Networking vendors launch new goods at Interop this week

Nortel tackles the 'hyperconnected enterprise'

Nortel Networks Inc. will unveil networking products at Interop Las Vegas 2007 that are part of a new strategy for large business customers called Business Optimized Networking.

The announcements are among a series of new product launches expected from many networking vendors during the six-day event, which also features keynotes later in the week from Nortel CEO Mike Zafirovski, Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers, and Avaya Inc. CEO Louis D'Ambrosio.

Nortel's new products and strategy are designed to address growing networking needs for unifying voice, data and video as a greater variety of phones, handhelds and computers are added to networks within organizations, said Aziz Khadbai, general manager of Nortel's Converged Data Networks in an interview. Increasing networking demands have created a "hyperconnected enterprise," he said.

Business Optimized Networking is comprised of five buildings blocks for enhancing unified communications, Khadbai added. Those five building blocks call for convergence of IP and Ethernet; extension of that converged access to branch offices and the entire business; mobilization that gives network access to all users; acceleration of applications; and management with security of the infrastructure.

Two recently announced products, Nortel Ethernet Switches 2500 and 4500, will help provide IP and Ethernet convergence, said Jake Power, director of marketing for converged data networks at Nortel.

To extend the converged network to branch offices, Nortel will announce today the new Secure Router 4134, which integrates WAN routing, Ethernet switching, IP telephony and Microsoft Mediation technology. The new router, which starts at $10,495, will help lessen the number of devices needed in branch office sites, he said.

Two new Application Accelerator devices will also be announced today to meet Nortel's acceleration building block. Web application response times could be improved by a "mind boggling" 20 times over existing speeds, Power said. The accelerator has been optimized to improve speeds on IBM WebSphere, Microsoft Outlook Web Access and SharePoint, he said. The 510 model starts at $28,990, and the 610 model starts at $39,990.

For mobilization, Nortel will announce a new Wireless LAN Security Switch 2382 and a WLAN Access Point 2332, both available in the third quarter, Power said. New features include greater scalability and performance and software to provide integrated location services. Pricing for several of the new products was not available.

Avaya's 'Distributed Office'

Also at Interop, Avaya Inc. today will announce a new IP telephony communications system for branch offices called Avaya Distributed Office, said Steve Hardy, director of global product marketing at Avaya. The starting price for the system is $350 per user, which includes hardware and software.

The Distributed Office will ship in late May in two versions, the i40, to support 40 users and the i120, to support 120 users, Hardy said. It includes a broad portfolio of phones, including a new Avaya one-X Deskphone Value Edition, which starts at $139.

Alcatel-Lucent offers security management for laptops

Also today, Alcatel-Lucent Inc. will announce the OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian, a new security and management system for laptops, a spokeswoman said. It is designed to secure, monitor, manage and locate a mobile computer, and to destroy its data if it is lost or stolen.

Alcatel-Lucent will market the system through service providers later this year so that the carriers can market it along with their 3G wireless plans, the company said. The Nonstop Laptop Guardian is based on technology code-named "Evros" that was developed and commercialized by Alcatel-Lucent Ventures in Bell Labs, according to a statement from the company.

The Visiting Nurses Association of Northern New Jersey (VNA) used the OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian in a pilot program for its mobile staff. "Our business is caring for patients in their environment, so we need to take our technology and records on the road and be able to protect that data," said Michael Landsittel, manager of IT at VNA in a statement. "The Nonstop Laptop Guardian has enabled us to manage our laptops and protect the data they contain, preventing a true disaster if a laptop was lost or stolen."

Citrix beefs up apps spees on the WAN

Also, Citrix Systems Inc. will demonstrate at Interop a new client for Wide Area Network optimization called Citrix WANScaler, the company said. It works with the Citrix Access Gateway SSL VPN, and is designed to provide the speed of application performance seen in the local area network on the WAN, according to Citrix officials.

The new Citrix client will ship in June, but pricing was not announced.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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