Carnival Cruise Lines Re-Engineers Headquarters Network Based on 3COM CELLplex ATM Switches; Scalable 3Com ATM Solutions Safeguard and Fuel Existing and New Mission-Critical Applications for Leading Worldwide Vacation Provider’s Rapidly Expanding Business

Carnival Cruise Lines Re-Engineers Headquarters Network Based on 3COM CELLplex ATM Switches; Scalable 3Com ATM Solutions Safeguard and Fuel Existing and New Mission-Critical Applications for Leading Worldwide Vacation Provider’s Rapidly Expanding Business

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 30, 1996–3Com Corporation (NASDAQ: COMS) today announced that Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., the world’s largest vacation cruise provider, has re-designed the backbone network of the company’s newly expanded Miami headquarters using 3Com CELLplex 7000 Ethernet to Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) switches.

The new network is based on 3Com’s Transcend Network framework, enabling Carnival to scale performance, extend the reach and manage the growth of its enterprise network as business needs evolve. Carnival also is using 3Com’s Transcend Enterprise Manager network management solution to monitor and manage mission-critical applications such as the cruise line’s reservation system — the heart of the company’s new business processing.

Implemented this summer, Carnival’s ATM infrastructure is providing rapid, reliable communications demanded by growth such as the 1996 launch of two new ships: the 2,040-passenger Inspiration and the 3,400-passenger Carnival Destiny. Carnival further plans to debut two new “Fun Ships” in 1998 and another in 1999. These and other developments, said Doug Eney, Carnival’s director of systems and technology, will significantly increase network traffic and could potentially raise the number of corporate users to 5,000 by the year 2000 — all of which, Eney noted, the 3Com network can support.

“Carnival provides vacation products that satisfy peoples’ dreams, and, through 3Com, we’ve developed a dream network that can ably fulfill our present and future needs using scalable CELLplex ATM switches,” said Eney. “The CELLplex switches are the most cost-effective platform available that can easily absorb rising traffic volumes of standard business applications, as well as high bandwidth demands of interactive TV, video games, virtual reality and other multimedia programs we plan to test at corporate headquarters before introducing them on our ships.”

High Speed and Availability

Carnival’s 3Com-based ATM network is initially supporting 1,200 users in the cruise line headquarters’ new 225,000 square foot addition, as well as 150 information systems and program development users in its pre-existing 200,000 square foot facility. Selected over ATM systems from four major ATM vendors, the CELLplex switches according to Eney, provide “unmatched flexibility and price/performance” for delivering the cruise line’s business-critical administrative, financial, reservations and marketing applications. These applications are based on roughly 50 multivendor servers, including a Unisys 2200/900 enterprise server that processes more than 750,000 business transactions per day, including cruise and airline reservations, as well as pre- and post-cruise land vacation packages.

Designed to augment the company’s pre-existing shared Ethernet/FDDI backbone network, the four-module Ethernet/ATM CELLplex switches by contrast, deliver 10 Mbps switched Ethernet workgroup connections to the edge of Carnival’s network where users reside. They provide a high speed 155 megabit per second (Mbps) ATM backbone at the company’s data center — or network core — where high traffic volumes aggregate.

Located in Carnival’s new data center, four fully meshed 16 to 32-port High-Function CELLplex 7000 switches with redundant switching engines form Carnival’s ATM backbone. A pair of redundant 3Com NETBuilder) II routers using LAN emulation provides the link from the ATM backbone to the firm’s pre-existing FDDI ring. The data center also houses two additional CELLplex 7000 switches, each with four full duplex OC-3 155 Mbps links for the ATM backbone. The two data center CELLplex switches provide switched 10 Mbps Ethernet connections to the majority of Carnival’s 50 servers. The CELLplex switches are also are delivering multiple 155 Mbps connections to servers which Carnival soon plans to populate with 3Com ATMLink z interface cards. One of the initial ATM connections is to Carnival’s strategic StorageTek WANStore enterprise back-up server, which mirrors the firm’s daily transactions.

“Previously, the StorageTek server saturated our FDDI backbone,” said John Masseria, Carnival’s manager of technical support. “Now, with the CELLplex switches, we’re dramatically increasing available bandwidth to backup our transactions. Long-term, we’ve gained a migration path to connect our primary servers in virtual LANs that will provide universal access to users without the need to use a router.”

Carnival also is gaining higher performance by using ATM ports on the CELLplex high-function switches to create redundant links to two workgroup CELLplex 7000 ATM switches located on each floor of the six-story addition. Each workgroup CELLplex switch has an OC-3 155 Mbps ATM downlink to backbone and an OC-3 connection patched on fiber to the other side of the building. This provides diverse routing of two ATM links to redundant CELLplex 7000 backbone switches. The CELLplex switches are also are equipped with 3Com 7400 Ethernet/ATM boundary switching module, creating 36 switched Ethernet ports per CELLplex module for desktop connectivity, or 144 ports total per switch, plus up to four ATM ports per chassis. The configuration acts as a non- blocking switch for Carnival’s data center and enables users on different Ethernet ports on different CELLplex switches to communicate.

“The CELLplex switch can serve as a 16 or 32-port ATM switch using ATMLink interface cards or as a combination edge device and ATM backbone switch using the 7400 cards,” said Masseria. “Either way, the 3Com ATM switch ensures that our users get the bandwidth they need to transact their business-critical applications, and our network backbone has the speed we require to swiftly move information to our data center.”

3Com Corporation has helped more than 32 million people gain access to critical information through high speed networks. Designed to serve large enterprises, small offices and homes, 3Com products provide a scalable architecture to meet the immediate and long term connectivity needs of today’s users. With research and development on three continents, 3Com is one of the data networking industry’s largest and fastest growing companies. The company’s innovative marketing, sales and support simplify communication, optimize network reliability and protect customer investments. For further information, visit 3Com’s World Wide Web site at or call 800/Net-3Com. -0-

Note to Editors: 3Com, NETBuilder and Transcend are registered trademarks of 3Com Corporation. ATMLink and CELLplex are trademarks of 3Com Corporation.

CONTACT: 3Com Corporation

David Hayward, 508/264-1773

David Brisson, 508/653-4091

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