Cisco has formed the ATM Associates Programme to offer customers a comprehensive range of compatible ATM products as they upgrade to the new network technology. The supplier has joined forces, initially, with 11 other vendors including Adaptec, Olicom and Interphase.
Under the programme, Cisco will lead engineering and testing efforts to ensure interoperability with its partners? products. It will also carry out joint marketing and reference selling initiatives.
Cisco itself provides Lan and Wan ATM switches and ATM-capable switches and routers. The complementary products from the Associates offer facilities to integrate video into ATM systems, plus security, network management and analysis tools. There will be several offerings in each of these categories, all of which can be used in combination with Cisco products. All Associates will work to ensure their devices adhere to ATM Forum standards and all will be tested for interoperability. Cisco claims buying an integrated solution from one vendor reduces cost and implementation times.
In the category of video codecs (compression-decompression systems) and multiplexers, Cisco?s partners are AG Communication Systems, K-Net, Litton-Fibercom and Nuko. Combinations of their products will enable customers to implement interactive video applications such as distance learning using video-over-ATM.
The next category is ATM network interface cards for linking Lans to the network backbone and data centre. The challenge is to transport bandwidth-intensive multimedia applications around campus networks, said Cisco?s ATM manager Steve Pomeroy. Associates in this field are Adaptec, Efficient Networks, Interphase and Olicom.
There are two vendors offering ATM monitoring and analysis systems. These are Radcom and Net2Net. Finally, Cisco plans to build up a range of security offerings and has kicked this off by signing GTE. The company will be looking for further Associates next year.
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