Xylan: channel must speed voice, data integration

Xylan: channel must speed voice, data integration


Switching specialist Xylan is striving to integrate its data products with the voice offerings of new owner Alcatel, but the channel is proving slow to follow the integration trend.

According to David Keane, Xylan's Australian managing director, there is a "huge opportunity" for resellers to offer integrated voice and data services but only a few are up to speed.

Keane singled out network integrators NetStar and Anite as two examples of companies that understand the new network convergence-based market opportunities, particularly for the SME business.

Supporting Xylan's channel stance, the company last week announced the second phase of its switched networked services strategy with four new products designed to sim-plify network management and introduce policy-based networking to its switching line.

The software products provide additional functionality to the company's Omni Switch/Router, Switch and OmniStack offerings.

Xylan's new products consist of the IP Control, Directory Services, Authentication Services and Policy Manager.

IP Control integrates Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name Servers (DNS) into the switch, using technology from Lucent's Quadritek division.

Keane denied this existing product relationship with Lucent now represents a conflict of interest, given the Alcatel buyout. "Lucent Australia is actually one of Xylan's largest channel partners," Keane explained. "In many ways, these big carriers are a bit more mature [than networking companies]," he quipped.

Xylan's Directory Services offering represents the com-pany's attempt to integrate a lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) into each switch, while Authentication Services integrates remove access dial-in user service.

The final product, Policy Manager, integrates a policy server into the switch. All products are available now.

Jeff Hayes, Xylan's security and internetworking specialist, explained the company's new security offerings are hardware-based, unlike other "software-based" security offerings.

He claims the primary advantage of hardware-based products is increased processing speed across the network.

Xylan is also developing voice over IP (VoIP) capabilities for its switches, but according to Hayes, it will not be available until late 1999.

Keane disagreed with ARN's suggestion that the delay in bringing VoIP to the market would see the company trail the existing competitive voice offerings.

"The reality is every customer is a multi-vendor environment," he said. Xylan is focused on providing sound solutions that can be integrated into an existing site as a "value add", Keane explained.

Meanwhile, Xylan is expected to announce its new channel strategy "very soon", according to Keane. He maintained that the channel remains critical to the company's success in light of the Alcatel merger.

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