Tool Scours Network for Y2K Compliance

Cabletron Systems has teamed with Opticom Inc., a developer of network reporting systems, to market a tool that state and local agencies can use to easily determine whether their networks are ready for the century date change.

The tool, Y2KView, is the latest module of Manchester, N.H.-based Opticom's executive information system for networks. The module plugs into Cabletron's Spectrum network management platform to check every device on a network against a public domain database of Year 2000-compliant products and then churns out a detailed report of suggested fixes.

"We discover devices they didn't know they own...[and software revisions] that were overlooked by consultants and never compliant to begin with," said Larry Benson, vice president of sales and marketing for Opticom.

The system also aims to make highly technical network information accessible to upper management. "It will bring added executive reporting capabilities" so that high-level IT personnel can have information about service-level agreements, network usage and even billing capabilities, said Frank Monastero, regional director for Cabletron government sales.

Y2KView relies on Cabletron's Spectrum network management platform to collect and store information on all the Simple Network Management Protocol devices on the network. Y2KView reads the network database, cross-checks it against information it has stored on compliant and noncompliant products and organizes the information in easy-to-understand, executive-style reports.

Boston officials who recently used Y2KView found that 30 percent of the devices on their network were not compliant. "I found some things that I thought were Y2K-compliant that actually were not," said Jerry Turner, network manager for the city. "If they had gone down, 25 sites would have gone down. That really opened my eyes."

Turner, who runs a network for more than 6,000 users, said Y2KView provided him with a tidy list of compliant and non-compliant pieces of the network. "For me to explain to city executives all of what I need is tough," he said. "When I give them a hard copy, they are more impressed and feel more confident."

After testing city hall's network, Turner plans to run the application for Boston's fire and police department networks.

Cabletron and Opticom said they will pursue the state and local market aggressively.

"There's hundreds of state and local governments that have not considered their LANs and WANs in terms of Year 2000," Opticom's Benson said.

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