Tools Automate Policy Setting

Alcatel, Smartpipes software manages network applications.

Alcatel S.A. and startup Smartpipes Inc. last week launched network management software that automates the setting of network policies for applications such as VOIP and VPNs.

Alcatel announced new applications and features in its OmniVista 2000 network management software. Specifically, a tool called PolicyView with One Touch QOS (quality of service) allows network managers to set QOS policies across multiple Alcatel switches at once, rather than individually, for applications such as voice over IP.

Along with the "one-touch" abilities, the application has an expert mode so users can define QOS based on any combination of IP addresses, media access control addresses, well-known TCP/User Datagram Protocol port numbers and virtual LAN groups, Alcatel officials said.

The Paris-based company also offers for its newest switches a Web-based management interface called WebView.

OmniVista 2000 was given enhanced topological features to let users view layouts of physical and logical networks and an application to monitor statistics across multiple devices at one time, officials said.

PolicyView with One Touch QOS was a major reason Texas A&M University selected OmniVista, said Willis Marti, associate director of computing and information services at the College Station school.

"We are able to manage the whole network as a network, rather than a collection of devices," Marti said. "[That is] saving us a lot of time by eliminating the need for switch-by-switch configurations."

Separately, SmartPipes introduced its Remote Policy Management software at The Burton Groups Catalyst conference here. The software, available now, enables the management of remote desktop client software such as VPNs (virtual private networks) and dialers so the software stays updated and conforms to business use policies. It enables the orchestration of multiple desktop applications to enforce policies such as stopping Web browsing while connected to a corporate network via a VPN, said Ray Bell, chief technology officer and a co-founder of SmartPipes, in Redwood City, Calif.

SmartPipes supports Cisco Systems Inc. routers and VPN devices with its management software but plans to work with multiple vendors platforms, Bell said.