Bay Networks this week will throw its hat in the policy-based networking ring, joining other top vendors that have outlined architectures for application-based network prioritisation.
Cabletron Systems last week also took steps to help enterprises apply policies to their networks, with the help of a device it will resell from Nokia. The combination firewall and router will run popular security software from Check Point Software Technologies.
Bay will roll out its Optivity Policy Services policy-based system in three phases, starting early in 1999 with software that will let administrators prioritise a few business-critical applications.
The software will leverage technology from Bay acquisition Netsation that lets managers configure devices from Cisco Systems and other third parties. Optivity Policy Services will run on a central console and distribute configuration information through policy servers located throughout a network.
In addition to application-based prioritisation, enterprises will also be able to set priority for groups or individual users. In mid-1999, Bay will enhance the system to work with Resource Reservation Protocol, or RSVP, requests for quality of service. Bay officials said that with the introduction of Microsoft Windows NT 5.0 (which will include RSVP support), many applications will be designed to ask for high priority. Bay's server will control which applications get the service they request.
A later phase of Bay's plan will allow for dynamic rerouting of high-priority traffic around bottlenecks.
Network edge device
Cabletron's deal with Nokia will give it a high-speed network edge device for routing and securing traffic. The core of the Nokia IP440's security capabilities is Check Point's Firewall-1 software, which lets administrators set access policies and distribute them to multiple network devices.
Nokia's hardware is based on technology developed by Ipsilon, which was acquired by Nokia in 1997. The Nokia IP440 provides wire-speed routing and firewall processing at speeds as fast as 100Mbps.