UB Networks unveils Web-based management tools

UB Networks has introduced a suite of products that will allow network administrators to manage their networks from a World Wide Web browser.

Called NetDirector@Web the suite of products allows for real-time management of the network and proactive network trend identification planning and analysis without having to use a dedicated console. While the products currently support UB Networks' GeoLAN/ 500 100 and Token Ring stackable hub products the company will broaden support for other vendors' products in the future.

"There are a number of vendors using Web technology for network management but this is one of the broadest sets of capabilities by any vendor " said Ron Morita vice president of network applications at UB Networks. "For managing network infrastructure and GeoLAN hubs this allows administrators to perform all these tasks from a Web browser."

The company expects the products to sell well in the government. "The federal government is a more mature user of the Internet than the commercial market so we expect to see federal government customers with a more immediate strategy to implement NetDirector@Web than commercial entities " said Chris Brennan president and vice president of sales at UB Networks.

Most of UB Networks' federal customers are high-end users who operate large complex networks but who do not have the resources to manage them Brennan added. NetDirector@Web manages remote offices.

The company's government sales strategy for the product parallels its commercial strategy. "We've tried to focus in the government where UB Networks commercial strength has been " including the education health care and financial fields said Bobbie Browning director of federal operations for UB Networks.

"Health care is a strong market for us overall and we're looking across government whether it's VA or the Army."

The company's federal users include the departments of Education and Agriculture the Securities and Exchange Commission the Navy and the Army all of which are "excellent candidates" for NetDirector@Web Browning said.

NetDirector@Web will be added to the National Institutes of Health's Electronic Computer Store through BTG Inc. and to NASA's Scientific and Engineering Workstation Procurement through Unisys Corp. The product will also be sold through resellers including I-NET Inc. which was recently acquired by Wang Government Micro Resources Inc. BTG Inc. Pulsar Data Systems Inc. and Criticom a recently signed partner.

Browning said she sees Criticom "bringing to the table their focus on the Navy and videoconferencing."While it does not appear that the federal government has been aggressively using Web-based network management it is still a "stronger prospect" for the technology than commercial organizations "because federal agencies are more likely to use the Internet at various levels " said Tom Nolle president of CIMI Corp. "If properly used Web-based network management can reduce management and help-desk costs so federal agencies may be interested in this."

The key with any Web-based management product Nolle added is its "ability to provide a customer view appropriate to the customers doing the viewing. The proof is in the detail of the execution."

Products in the NetDirector@Web suite include EMPower Critical Node Monitor Embedded Application which monitors routers and servers attached to GeoLAN hubs Empower Java Real-Time Management Applets which provides real-time management of the Geo-LAN/500 switching hubs NetDirector Home Page an integrated directory for the network that hyperlinks all the EMPower Java Management applets to simplify network navigation and an Automated Network Monitoring System.

The company also offers technical support through its home page at www.ub.com.NetDirector@Web will support any browser that supports Java.

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