Cisco Systems originated with Len and Sandy Bosack, a husband and wife working in different departments at Stanford University. They needed to enable their computer systems to communicate with one another. In developing a solution for this problem, they built a device called a gateway server. The gateway server helped the machines in the two departments at Stanford University communicate through the use of the Internet Protocol (IP). That was in the mid-1980s.
Not long after this achievement, Len and Sandy decided to take a chance and attempt to produce a commercial gateway server product. The first development and production facility for Cisco was the Bosacks' living room. In 1984, cisco Systems, Inc., was founded, and a new era in internetworking was formed .
Note the lowercase c in the company's original name ; there are many rumors and explanation regarding it. It has been interpreted as an attempt to confuse editors when they are beginning a sentence with the company name; a mistake made by lawyers drafting the company name; a ripped piece of paper that originally said San Francisco Systems, Inc.; and just a name intended to be unique. We do not share the truth here because we prefer to keep the mystery alive ”choose the answer that you prefer. In 1992, the company name was changed officially to Cisco Systems, Inc. The move to the capital C was met with some hesitancy by the cisco faithful, but today the name Cisco Systems, Inc., is used by most, except perhaps the die-hard engineers from the days of cisco Systems.
The first gateway product from Cisco was the Advanced Gateway Server (AGS), followed soon by the Mid-Range Gateway Server (MGS), the Compact Gateway Server (CGS), the Integrated Gateway Server (IGS), and the Advanced Gateway Server Plus (AGS+). These products are now known as the old alphabet soup products from the company. The next generation of products began to emerge in 1993 with the Cisco 4000 series routers, which was soon followed by the Cisco 7000, 2000, and 3000 router series. The family of Cisco products continues to evolve today, following this convention of using product numbers rather than names , with products such as the Cisco 12000 routers and Catalyst 6500 switches.
In the mid-1990s, Cisco began to diversify its product line from routers to other internetworking products, such as LAN switches, ATM switches, WAN networking products, IBM connectivity, and more.
With all the diversification of Cisco products, the inherent complexity of the Cisco IOS software, and the widespread growth of internetwork implementation, network designers and managers can feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that they need to sift through to even begin configuring a network with Cisco devices. At its core , this book has the objective of distilling the essentials needed to configure the Cisco IOS software from the vast amount of available information and documentation. Our goal in writing this book was to make the impressive products of Cisco, which from their beginning have been solving internetworking problems, as accessible to novices as they are to the veteran users of the IOS.