Spectrum adds tools for Cisco devices

Spectrum adds tools for Cisco devices

Four months after spinning off from Cabletron Systems, Spectrum last week announced several new management modules for network hardware from Cisco Systems.

Spectrum tools have long been used in multivendor environments, and the New Hampshire-based company claims to manage hardware from 140 vendors.

Spectrum's strength as a network hardware management tool has been its `scalability, cohesive intelligence and automation across management functions', said Dennis Drogseth, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, a consultancy in Colorado.

What's really new, Drogseth said, `is the level of visibility' the announcement has been given. That visibility is a positive signal to users, he added. `One issue Spectrum had [under Cabletron] was that working with other hardware vendors - Cabletron's competitors - required a greater level of communication, and Cabletron wasn't willing to do it.'

The new modules for Cisco's Access Server, Catalyst 1200, 1400 and 2900 series and the Cisco 3810 are additions to a list of existing Cisco hardware modules. That includes the Catalyst 5000, 5500 and Lightstream 1010 series. Existing modules will also be up- graded to include greater device management capabilities, including greater fault tolerance.

Texas Instruments runs a mixed Cabletron and Cisco network connecting 24 servers worldwide. Some functions are managed locally, while others are handled from a central server in TI's Dallas headquarters. The company uses Spectrum with tools from BMC Software in Houston to manage its network and is considering adding Cisco 2900 routers and additional Access servers. The new Cisco support will be welcome, said Jim Pye, a TI systems analyst.

During the past two years, Spectrum tools have made significant advances in managing a multivendor environment, Pye said. But now he's looking for detailed Web-browser accessible graphical and textual reports, troubleshooting and alarm management.

A new version of Spectrum's Web browser-accessible Alarm Manager for greater reporting and fault management is due in two weeks. Spectrum is also working on expanded capabilities for network hardware from 3Com.

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