Cabletron to target the wide area

Cabletron to target the wide area

Cabletron will unveil hardware and software this week at NetWorld+Interop to jump-start its drive into the fast-growing WAN market.

The company will play off the two products it has been touting most highly this year by announcing WAN interfaces for its SmartSwitch router and demonstrating a policy-based router control application for its Spectrum network management platform.

Most associated with enterprise LAN equipment, Cabletron has been left behind by competitors such as Cisco, 3Com, and Nortel's Bay unit as they introduce routing switches for intelligent WAN connections.

But the underdog will come out snarling at this week's Networld+Interop show in the US, touting Spectrum as a robust, scalable platform for differentiated network services and its SmartSwitch router as a powerful engine for providing those services.

Sources familiar with the company's plans said Cabletron officials will announce a series of WAN modules for its SmartSwitch router line, a set of routing switches with a throughput as fast as 32Gbps.

Also at the show, Cabletron will demonstrate a module for Spectrum that will extend the platform's policy-based configuration capabilities to the SmartSwitch router and other routers. Company officials said Spectrum will not require an access control list on every router on the network, but will use a central policy management application to distribute the lists across the network as needed.

The company is expected to continue pushing Spectrum as a management platform for service providers. However, analysts warned that the company could face an uphill battle.

"Just because you have the interfaces, by no means does that guarantee that you're going to create any groundswell behind your service provider offering," said John Morency, principal analyst at Renaissance Worldwide.

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