are running older versions of Cisco IOS will be able to download the software from www.cisco.com. SSL support on the TN3270 Server requires an additional licensing fee per server.

The ECPA4 is available now and can be purchased for $18,000.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at www.cisco.com.

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