Nortel Makes Optical Nets 'Subscriber-Aware'

BOSTON (06/08/2000) - Nortel Networks Corp. Tuesday announced two software offerings that are designed to add intelligence and user recognition to the optical Internet.

At SuperComm 2000 in Atlanta, Nortel unveiled Virtualized Network, which is designed to create a "subscriber-aware" networking environment and give users more control over their network. Nortel also announced Network Intelligence, a family of applications that enable service providers to dynamically monitor network conditions and dynamically shift network resources to fulfill customer needs or support more profitable services.

Virtualized Network software will enable a variety of features, including user recognition from any location or port, preferred customer status and hosted applications. This will help enable personalized customer relationships in which the Internet acts as a two-way tool for businesses to provide personalized content and services to customers, create business-to-business marketplaces and enhance employee productivity, Nortel says.

"Nortel needed to create the Virtualized Network proposition to unify the varied yet integral components that the company brings to customers for creating content-intelligent and subscriber-aware networks," stated Current Analysis analyst Ron Westfall in a report on the Nortel announcement.

"Nortel risks causing some market confusion, since it has yet to clarify in marketing efforts how the Virtualized Network concept is distinct from IP VPN technology," Westfall continued. "Nortel has yet to make clear that IP VPNs constitute one integral element of virtualized networking, which encompasses an entire range of networking components, including service provisioning and application [service-level agreements], to enable subscriber-aware networking."

The Virtualized Network software runs on Nortel's Passport, Shasta 5000 BSN, Contivity, CVX and Versalar data-networking products for customer premises and service provider points of presence.

For Network Intelligence, Nortel developed three software packages: OPTera Networking Controller (ONC); Preside network and service management; and Intelligent Optical Connectivity (IOC).

These applications will run on Nortel's OPTera Packet Solution products to dynamically allocate network resources in real time. The goal is to ensure that a service provider's most profitable services receive the network resources they require above and beyond those applied to standard, best effort services.

In addition, Network Intelligence software is intended to reduce the time it takes to optimize the network, establish optical or packet-layer connections and respond to service requests.

Instead of waiting weeks for manual reconfiguration, service providers can dial up their connections and make changes and set policies in seconds, Nortel claims.

Nortel did not disclose price or availability of the new software.

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