J.D. Edwards prepares network for major upgrade

Officials at enterprise resource planning (ERP) software developer J.D. Edwards & Co. last week said the firm has undertaken a major upgrade of its corporate network to support its international expansion plans and its application hosting business.

J.D. Edwards' move is part of an evolutionary process rather than a one-time build-out, according to Ken Migaki, a vice president at the Denver-based company.

"We've got a base network and are now expanding to meet new business needs," he said.

In addition to providing more network capacity to serve new office locations in Australia and New Zealand, J.D. Edwards is preparing its data pipes to handle traffic from its own application hosting service, called JDe.sourcing, which hosts J.D. Edwards' ERP applications via the Web.

Migaki said the upgrade involves a transition to Catalyst 6500 switches from Cisco Systems and implementation of network management tools from Magnum Technologies.

J.D. Edwards is upgrading from Cisco 5509 switches to Cisco Catalyst 6500s.

The 6500s, Migaki said, have more routing intelligence, and migration is expected to be relatively seamless. Migaki said he's running the 6500s in a lab environment before putting them into production.

J.D. Edwards has also added 300 Windows NT servers from IBM. The new servers, which went online in mid-June, host the J.D. Edwards demonstration software. Previously, salespeople had to take a server into a customer's office to do a demonstration, Migaki said. Now they can log on remotely, which "minimizes prep time and shows a consistent demo," he said.

Migaki said he'll use Coordinator and Cap-Trend from Magnum Technologies, to streamline network management. The Web-based Coordinator application gives network managers a real-time view of network problems by connection.

According to Michael Jude, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates in Boulder, Colo., Coordinator "prefilters alarms and avoids alarm storms from multiple devices."

Jude said Cap-Trend gives network managers a means of tracking network performance over time, enabling adjustments that counter bottlenecks.

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