Nortel Enhances Its Open IP

SAN MATEO (05/26/2000) - Bolstering its drive to spread Internet functionality to diverse device types, this week Nortel Networks Corp. will roll out an enhanced version of its Open IP Environment routing software.

Open IP Environment, which was launched in November, makes the company's IP and routing software available to manufacturers and developers, allowing them to choose features for different device types and environments.

Version 2.0 boosts integration by reducing the architecture to one framework with four common planes. The common control, management, forwarding, and system planes -- connected via open interfaces -- help ensure integration with any underlying architecture, Nortel said. Also new is support for OSPF (Open Shortest Path First), RIP (Routing Information Protocol) Version 2.0, and BGP-4 (Border Gateway Protocol-4) as well as enhanced management features, including SNMP and command line interface APIs, Nortel said.

Bringing routing functions to the device level can help alleviate performance issues, officials said.

"Open IP allows more of the higher-level capabilities in Level 3 and Level 4 routers to be on the devices themselves, so I don't have to go through a couple of routers to get to the network," said John Bednarek, director of marketing at Nortel. "The old-world ways of proprietary routing can't support the growth in these networks."

One analyst agreed that distributed routing can help scalability.

"The number of things that have IP addresses is about to explode. We are about to go beyond the PC and give IP addresses to things like cell phones [and] PDAs. This creates a huge scalability problem. The more you push routing out to the periphery, the easier it will be to achieve scalability," said Sam Alunni, president of Sterling Research, in Sterling, Virginia.

Nortel will also reveal this week an agreement with Samsung under which the two will add Open IP to Samsung's small router devices. Nortel has over 200 licensees for its Open IP and hopes to bring the routing code to Linux soon.

Nortel Networks Corp., in Brampton, Ontario, is at www.nortel.com.

Taking an open approach to IP

Many vendors are including an open IP environment in their products.

Microsoft Corp.: Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 serverIBM Corp.: Power Network ProcessorIntel Corp.: IXP1200 Network ProcessorMotorola Inc.: PowerQuicc processors, PowerPC CPUsHewlett-Packard Co.: ProCurve

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