Cisco IOS Software Release 12.1 consolidates the advanced technology introduced in 1999 via Cisco IOS Software Early Deployment (ED) releases. It includes feature enhancements in the areas of voice, security, virtual private networking (VPN), quality of service (QoS), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and multicast, as well as significant improvements in quality as a result of continuous, dedicated testing.
Cisco IOS Software Release 12.1 has added over 110 new enterprise and service-provider features compared to the last major release. It has been designed to enhance the capabilities of enterprise customers in five major application areas: customer care, workforce optimization, supply-chain management, e-learning, and Web foundation (workflow, publishing, data access, and community). Security, settlement services, and billing applications are a sample of the many service-provider-oriented features introduced in Cisco IOS Software Release 12.1.
Release 12.1 addresses the needs of both the service provider and the enterprise customer. For example, NetFlow Policy Routing, IP-ATM Class-of-Service Mapping, and Class-Based Weighted Fair Queuing all provide additional "knobs" for service providers to offer differentiated services, enabling better customer service and enhanced revenue opportunities. Enterprises can save money and improve security with the Cisco IOS Integrated Firewall. Cisco IOS Software Release 12.1 also enables integrated voice and data through voice over IP (VoIP) or voice over Frame Relay (VoFR), significantly reducing expensive recurring telephony costs.