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FORE Announces New ForeThought 5.0 To Support Intelligent Infrastructure

Delivers Industry's First Standards-Based ATM Forum MPOA, Distributed LAN Emulation and Sophisticated PNNI Support to Dramatically Improve Performance
 over Routed Networks

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- FORE Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORE), a worldwide leader in high-performance networking products based on asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) technology, today announced the availability of ForeThought(TM) 5.0, FORE's sophisticated suite of internetworking software for delivering standards-based connectivity to FORE Systems products.

The standards-based ForeThought 5.0 release delivers the interoperability required in large, multivendor corporate networks, while offering critical extensions available nowhere else in the industry. ForeThought 5.0 allows customers to build the most scalable, resilient network solution available today with sophisticated, interoperable Distributed LAN Emulation and the
industry's only multi-peer group PNNI implementation. Field-tested ForeThought has been installed in over 4,000 FORE customer networks worldwide and is used by over 40 partners, including Microsoft, as a key part of the Company's Windows and Windows NT products.

ForeThought 5.0 forms the basis for the Intelligent Infrastructure(TM) of FORE's high-performance networking solution. In combination with FORE networking hardware, ForeThought 5.0 delivers high-performance, robust networking services for new and existing applications in LAN and WAN environments. With ForeThought 5.0, customers can achieve wire-speed performance in excess of 22 million packets per second. ForeThought also provides the advantages of ATM, including guaranteed bandwidth and quality of service to existing applications and protects customer investment in existing networks.

"FORE has once again set a new standard in the industry by delivering a sophisticated, standards-based software platform for network managers to build and maintain large-scale ATM-based enterprise networks," said Michael Ladam, ForeThought product line manager, FORE Systems. "The powerful combination of new MPOA, Distributed LAN Emulation and multi-peer group PNNI support enables corporations to reap the performance benefits of ATM by transparently linking frame-based technologies to their ATM core."

New ForeThought 5.0 Features

ATM Forum PNNI 1.0 (Multi-Peer Group): PNNI provides much of the intelligence in ATM networks by enabling the construction of large networks through dynamic discovery and routing of ATM connections. FORE led the industry with a pre-standard implementation in early 1995. Now, ATM Forum compliant ForeThought 5.0 PNNI continues to lead the industry with critical extensions including the industry's only multi-peer group implementation, which allows networks to scale up to thousands of ATM switches. Other vendors support single peer group implementations, severely limiting the size of the network.

Distributed LAN Emulation: Distributed LAN Emulation extends the LANE 1.0 specification by providing load-sharing redundant LES and BUS services to support each Emulated LAN. This provides greater scalability and reliability for any vendor's LANE 1.0, LANE 2.0 or MPOA adapters and uplinks, and allows customers to build distributed workgroups by giving each cluster of users in an ELAN a local LES and BUS. Distributed LAN Emulation includes LANE 2.0 extensions for the configuration and advertisement of MPOA clients.
 ATM Forum MPOA: ForeThought 5.0 supports the ATM Forum MPOA specification, which delivers low-latency, high capacity IP switching. MPOA delivers the networking industry's only standards-based Layer 3 switching by
integrating IP routing with the line-rate switching performance of ATM. The ForeThought 5.0 implementation includes per-flow shortcut thresholds to improve performance and MPOA device management via ForeView(R) VLAN manager, a graphical interface supporting advanced network management across all FORE products.

Enhanced Network Security: ForeThought 5.0 increases network security with a suite of new features. ForeThought Secure device management prevents unauthorized access of ForeRunner switches. Multi-peer group PNNI lets the network administrator advertise public resources to external areas, but limits access to private resources. Call screening, based on ATM addresses, helps support Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) across an ATM infrastructure, allowing network managers to build flexible VPNs even when sharing common resources. ForeThought Distributed LAN Emulation services allow network managers to enforce configurable ELAN access at the LES and BUS, even when clients bypass the LECS.

About ForeThought Internetworking Software

ForeThought Internetworking Software is a suite of software components that works in concert with all FORE Systems' products. ForeThought allows network managers to smoothly migrate to ATM while preserving their investment in existing infrastructure and applications. ForeThought supports current ATM standards and provides the critical extensions of Distributed LAN Emulation Services and multi-peer group PNNI. ForeThought also enables advanced networking features such as Virtual LANs, automatic network configuration, intelligent optimized routing, link load balancing, alternate routing, and SVC tunneling.

Pricing and Availability

Basic ForeThought ATM switching features, including UNI 3.0/3.1, ILMI, IISP static route configuration and console authentication are provided at no cost with FORE hardware. ATM Forum PNNI 1.0 (with extensions for multi-peer group networks) is available in October, priced from $995 to $2,995 depending on the ATM switch platform used. Distributed LAN Emulation for ATM switches
is available in October, also priced from $995 to $2,995. ForeThought for PowerHub multilayer switches, ES-3810 Layer 2 switches, and ForeRunner ATM adapters cards provides MPOA services, MPOA client software and Distributed LAN Emulation services and is available in the fourth quarter of 1997.

About FORE Systems

FORE Systems is a worldwide leader in the design, delivery, manufacture and sale of high-performance networking products based on ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) technology. FORE offers the most comprehensive ATM product line available today including ForeRunner ATM switches and adapter cards, PowerHub(R) LAN switches and CellPath(TM) WAN multiplexers for ATM connectivity, ForeThought Internetworking Software, ForeView Network Management Software and the StreamRunner(TM) ATM video product line. FORE has delivered ATM and LAN switching solutions to approximately 4,000 customers including Fortune 500 companies, telecommunications service providers, government agencies, research institutions, and universities. FORE Systems' headquarters are located at 1000 FORE Drive, Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15086. FORE Systems can be reached by telephone at 412-742-4444, by fax at 412-742-7742, and via the Internet at or

This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to products and other matters. Please refer to the Annual Report on Form 10-K filed by FORE Systems with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June, 1997 for a discussion of risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements.

FORE Systems, ForeRunner, ForeView, and PowerHub are registered trademarks of FORE Systems, Inc. ForeThought, CellPath, Intelligent Infrastructure and StreamRunner are trademarks of FORE Systems, Inc. All other brand or product names are trademarks of their respective holders.

SOURCE FORE Systems, Inc.
 -0- 09/29/97

/CONTACT: Kimberly Booth or Rich Borden, Public Relations, 412-742-4444, fax, 412-742-7742,,, or Michael Ladam, Product Line Manager, ForeThought Internetworking Software, 412-742-7818, fax, 412-742-7742,, all of FORE Systems/

/Company News On-Call: or fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 329107/

/Web site: /


CO: FORE Systems, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: CPR SU: PDT

MP -- PHM009 -- 7261 09/29/97 08:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 29, 1997
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