Telecom wares unveiled at ComNet

The ComNet Conference and Expo, Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 in Washington, D.C., showcased a host of new technologies to help manage, optimize and secure telecommunications networks.

Many vendors' focus was on products that help network operators keep an eye on their hardware and service levels. Although most of these technologies will make their way to the federal market through subcontracts with large network integrators, some vendors announced new business with government agencies.

Hewlett-Packard Co. said the Defense Message System will use the company's OpenView Network Node Manager to get a better view of the DMS network's components and increase its ability to pinpoint problems and outages.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has licensed and deployed 350 copies of HP OpenView to most of the 600 locations that run DMS, which is used by all four military branches for messaging at the top-secret level and below. DMS will replace the Defense Department's Automatic Digital Network by 2003.

HP OpenView, which is installed on network operators' workstations to monitor network devices, is the first OpenView product introduced on the DMS network infrastructure, said Bob Kraekel, a representative of enterprise software solutions in HP's federal business unit.

Agencies have given a warm reception to Fluke Networks' monitoring and analysis tool for enterprise environments. The OptiView Integrated Network Analyzer is Fluke's "first true protocol analyzer" and includes numerous features that were designed with the government in mind, said Peter Wittenberg, strategic account manager for the Everett, Wash.-based company.

Features include its portability and coverage of everything from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet in one box. It also has a Windows 98 color interface and a touch display, Wittenberg said.

The company plans to modify the tool based on input from some government users.

OptiView, which began shipping in October, is already being used by the Air Force, and Fluke is currently negotiating with other federal agencies, he said.

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