Bay upgrades network management product

Bay Networks Inc. tomorrow will launch the latest version of its enterprise network management system which includes technology designed to ease the deployment of advanced networks.

Optivity Network Management System 8.0 is a Unix-based product made for large-scale networks. Among the product's new features is NETarchitect an automated configuration management tool for deploying Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) networks. Craig Easley Bay's product-line manager for Optivity said the complexity of configuring ATM networks has hindered their wider acceptance.

"The risk and cost associated with deployment have caused [organizations] to be turned off of the prospect of implementing [ATM] " Easley said. NETarchitect he said allows managers to automate the process of configuring and modifying networks reducing the cost and the risk factors.

The Army which uses Bay's Centillion 5000 ATM switches was among Bay's beta testers for Optivity NMS 8.0. The Army Communications-Electronics Command's test center in Fort Huachuca Ariz. has evaluated the product. In addition Bay demonstrated its network management product for the Internal Revenue Service which has deployed Centillion ATM switches.

Bay is offering a free upgrade to Optivity NMS 8.0 for Optivity NMS 7.2 users with software support contracts. The product also can be purchased through Bay's General Services Administration schedule. Optivity NMS 8.0 has commercial pricing of $11 990. For $17 995 Bay also offers Optivity Enterprise 8.0 which includes analysis and planning tools for Remote Network Monitoring in addition to Optivity Enterprise 8.0 and NETarchitect.

Optivity NMS 8.0 marks the repackaging of Bay's high-end network management line. The product consolidates Optivity LAN and Optivity Internetworks which were formally stand-alone products. The new version also provides additional support for Bay's remote-access server line.

But Elisabeth Rainge senior analyst with International Data Corp. sees NETarchitect as "one of the more interesting aspects of the product." She said the tool provides more depth to a manager's view of a network.

A New View

"Network management is the lens through which people see the IT infrastructure " Rainge said. "What NETarchitect is doing is setting up a framework to see in another way the value of the equipment. Network management people really need to show how to make the IT investment pay off. With management tools they can typically begin to show the ways in which they can leverage the equipment."

NETarchitect is built around an object-oriented database ObjectStore from Object Design Inc. The database provides a "simple object-oriented view of what is underneath a very complex networking structure " Easley said. This allows users to more easily configure or modify networks he added.

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