Blurt from the past: ATM LANE module for Catalyst 3000

I've found the following "gem" in the Catalyst 3000 LANE module data sheet:

The module "provides legacy LANs with access to ATM-based services in an ATM campus backbone".

The legacy LAN was switched Ethernet (which is still around after 15 years) and ATM campus backbones have joined the dinosaurs.

In case you've never seen a Catalyst 3000: it was a switch that Cisco got through one of its first acquisitions and although it was a good Ethernet switch, it was a nightmare to configure and the later additions (for example, the LANE module) were a disaster. Luckily, it was allowed to die a quiet death a few years later.


  1. I first got into networking around 1999, the LAN I was working on at the time was built around LANE and 3COM CoreBuilders. It sure colours your understanding of how a LAN really works ;)

  2. I think it was Kalapana, they we some kind of pioneers in the switching area if I recall well. The 3000 and LANE was not so bad, it was expensive though and LANE was difficult to configure.
  3. It was ok as long as you don't stack the Catalyst 3000s using the special cables :-) It was not an IOS CLI switch by the way; it was menu-driven like 3COM.
  4. I worked for Madge in the nineties - the pay off line was "Switching to ATM"
    This strategy largely led to Madge's downfall which was at that stage the fifth largest network company in the world.
    I do think that some of the service assurance features available in ATM have not yet been implemented to this day in the alternative technologies.
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