Nortel unveils new management software

On February 8, Nortel Networks will unveil software that allows users to better integrate LAN and WAN management, and improve network service level monitoring.

According to company officials at the ComNet show in Washington, D.C. last week, Nortel Networks will roll out two applications for its Optivity management system: Optivity Open Management System (OMS) for Passport Version 3.1 and Optivity Service Accounting Version 1.0. Both packages are designed to provide users with enhanced management of enterprise WANs.

Both applications run on Unix and Windows NT management servers. Up to now, Optivity has been a manager of Bay Networks LAN switches and routers. Nortel Networks has been working on enhancing Optivity for management of its WAN gear since acquiring Bay Networks last summer.

OMS for Passport 3.1 provides fault and configuration management of Nortel Passport ATM and frame relay switches from an Optivity console. It also reports on Passport alarms and provides visibility into application performance through Passport switches.

OMS for Passport 3.1 uses the autotopology feature of Optivity to discover and map the logical, Layer 3 topology of Passport switches in a network. Later this year, Nortel Networks will augment that with physical topology mapping.

Once the switches are discovered, OMS for Passport 3.1 allows users to perform drag-and-drop commands to provision services on Passport ports. Using a template palette, users can point-and-click on an icon representing the desired service -- such as channelised or clear channel T-1 -- drag the icon over to a screen showing Passport port configuration, and drop the icon on a desired port.

OMS for Passport 3.1 will be available this month, but it is designed to work with Optivity 9.0, which won't ship until the second quarter. OMS for Passport 3.1 costs $US5,900.

Optivity Service Accounting Version 1.0 is designed to help users collect, organise and store data on application transactions so they can gauge how their networks are performing.

The software collects data on TCP session requests and response transactions for such services as virtual private networks, voice-over-IP, frame relay, ATM and remote access. It determines service level performance by tracking the arrival rate and latency of a session, the number of simultaneous sessions, and the number of dropped sessions and refused requests.

From this information, users can determine whether to increase bandwidth, filter traffic or billing specific company departments for network use. This data can also be used to establish quality-of-service policies for specific applications.

Optivity Service Accounting 1.0 costs $30,000 and will ship this month.

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