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Background Cisco was founded in December 1984 in Menlo Park, CA, by a group of Stanford University technologists who wanted to help organizations utilize computing resources more effectively through networking. To do this, they had to overcome limitations inherent in the basic technology of local and wide area networking protocols--the languages that computers speak to one another over networks. At that time, protocols didn't take into account the possibility of internetworking many systems into a single system.

In 1986, Cisco shipped its first multi-protocol router, a device that allowed all commercially significant types of computers to share time and resources on the same network.

Today, Cisco technology allows networks of multi-vendor desktop computers, workstations, minicomputers and mainframes to span the globe. The Cisco Internetwork Operation System (Cisco IOS) software is now the de-facto industry standard, featured in the products of over 20 major network product suppliers. Nearly 80% of all Internet traffic travels across the equipment of Cisco Systems.

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