Nortel Networks is girding for future network battles by boosting its router and switch lines and more tightly integrating products from its Bay Networks acquisition.
Over the next six to 12 months, Nortel will fortify its Accelar Layer 3 and Centillion ATM switches, as well as Backbone Node and AccessNode routers, to address four customer requirements: application optimization; operational efficiency; reliability and uptime; and bandwidth control.
At the same time, Nortel will roll out software that provides consistent quality-of-service (QoS), policy and management services across Nortel's Meridian and Passport switches, as well as LAN switches and routers from Bay.
The vendor is trying to firmly establish its products and services as more powerful alternatives to equipment from rivals Cisco and Lucent. The goal is to provide users with LAN-to-WAN QoS, policy services and management capabilities.
For improving application performance, Nortel will enhance application queuing, traffic shaping and policing on its Accelar and Centillion switches. The enhancements will let customers prioritize network traffic and match traffic requirements to network service levels.
Nortel also will add voice to its Access Remote Node routers, as well as adding support for emerging policy and QoS standards such as the Common Open Policy Service (COPS) protocol and Differentiated Services (Diff-Serv). COPS provides a common way for policy servers to communicate with devices that apply traffic priority. Diff-Serv marks IP packets with type-of-service information to map application transmission requirements to network services.