Cisco High Performance LAN Solutions

Networks are a vital business asset. Small- and medium-sized businesses must be sure that their networks provide quick, reliable access to applications and data, which are the keys to success in today's highly competitive, increasingly global economy. Today's business applications require high-bandwidth networks. Businesses also require more powerful network technologies that are capable of intelligently and efficiently managing traffic flow.

Traditional hub-centric LANs can no longer support the bandwidth needed for companies to conduct business. Small- and medium-sized businesses often connect remote or branch offices, mobile users, and telecommuters. Internet usage to support marketing and commerce applications also places demand on LANs once isolated from the rest of the world.

Customers need the additional bandwidth of high-performance LANs in these circumstances:

• Users are sitting idle while tasks complete over the network.

• File transfers become a productivity bottleneck.

Project schedules are compromised by an incapability to quickly access and share data.

• Vital business activities are interrupted by repeated network failures.

High-Performance LAN Considerations

This section covers high-performance LAN considerations.

High Performance

Cisco LAN components have the power to support advanced applications and heavy traffic. Powerful processors, nonblocking bus and backplane architectures, Fast Ethernet support, and industry-leading reliability features contribute performance characteristics to an end-to-end network architecture unmatched in the industry.

Ease of Use

Plug-and-play features simplify installation, configuration, and network management, and they also enhance reliability. Features such as autosensing 10/100 Ethernet enable port configuration changes without requiring the user to buy more equipment.

Modularity and Versatility

Port expansion modules offer cost-effective, high-speed uplinks to Fast Ethernet, FDDI, ATM, and future Gigabit Ethernet backbones.


Cisco solutions are completely interoperable with existing standards-based Ethernet equipment. Migration capabilities to new technologies and services are already built in, further protecting current investments.


Capacity can easily be added to support more users, applications, and servers as business requirements change. Consider high-performance LAN solutions when you need technologies supporting scalability, including VLAN and multicast application support. Cisco IOS technologies provide many features supporting a wide array of services to configure networks and to meet company requirements.


Effective monitoring provides usage statistics for maximum network visibility. Management features include Remote Monitoring (RMON) agents, SNMP support, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP), and TFTP. Administrators can monitor and configure networks from a central location, including software downloading to devices in branch offices.

Guide to High-Performance LAN Solutions

Cisco offers two complementary solutions for increasing LAN performance: the FastHub line of Fast Ethernet repeaters and the Catalyst line of Ethernet and Fast Ethernet switches. Figure E-4 shows Cisco high-performance LAN solutions.

Figure E-4 Cisco High-Performance LAN Solutions


FastHub 300D Series HubsD with BridgeD Module


FastHub 300D Series HubsD with BridgeD Module


Catalyst 1900 orD 2800 SeriesD Switches


Catalyst 2900XLD Series Switches

Catalyst 1900 orD 2800 SeriesD Switches

Catalyst 2900XLD Series Switches

Cisco Catalyst Line of Ethernet Switches

Cisco Catalyst Ethernet and Fast Ethernet switches combine configuration flexibility with exceptional affordability for applications from the desktop to the corporate backbone. These best-of-class switches are ideal for Ethernet workgroups and individual users requiring increased performance and 100BaseT, FDDI, or ATM connectivity to servers and backbones at a very low cost per port. This line of switches also lets you choose between lowest price and maximum flexibility.

The Catalyst 2900 series XL (2908 XL, 2916M XL, 2924 XL, and 2924C XL) is a full line of affordable 10/100 autosensing Fast Ethernet switches, offering outstanding performance, versatile modularity, and superior manageability. The Cisco advanced architecture incorporates a switch fabric of 3.2 Gbps and a forwarding rate of more than 3 Mpps (million packets per second) to deliver wire-speed performance across all ports. The Catalyst 2916M XL has two versatile modular slots that provide expansion capabilities, higher-speed connectivity, and future support for feature modules, granting users the flexibility to upgrade their networks and to preserve their initial investment. Catalyst 2900 series XL switches deliver easy-to-use management and advanced security features. In addition, integrated Cisco IOS technologies provide superior functionality for end-to-end integration, including bandwidth aggregation, networked multimedia support, and future virtual LAN support.

The Catalyst 1900 series Ethernet switches offer four fixed-port models: 24 10BaseT ports with either two fixed 100BaseTX ports or one 100BaseTX and 100BaseFX port; or for smaller networks, 12 10BaseT ports with either two fixed 100BaseTX ports or one 100BaseTX and 100BaseFX port.

The versatile Catalyst 2820 series Ethernet switches also provide 24 10BaseT ports but have two expansion slots for a choice of high-speed modules, including switched 100BaseTX, switched 100BaseFX, eight-port shared 100BaseTX, four-port shared 100BaseFX, FDDI unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) single attachment station (SAS), FDDI Fiber SAS, FDDI Fiber dual-attachment station (DAS), ATM UTP, and ATM Multimode fiber.

The Catalyst 1900 and 2820 series switches use the same award-winning architecture and large 3 MB shared buffer as their predecessors, consistently surpassing the competition in key throughput and latency tests by independent analysts. Like the FastHub repeaters, the switches are manageable via SNMP, Telnet, RMON, and an out-of-band console. Enterprise Edition models offer enhanced network services for customers who require end-to-end VLANs and bandwidth aggregation with Fast EtherChannel.

For higher performance and higher port density, the Catalyst 5000 series rounds out the system solutions.

Catalyst switches support Cisco IOS technologies, including Cisco Group Management Protocol (CGMP), to selectively forward routed IP multicast traffic to targeted multimedia end stations. CGMP prevents multimedia traffic from being forwarded to all devices on the switches, reducing overall network traffic and optimizing bandwidth usage. CGMP is based on the standard IGMP that is supported in Cisco routers.

Cisco FastHub Line of Fast Ethernet and 10/100 Class II Hubs

The FastHub 100, 200, and 300 series 100BaseT and 10/100 hubs features a range of functionality and price points to meet today's network needs for affordable, easy-to-use, shared Fast Ethernet connectivity.

Cisco FastHub 100 series 10/100 hubs are standalone hubs with a choice of fixed 12 or 24 10BaseT/100BaseTX ports for UTP attachment. These cost-effective hubs are ideal for providing 10 or 100 Mbps performance for users with multiple workstations, small workgroups, or switch aggregation when management is not a requirement.

Cisco FastHub 200 series Fast Ethernet hubs deliver the lowest-cost, managed 100BaseT hub solution for midsize workgroups and server farms. These standalone hubs combine 100 Mbps performance and integrated management with Cisco IOS technologies in an extremely affordable solution.

When manageability and scalability are required, the FastHub 300 series is the optimal solution. The FastHub 300 series combines all the benefits of stackable hubs with unmatched configuration flexibility, exceptional affordability, and integrated Cisco IOS software.

The FastHub 300 series is the only Fast Ethernet hub available that lets you add users and management in a single unit.

The FastHub 300 series hubs offer richer management options than any other Fast Ethernet hub. A single, optional network management module provides comprehensive manageability and simplified troubleshooting on a per-port, per-hub, and per-stack basis using SNMP, Telnet, RMON, or an out-of-band console.

The 10/100 bridge module with integrated management extends cabling for the FastHub 300 series and provides Ethernet/Fast Ethernet connectivity.

Catalyst switches and FastHub repeaters can be used alone or together to improve network performance.

Existing Ethernet users can be attached to the switches directly through their existing adapter cards, and new users or high-bandwidth users with 10/100 network interface cards are connected to the FastHubs.

Servers can be attached to high-speed switch ports, or the FastHub repeater can act as both a server farm and a high-speed local backbone for the switches.

As traffic increases, 10/100 Fast Ethernet switches can be added to prevent backbone congestion and to provide dedicated Fast Ethernet connections for individual users.

Cisco Management Solutions for High-Performance LANs

All Cisco Ethernet switches are manageable by CiscoWorks Windows software, a comprehensive, Windows-based network management system with the following characteristics:

• Based on the SNMP industry standard

• A powerful set of network management tools for easily managing Cisco products

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