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Catalyst 5000 Family features a Gigabit Ethernet and ATM-ready platform offering users high-speed trunking technologies, including Fast EtherChannel_ and OC-12 ATM. The Catalyst 5000 series also features a redundant architecture, dynamic VLANs, complete intranet services support, and media-rate performance with a broad variety of interface modules.

Catalyst 5000 family supports multiprotocol NetFlow Switching for scalable convergence of Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching, adding the benefits of multiprotocol, multilayer switching and other Cisco IOS network services.

The range of media support in the Catalyst 5000 family enables network managers to deliver high-performance backbone access to accommodate Web browser-based traffic across the intranet. A variety of interface modules operate in any Catalyst 5000 family switch to deliver dedicated bandwidth to users through high-density group switched 10BaseT or 100BaseT Ethernet; flexible 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, fiber-based Fast Ethernet, and Fast EtherChannel; Token Ring; CDDI/FDDI; ATM LAN Emulation (LANE) and Multiprotocol over ATM (MPOA); the Route/Switch module (based on the Route/Switch Processor for the Cisco 7500 series router); and Gigabit Ethernet. Unique to the Catalyst 5500 Series are the ATM Switch Processor and ATM switch interface modules and port adapters.