FORE Provides The Core of NOAA's
Research and Information Network
Multiservice Network Infrastructure Supports Leading-Edge Research at New Boulder
Boulder, CO - December 1, 1998 - FORE Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: FORE), a leading
global supplier of multiservice networking solutions, announced today that it has been
selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide
high-performance networking technology and products for NOAA's new Boulder, Colorado
research and administrative center.
The Boulder center supported by the FORE network houses six of the 12 laboratories that
comprise NOAA's Environmental Research Laboratories (ERLs), including the Aeronomy
Laboratory , the Climate Diagnostics Center, the Environmental Technology Laboratory, the
Forecast Systems Laboratory, the Space Environment Center, and the Surface Radiation
Research Branch of the Air Resources Laboratory. ERL's mission is to conduct integrated
research, technology development and other services to enhance our understanding of the
Earth's oceans and inland waters, atmosphere, and outer space.
The Boulder campus also houses the National Geophysical Data Center, the National
Weather Service Forecast Office, and the Mountain Administrative Support Center.
Employing a high-performance asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network backbone enables
NOAA to support a wide range of collaborative research activities at the Boulder center. A
dozen ATM-connected Web servers at the new center also deliver more than 200 Gigabits of
data per day to researchers and the public through the Internet, linking users to a wide
range of real-time and historical data on weather, geophysical events and other
"By utilizing ATM's features, we can place our servers throughout the campus and
connect them over firewall-protected vLANs (virtual local area networks), providing both
reliability and security, as well as convenience to our systems staff," said Britt
Bassett, network manager at NOAA Boulder Labs. "In the future, because we will have
one of NOAA's best-connected networks, we'll also mirror other major NOAA Web pages to
improve access during periods of high demand-for example, enabling more users to tap into
Web pages from our hurricane and tornado centers during peak seasons."
According to Bassett, ATM's inherent performance advantages and features made it the
logical choice for the new center's backbone.
"Modern research lives or dies by its network and communications
capabilities," added Bassett. "In addition, many areas of our network require
what we call essential uptime, where public safety and health depends on rapid, ready
access to a steady stream of information. Only ATM provides the combination of
high-bandwidth, flexibility, resiliency and scalability we need to meet our mission."
About the NOAA Network
NOAA's network consists of a dual OC-12 (622 Mbps) meshed backbone connecting to a total
of 24 ForeRunner ASX-1000 backbone switches placed in intermediate distribution facilities
(IDFs), or closets, throughout the Boulder campus. The ASX-1000s link to FORE ES-3810 LAN
switches, providing desktop connectivity over either 10BaseT (10 Mbps) or 100BaseT (100
Mbps) switched Ethernet. Multiple ForeRunner ASN-9000 services nodes provide route serving
for LAN emulation (LANE), MPOA required to support more than 100 IP subnets, and other
In addition to all primary Web servers, approximately 12 network users connect directly
to the backbone over OC-3 (155 Mbps) ATM-to-the-desktop for video, video conferencing and
other services. In all, the network supports more than 2,200 connections-including 1,100
individuals in 698 offices and more than 98 laboratories.
"One of the key reasons for selecting FORE was its equipment's ability to support
distributed network management. This important feature allows individual laboratory staffs
to modify their parts of the network without affecting other portions," added
FORE's Intelligent Infrastructure solution was selected following an extensive review
of available technologies and vendors.
"To support the world-class research conducted by the NOAA-Boulder Laboratories,
we needed a world-class network," Bassett said. "This means many things,
including a large amount of bandwidth, along with the flexibility to assign and change
that bandwidth to various campus locations to accommodate changing research teams and
"The network also must be highly resilient to support our essential
applications," Bassett said. "For example, our Space Environment Center must
maintain a steady stream of information to the Johnson Space Center in Houston-information
that may affect the health or safety of astronauts on a Shuttle mission. Utilities use SEC
data on events such as solar disturbances to protect their power grids. The National
Weather Service Forecast Office also requires continuous network access.
"ATM was clearly the best option for supporting our requirements," Bassett
says. "FORE's extensive experience with ATM and federal government networks, its ATM
technology leadership and its end-to-end solution made it the superior choice for this
"FORE has been a leading provider of high-performance networking solutions to the
Federal government since the company was founded," says Dan Brigati, vice president
of FORE Systems Federal. "Our multiservice networking solutions provide NOAA with the
performance, reliability and flexibility it needs to perform the leading-edge research
that advances our knowledge of the environment, and to communicate that information in
ways that promote both better understanding and more informed decision-making."
About FORE Systems
FORE Systems is a leading global supplier of networking solutions based on an Intelligent
InfrastructureTM designed to handle the networked
applications of today and tomorrow.
FORE's Networks of SteelTM deliver the increased
capacity, reduced complexity and unparalleled flexibility and scalability necessary to
build networks that last. Thousands of enterprise and service provider customers worldwide
have put FORE Systems' solutions at the heart of their networks.
For more information on FORE's Networks of Steel, in the United States and Canada, call
(888) 404-0444 or contact your regional
FORE Sales office.
This press release contains forward-looking statements with respect to products,
partners, customers, future growth 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, 1998,
and the Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed by FORE Systems in August, 1998, and
November, 1998, for a discussion of risks that could cause actual results to differ
materially from such statements.