VOIP, Net Intelligence to Get Spotlight at N+I

Established networking vendors Nortel, Avaya and 3Com will enhance existing lines for voice over IP at N+I, while startups look to introduce new intelligent network devices.

Established networking vendors and startups are poised to diverge in their product directions when NetWorld+Interop opens this week.

Companies such as Nortel Networks Ltd., Avaya Inc. and 3Com Corp. are planning to enhance existing lines for VOIP (voice over IP), while startups like NetVmg Inc., Sarvega Inc. and NetScaler Inc. will introduce new intelligent network devices.

Both approaches are fitting in with what users want technologically, but many say they remain dubious about whether the capabilities will be worth the cost in a down economy.

"To deploy new technology [like VOIP] takes big investments of cash upfront, and we dont have that," said Vance Snook, telecommunications coordinator at the Oregon Department of Transportation, in Salem. Snook has used limited Nortel VOIP equipment in his network.

Nortel at N+I in Las Vegas will announce a new communications server in its Succession portfolio with the Succession CSE MX (Communications Server for Enterprise Multimedia Xchange). Succession CSE MX, for Solaris 8 servers, will ship in September and support between 2,000 and 200,000 users at a cost of $700 to $900 per user, said Nortel officials in Brampton, Ontario.

Avaya, in Basking Ridge, N.J., will ship an IP telephony package as part of its ECLIPS, or Enterprise Class IP Solutions, line aimed at midsize enterprises that allows for the stacking together of the Avaya S8300 Media Server and the G700 Media Gateway along with the P330 Stackable Switching System. Pricing starts at $62,000 for 50 users.

3Com will tout its renewed focus on the enterprise market this week. The Santa Clara, Calif., company will announce its XRN (eXpandable Resilient Networking) Interconnect Kit, which will tie multiple Gigabit Ethernet LAN switches together so they behave as if they were one, said Jeff Garner, director of the modular LAN business for 3Com. The kit is due in October and will cost $9,995.

For startups, NetVmg will ship Version 2.0 of its Flow Control Platform, a set of intelligent route control appliances that determine the most desirable ISP link for enterprises with multiple links based on performance and price, said officials for the San Jose, Calif., company.

Sarvega, of Chicago, is introducing its first XML-focused switch, the Sarvega XPE Switch. The application layer switch, among other functions, takes the place of middleware in translating various XML formats and prioritizing and setting security levels for the data based on policies, said co-founder John Chirapurath. Pricing starts at about $100,000.

NetScaler, of Santa Clara, will roll out the Request Switch 9000 iON Series switches, geared for reliable and secure delivery of Web applications. The RS9400 model supports up to 700,000 concurrent connections, while the RS9800 can handle up to 2 million concurrent connections. The switch is due next month and is priced from $19,999 to $59,999.

Additional reporting by Stan Gibson

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