3Com Adds Digital Video Portal to Open Networking Platform

New 3Com partner VBrick Systems becomes the latest partner to add new services that exploit 3Com's open networking platform.

3Com on Feb. 13 added a third partner module to its MultiService Router Platform, this time focusing on video over IP.

3Com as part of its Open Network Program added a new digital video portal with partner VBrick Systems. The portal, integrated with the 3Com MSRs, allows customers to easily add centralized access to video podcasts, live video streams and on-demand digital libraries.

"This is really a plug-and-play solution. Anybody that has existing [3Com MSRs] can in less than an hour have live and streaming video across their network," said Sherman Schlar, technical marketing manager at VBrick Systems.

The aim of the new VBrick Video Portal (ViP) is to allow existing 3Com customers to create and watch video content without having to invest in multimedia infrastructure.

The ViP module, which joins existing MSR modules for VOIP (voice over IP) from Digium and application acceleration from Expand Networks, was created with 3Com's healthy installed base of educational customers in mind.

"Customers wanted some form of video distribution portal for lectures. We were looking for partners in this space, and VBrick often came across as a best-of-breed vendor to distribute video, so it was an ideal marriage," said Peter Doggart, senior director, product line management, at 3Com. "We worked on a way to integrate components of the VBrick ecosystem on top of the [Open Services Networking platform]."

The ViP module, which the two vendors tested and validated on 3Com's MSRs, works with VBrick's digital video appliances, which can digitize, transmit, receive and record video in Windows Media, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats.

The ViP module can also be used in the enterprise for training or corporate messages. It can automatically broadcast live or prerecorded emergency broadcast messages to users' desktops or handheld devices. And priority alert broadcasts can be streamed to specific locations or departments.

3Com launched its Open Services Networking initiative one year ago to give customers more choices in the services they want to integrate into their 3Com network fabric. OSN offers software vendors, integrators and customers an open Linux server platform for integrating new services more deeply within the network fabric. The ViP module is the 11th application or service to be released for the OSN platform.

The new module is available now from both vendors and their resellers.