The story so far: 20 years to global domination
1984 - Computer scientists Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner from Stanford University co-found Cisco Systems. Bosack and Lerner work with other developers to enable disparate networks to talk to each other and share information
1985 - Cisco ships its first product, the MEIS Subsystem. Meanwhile, the first .com and .edu domains are assigned
1986 - The company ships its first routing innovation - the Advanced Gateway Server
1988 - Cisco releases its Multiport Communication Interface - the highest speed network interface in the industry
1989 - The Designs Border Gateway Protocol arrives. Total number of internet hosts breaks the 100,000 barrier
1990 - Arpanet is decommissioned leaving behind a vast network of networks which become known as the "internet"
1991 - Cisco opens its first international offices in London and France - its market capitalisation reaches £56m
1992 - Cisco launched the 3000 and 4000 series routers
1993 - Mosaic, the first graphics-based web browser appears
1994 - Cisco's Catalyst switch is launched - the first switch for client/server workgroups
1996 - More e-mail is sent around the world than regular "snail mail". Cisco ships one million network access products
1997 - Cisco Networking Academy launched to help teach students how to design, install and maintain networks
1998 - Market capitalisation is now a hundred times higher at £56bn. First Cisco TV ad appears and Gigabit Ethernet switching is introduced
1999 - Cisco 12000 Terabit system released. First Cisco IP phone shipped
2000 - Cisco becomes the most valuable company in the world by market capitalisation - worth £313bn before the internet bubble bursts
2001 - Cisco develops the iSCSI protocol with IBM and addsIPv6 protocol to its IOS software.
2002 - The company introduces 10Gbyte Ethernet router line card
2003 - Cisco continues acquisition trail and plans to enter new markets by acquiring home networking and wireless specialist firm Linksys
2004 - Celebrates 20 years in the business. Launches modular operating system for its switches and routers to make it easier for users to manage their networks.