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Cisco Systems and Novell yesterday joined the Future I/OAlliance, a consortium of vendors led by Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and others developing input/output standardsand products.
Future I/O is a standard designed to increase the overallperformance of data transfers between servers and peripheraldevices in a network. Whereas PCI buses provide 500 Mbps ofusable bandwidth between devices, I/O subsystems based onFuture I/O are expected to support 2.5-Gbps data transfers.
Cisco plans to help incorporate IP version 6 into the FutureI/O specification, which is expected to be completed inDecember. Future I/O may also be included in Cisco switchesand routers, which could provide a bridge between IPv6running on a network interface card and IPv4 used throughoutthe Internet. Novell plans on incorporating Future I/O intoNovell Directory Services, which would let companies manageFuture I/O equipment via NDS. Products that support FutureI/O, which will not be available for at least a year, areexpected to help lower the overall cost of corporatenetworking.
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