Table of Contents

Cisco Systems Terms and Acronyms
address translation gateway

See ATG.


ATM Interface Processor. ATM network interface for Cisco 7000 series routers designed to minimize performance bottlenecks at the UNI. The AIP supports AAL3/4 and AAL5. See also AAL3/4 and AAL5.


automated packet recognition/translation. Technology that allows a server to be attached to CDDI or FDDI without requiring the reconfiguration of applications or network protocols. APaRT recognizes specific data link layer encapsulation packet types and, when these packet types are transferred from one medium to another, translates them into the native format of the destination device.


address translation gateway. Cisco DECnet routing software function that allows a router to route multiple, independent DECnet networks and to establish a user-specified address translation for selected nodes between networks.

Automated Packet Recognition/Translation

See APaRT.

autonomous switching

Feature on Cisco routers that provides faster packet processing by allowing the ciscoBus to switch packets independently without interrupting the system processor.


Bus Interface Gate Array. Technology that allows the Catalyst 5000 to receive and transmit frames from its packet-switching memory to its MAC local buffer memory without the intervention of the host processor.

Bus Interface Gate Array



Cisco Discovery Protocol. Media- and protocol-independent device-discovery protocol that runs on all Cisco-manufactured equipment including routers, access servers, bridges, and switches. Using CDP, a device can advertise its existence to other devices and receive information about other devices on the same LAN or on the remote side of a WAN. Runs on all media that support SNAP, including LANs, Frame Relay, and ATM media.


See Cisco FRAD.

Channel Interface Processor

See CIP.


Channel Interface Processor. Channel attachment interface for Cisco 7000 series routers. The CIP is used to connect a host mainframe to a control unit, eliminating the need for an FEP for channel attachment.

ciscoBus controller

See SP.

Cisco Discovery Protocol

See CDP.

Cisco FRAD

Cisco Frame Relay access device. Cisco product that supports Cisco IOS Frame Relay SNA services and can be upgraded to be a full-function multiprotocol router. The Cisco FRAD connects SDLC devices to Frame Relay without requiring an existing LAN. However, the Cisco FRAD does support attached LANs and can perform conversion from SDLC to Ethernet and Token Ring. See also FRAD.

Cisco Frame Relay access device

See Cisco FRAD.


Cisco internetworking architecture that "fuses" together the scalability, stability, and security advantages of the latest routing technologies with the performance benefits of ATM and LAN switching, and the management benefits of VLANs. See also Cisco IOS software.

Cisco Internetwork Operating System software

See Cisco IOS software.

Cisco IOS software

Cisco Internetwork Operating System software. Cisco system software that provides common functionality, scalability, and security for all products under the CiscoFusion architecture. The Cisco IOS software allows centralized, integrated, and automated installation and management of internetworks, while ensuring support for a wide variety of protocols, media, services, and platforms. See also CiscoFusion.


GUI-based device-management software application that provides dynamic status, statistics, and comprehensive configuration information for Cisco internetworking devices. In addition to displaying a physical view of Cisco device chassis, CiscoView also provides device monitoring functions and basic troubleshooting capabilities, and can be integrated with several leading SNMP-based network management platforms.


Cisco Link Services. Afront-end for a variety of data-link control services. (Reviewers: this feature is in California. Will California be released by the end of April?)


Cisco Link Services Interface. The messages that are exchanged between CLS and data-link users such as APPN, SNA service point, and DLSw+. (Reviewers: this feature is in California. Will California be released by the end of April?)

configuration register

In Cisco routers, a 16-bit, user-configurable value that determines how the router functions during initialization. The configuration register can be stored in hardware or software. In hardware, the bit position is set using a jumper. In software, the bit position is set by specifying a hexadecimal value using configuration commands.


Combinet Proprietary Protocol.


Cisco Extended Bus. Data bus for interface processors on Cisco 7000 series routers. See also SP.

Data Movement Processor

See DMP.

Diffusing Update Algorithm



Data Movement Processor. Processor on the Catalyst 5000 that, along with the multiport packet buffer memory interface, performs the frame-switching function for the switch. The DMP also handles translational bridging between the Ethernet and FDDI interfaces, IP segmentation, and intelligent bridging with protocol-based filtering.


Director Response Protocol. A protocol used by the DistributedDirector feature in IP routing. (Reviewers: this feature is in California. Will California be released by the end of April?)

DSPU concentration

Cisco IOS software feature that enables a router to function as a PU concentrator for SNA PU 2 nodes. PU concentration at the router simplifies the task of PU definition at the upstream host while providing additional flexibility and mobility for downstream PU devices.


Diffusing Update Algorithm. Convergence algorithm used in Enhanced IGRP that provides loop-free operation at every instant throughout a route computation. Allows routers involved in a topology change to synchronize at the same time, while not involving routers that are unaffected by the change. See also Enhanced IGRP.


Ethernet Interface Processor. Interface processor card on the Cisco 7000 series routers. The EIP provides high-speed (10-Mbps) AUI ports that support Ethernet Version 1 and Ethernet Version 2 or IEEE 802.3 interfaces, and a high-speed data path to other interface processors.


See Enhanced IGRP.

Enhanced IGRP

Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol. Advanced version of IGRP developed by Cisco. Provides superior convergence properties and operating efficiency, and combines the advantages of link state protocols with those of distance vector protocols. Compare with IGRP. See also IGP, OSPF, and RIP.

Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol

See Enhanced IGRP.

Enhanced Monitoring Services

Set of analysis tools on the Catalyst 5000 switch, consisting of an integrated RMON agent and the SPAN. These tools provide traffic monitoring, and network segment analysis and management. See also RMON and span.

Ethernet Interface Processor

See EIP.


The interactive command processor of the Cisco IOS software.

Fast Ethernet Interface Processor


Fast Sequenced Transport

See FST.

Fast Serial Interface Processor


fast switching

Cisco feature whereby a route cache is used to expedite packet switching through a router. Contrast with process switching.

FDDI Interface Processor

See FIP.


Fast Ethernet Interface Processor. Interface processor on the Cisco 7000 series routers. The FEIP supports up to two 100-Mbps 100BaseT ports.


FDDI Interface Processor. Interface processor on the Cisco 7000 series routers. The FIP supports SASs, DASs, dual homing, and optical bypass, and contains a 16-mips processor for high-speed (100-Mbps) interface rates. The FIP complies with ANSI and ISO FDDI standards.


Frame Relay Access Support. Cisco IOS software feature that allows SDLC, Token Ring, Ethernet, and Frame Relay-attached IBM devices to connect to other IBM devices across a Frame Relay network. See also FRAD.


Fast Serial Interface Processor. The default serial interface processor for Cisco 7000 series routers. The FSIP provides four or eight high-speed serial ports.


Fast Sequenced Transport. Connectionless, sequenced transport protocol that runs on top of the IP protocol. SRB traffic is encapsulated inside of IP datagrams and is passed over an FST connection between two network devices (such as routers). Speeds up data delivery, reduces overhead, and improves the response time of SRB traffic.

Gateway Discovery Protocol

See GDP.


Gateway Discovery Protocol. Cisco protocol that allows hosts to dynamically detect the arrival of new routers as well as determine when a router goes down. Based on UDP. See also UDP in the main glossary.

generic routing encapsulation

See GRE.


generic routing encapsulation. Tunneling protocol developed by Cisco that can encapsulate a wide variety of protocol packet types inside IP tunnels, creating a virtual point-to-point link to Cisco routers at remote points over an IP internetwork. By connecting multiprotocol subnetworks in a single-protocol backbone environment, IP tunneling using GRE allows network expansion across a single-protocol backbone environment.

High-Speed Communications Interface



HSSI Interface Processor. Interface processor on the Cisco 7000 series routers. The HIP provides one HSSI port that supports connections to ATM, SMDS, Frame Relay, or private lines at speeds up to T3 or E3.

Hot Standby Router Protocol



High-Speed Communications Interface. Single-port interface, developed by Cisco, providing full-duplex synchronous serial communications capability at speeds up to 52 Mbps.


Hot Standby Router Protocol. Provides high network availability and transparent network topology changes. HSRP creates a Hot Standby router group with a lead router that services all packets sent to the Hot Standby address. The lead router is monitored by other routers in the group, and if it fails, one of these standby routers inherits the lead position and the Hot Standby group address.

HSSI Interface Processor

See HIP.


Interior Gateway Routing Protocol. An IGP developed by Cisco to address the problems associated with routing in large, heterogeneous networks. Compare with Enhanced IGRP. See also IGP, OSPF, and RIP.

interface processor

Any of a number of processor modules used in the Cisco 7000 series routers. See AIP, CIP, EIP, FEIP, FIP, FSIP, HIP, MIP, SIP (Serial Interface Processor), and TRIP.

Interior Gateway Routing Protocol



See Cisco IOS software.


Inter-Switch Link. A Cisco-proprietary protocol that maintains VLAN information as traffic flows between switches and routers. (Reviewers: needs a better definition.)


MultiChannel Interface Processor. Interface processor on the Cisco 7000 series routers that provides up to two channelized T1 or E1 connections via serial cables to a CSU. The two controllers on the MIP can each provide up to 24 T1 or 30 E1 channel-groups, with each channel-group presented to the system as a serial interface that can be configured individually.

MultiChannel Interface Processor

See MIP.

native client interface architecture



native client interface architecture. SNA applications-access architecture, developed by Cisco, that combines the full functionality of native SNA interfaces at both the host and client with the flexibility of leveraging TCP/IP backbones. NCIA encapsulates SNA traffic on a client PC or workstation, thereby providing direct TCP/IP access while preserving the native SNA interface at the end-user level. In many networks, this capability obviates the need for a standalone gateway and can provide flexible TCP/IP access while preserving the native SNA interface to the host.


Network Management Processor. Processor module on the Catalyst 5000 switch used to control and monitor the switch.


network service point. (Reviewers: from Mark Smallwood/Taffy: There is apparently a controversy over whether to use this (Cisco) term or the IBM term "SNA Service Point"---or possibly "SNA service point support." Marketing and development have been using "native service point," while Rick (Barron) prefers the latter two terms as more descriptive of the feature. Rick will need to tell us what he finally decides to use in the IBM module.)


Cisco network management application that provides an easy-to-use GUI for monitoring RMON statistics and protocol analysis information. NETscout also provides extensive tools that simplify data collection, analysis, and reporting. These tools allow system administrators to monitor traffic, set thresholds, and capture data on any set of network traffic for any segment.

proxy polling

Technique that alleviates the load across an SDLC network by allowing routers to act as proxies for primary and secondary nodes, thus keeping polling traffic off of the shared links. Proxy polling has been replaced by SDLC Transport. See SDLC Transport. (Reviewers: was proxy polling a Cisco feature?)

process switching

Packet processing performed at process level speeds, without the use of a route cache. Contrast with fast switching.

Reliable SAP Update Protocol


Route Processor

See RP.

Route/Switch Processor

See RSP.


Route Processor. Processor module on the Cisco 7000 series routers that contains the CPU, system software, and most of the memory components that are used in the router. Sometimes called a supervisory processor.


Route/Switch Processor. Processor module used in the Cisco 7500 series routers that integrates the functions of the RP and the SP. See also RP and SP.


Reliable SAP Update Protocol. Bandwidth-saving protocol developed by Cisco for propagating services information. RSUP allows routers to reliably send standard Novell SAP packets only when the routers detect a change in advertised services. RSUP can transport network information either in conjunction with or independently of the Enhanced IGRP routing function for IPX.

SDLC broadcast

Feature that allows a Cisco router that receives an all-stations broadcast on a virtual multidrop line to propagate the broadcast to each SDLC line that is a member of the virtual multidrop line.

SDLC Transport

Cisco router feature with which disparate environments can be integrated into a single, high-speed, enterprise-wide network. Native SDLC traffic can be passed through point-to-point serial links with other protocol traffic multiplexed over the same links. Cisco routers can also encapsulate SDLC frames inside IP datagrams for transport over arbitrary (non-SDLC) networks. Replaces proxy polling. See also proxy polling.


SDLC Logical Link Control. Cisco IOS feature that performs translation between SDLC and IEEE 802.2 type 2.

serial tunnel


silicon switching

Switching based on the SSE, which allows the processing of packets independent of the SSP (Silicon Switch Processor) system processor. Silicon switching provides high-speed, dedicated packet switching. See also SSE and SSP (Silicon Switch Processor).

silicon switching engine

See SSE.

Silicon Switch Processor

See SSP.


SMDS Interface Protocol. Used in communications between CPE and SMDS network equipment. Allows the CPE to use SMDS service for high-speed WAN internetworking. Based on the IEEE 802.6 DQDB standard. See also DQDB.


Switch Processor. Cisco 7000-series processor module that acts as the administrator for all CxBus activities. Sometimes called ciscoBus controller. See also CxBus.


Switched Port Analyzer. Feature of the Catalyst 5000 switch that extends the monitoring abilities of existing network analyzers into a switched Ethernet environment. SPAN mirrors the traffic at one switched segment onto a predefined SPAN port. A network analyzer attached to the SPAN port can monitor traffic from any of the other Catalyst switched ports.


silicon switching engine. Routing and switching mechanism that compares the data link or network layer header of an incoming packet to a silicon-switching cache, determines the appropriate action (routing or bridging), and forwards the packet to the proper interface. The SSE is directly encoded in the hardware of the SSP (Silicon Switch Processor) of a Cisco 7000 series router. It can therefore perform switching independently of the system processor, making the execution of routing decisions much quicker than if they were encoded in software. See also silicon switching and SSP.


Silicon Switch Processor. High-performance silicon switch for Cisco 7000 series routers that provides distributed processing and control for interface processors. The SSP leverages the high-speed switching and routing capabilities of the SSE to dramatically increase aggregate router performance, minimizing performance bottlenecks at the interface points between the router and a high-speed backbone. See also silicon switching and SSE.


serial tunnel. Router feature allowing two SDLC- or HDLC-compliant devices to connect to one another through an arbitrary multiprotocol topology (using Cisco routers) rather than through a direct serial link.

supervisory processor

See RP.

Switch Processor

See SP.


Proprietary Cisco enhancement to TACACS. Provides additional support for authentication, authorization, and accounting. See also TACACS.

THC over X.25

Feature providing TCP/IP header compression over X.25 links, for purposes of link efficiency.


Token Ring Interface Processor. High-speed interface processor on the Cisco 7000 series routers. The TRIP provides two or four Token Ring ports for interconnection with IEEE 802.5 and IBM Token Ring media with ports independently set to speeds of either 4 or 16 Mbps.

two-way simultaneous

See TWS.


two-way simultaneous. Mode that allows a router configured as a primary SDLC station to achieve better utilization of a full-duplex serial line. When TWS is enabled in a multidrop environment, the router can poll a secondary station and receive data from that station while it sends data to or receives data from a different secondary station on the same serial line.

Versatile Interface Processor

See VIP.


1. Versatile Interface Processor. Interface card used in Cisco 7000 and Cisco 7500 series routers. The VIP provides multilayer switching and runs the Cisco IOS software. The most recent version of the VIP is VIP2.
2. virtual IP. Function that enables the creation of logically separated switched IP workgroups across the switch ports of a Catalyst 5000 running Virtual Networking Services software. See also
Virtual Networking Services.

virtual data link control

(Reviewers: from Mark Smallwood: VDLC is a new feature for California that will be included in Release 11.1(5) also. The feature is used by APPN, DSPU, SNA Service Point, and LNM over DLSw. Needs a complete definition.)

virtual IP

See VIP.

Virtual Networking Services

Software on some Catalyst 5000 switches that enables multiple workgroups to be defined across switches and offers traffic segmentation and access control.


See Virtual Networking Services.

WorkGroup Director

Cisco SNMP-based network-management software tool. Workgroup Director runs on UNIX workstations either as a standalone application or integrated with another SNMP-based network management platform, providing a seamless, powerful management system for Cisco workgroup products. See also SNMP.

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