Net Management in Supercomm's LimelightBy Caron Carlson | Posted 2004-06-21 Email Print
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Enhanced network management was the mantra at Chicago's Supercomm.
To give carriers and their enterprise customers ways to make better use of the vast amount of network capacity available today, vendors are developing products that add more control to traffic, bandwidth and services management.
At this year's Supercomm conference in Chicago, VocalData Inc. will roll out its latest data application server, which has an improved Web portal and support for more telephones. Version 5.0 of the server offers enhanced IP trunking capability so that enterprise network users can employ the same dialing plan and voice mail system regardless of their location.
The server also offers a remote phone function that delivers PBX-like features to any telephone through the Web. Users can check voice mail, set up conference calls and manage calls via the portal.
"In the past, the dilemma has been that if you have a legacy PBX with proprietary phones behind it, how can you take advantage of new offerings?" said Mark Whittier, vice president at VocalData, in Richardson, Texas.
Ascendent Telecommunications Inc., of San Jose, Calif., which specializes in enhancing mobile communications, will announce upgrades to its application server, including an integrated conference call capability.
Ascendent adds voice services, policies and security to remote devices, including cell phones and laptops, so that they operate as extensions of the corporate PBX or Centrex switch. The services are designed to give network managers greater security and control over the devices, letting them manage costs and network integrity. Managers can set calling restrictions, giving users privileges to use the network.
With the conference-calling features, the server will contact participants just prior to the call, eliminating the need for a conference middleman.
For DSL providers and users, Net.com, of Fremont, Calif., will launch its Qserv technology, which is integrated into Net.com's SCREAM (Service Creation Manager) platform for broadband remote access servers, to provide advanced QOS (quality-of-service) capabilities for new offerings.
Next page: Creating value-added offerings.
As DSL connectivity increasingly becomes a commodity, service providers seek ways to create value-added offerings, but it is difficult because there is no easy way to control differentiated services, said Steven Shaw, director of industry relations at Net.com. Through hierarchical traffic shaping, Qserv allows carriers to offer multiple services with SLAs (service-level agreements) to multiple devices over a single network.
"I think there's a real pent-up demand for people to get better access. It's about more quality access to the Internet," Shaw said.
To help network operators migrate more easily to next-generation technologies, Lucent Technologies Inc. is expanding its data-networking portfolio to include a new multiservice edge switch and an IP/ MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) router module.
The Murray Hill, N.J., company also will unveil two DMX access multiplexer Ethernet service packs and demonstrate a mobile messaging product that lets wireless providers deliver messages from a mailbox on the network to handset mailboxes. Lucent plans to expand its professional services as well, launching "revenue generating" applications for providers to create new services.
RouteScience Technologies Inc., in San Mateo, Calif., will roll out the fifth version of its adaptive WAN management software on certain IBM servers. The software, which runs on Linux, was developed to transform the servers into cost-effective network management appliances that enterprises can install in data centers. The software adjusts the network to the service demands of applications based on policies set by the IT manager and by application quality monitoring.
Juniper Networks Inc. will unveil the SDX-300 service deployment system, built to give carriers a way to empower enterprises when it comes to their services. The software enables providers to develop differentiated services, such as tiered VPN offerings with QOS, bandwidth on demand and videoconferencing.
The software package can be applied in two ways: by enterprises to provision and manage services themselves or by service providers to offer a complete managed service. Through a Web portal, enterprises can review account and billing information, modify policies, set up firewall services, and activate or deactivate sites using a VPN.
Initially, service providers are likely to use the software for managed services, said Dave Boland, a spokesperson for Juniper, in Sunnyvale, Calif.
"It is really spooky for service providers having customers do this stuff for themselves," Boland said.
Boland said he expects that some providers will begin to hand over the tools to enterprises toward the end of the year.
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