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Network technologies and strategies for network resellers, integrators and ISPsBay okay with JNAby Philip SimSYDNEY - Bay Networks has given the green light to the continuation of its relationship with JNA, despite that company being recently acquired by arch-rival Lucent.

"We have reviewed the situation and we don't see JNA as being competitive to what we're doing in the marketplace today," said Bay's local managing director, Steve Rust.

"We have been partnering successfully with them in large accounts and will continue to do so," he said.

Take advantage

That approach contrasts that of Cisco, which has basically cut off its relationship with JNA (ARN July 22, p1).

"If Cisco's reaction to this opens up further opportunities for us, we will take advantage of that," Rust said.

"It is still not wholly clear how the reseller part of JNA will play out, but at the moment we are working with JNA as we always have."

That approach could take another turn, however, with the expectation that Lucent will launch its own data networking business in Australia.

New network management tool from Micrografxby Gerard NorsaSYDNEY - One of the fastest growing service markets for VARs and systems integrators is in network design, configuration and management. With a new network management tool integrating LAN discovery, custom documen-tation and extensive design functions into a single solution, enterprise graphics software publisher Micrografx is positioning its products to join the gold rush.

NetworkCharter Pro leverages Micrografx's well-recognised graphics heritage with a broad ability to manipulate databases built around network infrastructure information. The tool incorporates a library of over 10,000 networking devices and software which allows its users to build small or large, real life or proposed network models.

According to Micrografx's vice president, enterprise solutions group, Ken Carraher, in Australia to preach the product's gospel, this package will really benefit those resellers delivering and chasing service and sales opportunities in network design, supply and management.

"Resellers can use NetworkCharter Pro for quoting and prospecting. They can use it for troubleshooting and performance checking as well as just keeping track on the structure of all sorts of networks," said Carraher.

"There is also this capacity to introduce significant TCO savings in network management through integrated software solutions and efficient, intelligent discovery of network status. You can also look carefully at cost and configuration options during the design stage," Carraher added.

Linda Birchall, general manager of Micrografx's Australian and New Zealand operations, said that the product is sold through the channel with Tech Pacific handling distribution. As well as being a tool which in-house enterprise network managers will use and appreciate, she thought the channel should seize it as an opportunity to streamline and enhance their service capabilities.

Implementation

"They can use NetworkCharter Pro to improve their services to customers or to develop a network solution for them and then leave the product behind after implementation as an add-on," she said.

NetworkCharter Pro will sell for $1785 with a 12-month device database update subscription costing an extra $695. There is also an entry level version that sells for $595, but it is restricted to discovering 150 devices on any network search (the Pro version is not limited), only stores 5000 of the most common vendor devices on the library, and can't be updated.

Cisco ups the ante for SNA/IP integrationCisco Systems is to roll out a major upgrade to its TCP/IP software for IBM mainframes in an effort to outdo Big Blue at SNA/IP integration and migration.

Version 2.0 of Cisco's IOS for S/390 software, which allows users to access mainframe data and applications across TCP/IP networks, features performance, scalability and quality-of-service (QoS) enhancements over Version 1.0. Cisco also claims the software outshines IBM's OS/390 package.

Lucent and Nortel both make loss

Lucent Technologies reported last week that its net income more than doubled to $US435 million, or 32 cents per share, for the third quarter ending June 30. With one-time after tax charges of $US620 million and $US48 million related to two separate acquisitions, Lucent reported a net loss of $US233 million, or 17 cents a share, for the quarter.

Competing big spending telco Nortel also reported a net loss last week of $US69 million, or 13 cents per share, for its second financial quarter for fiscal 1998. The company's revenues for the second quarter, which ended June 30, 1998, rose 12 per cent year on year to $US4.16 billion, according to a Nortel statement.

Allied goes Gigabit

Customers will soon have yet another supplier to choose from in the crowded Layer 3 Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet switch markets: Allied Telesyn International.

Starting next month, the company plans to begin selling relabelled Extreme Networks Layer 3 Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet switches in an effort to fill out its line of Ethernet products.

Allied is also prepping homemade Gigabit Ethernet switches for the fourth quarter.

Intel rumoured to be selling off LANDeskIntel is believed to be breaking up its LANDesk server management product and farming its development out to partners.

Intel would not comment on the rumours, but it is suggested the company is breaking the product up and offering it free to its partners to develop. It is believed changes in the PC-LAN management market are behind the decision.

Softway to partner with resellers for government security certificationby Philip SimSYDNEY - Resellers can now sell security solutions that comply with the Australian government's E3 certification, by partnering with local security specialist Softway.

The E3 certification is based on the international Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria (ITSEC) which is run here by the Australian Defence Signals Directorate (DSD). To qualify as an E3 certified solution, not only must the security product be certified but the implementation of that package must also receive certification.

For the last 18 months, Softway has been working towards gaining E3 certification with its implementation of the Gauntlet firewall, now owned by Network Associates. It originally made that investment as a means of getting a jump on its reseller competitors. However, because Network Associates acquired Gauntlet's creator Trusted Information Systems (TIS) and adopted a broad channel strategy, Softway has instead decided to partner with other resellers.

"We've put out installations and configuration services onto the Network Associates price list and made them available down through the channel," said Paul Antoine, Softway's managing director.

"With Network Associates we will sell an E3 bundle of Gauntlet with our services."

By partnering with Softway, resellers can sell E3 certified solutions without having to go through the "arduous task" of getting the certification themselves, said Antoine. While Softway will make its money through the services it provides, it still leaves the partnering reseller with the margin from the hardware and other software like antivirus packages that might form part of the solution, he said.

Watchdog

E3 certification gives government departments and corporates the assurance that their investment in security will be safeguarded.

"Government agencies have a duty to provide adequate protection for any information they hold and they are advised to buy properly evaluated products to ensure that any privacy information they hold is securely protected," said Anne Robins, manager, certification and evaluation, DSD.

Novell works on Java interface

by Emily Fitzloff

SAN MATEO - Novell has developed a prototype Java-based user interface, called NetTop, that is designed to be completely location-, device-, and platform-independent. However, the technology is still at the research stage, and questions hang over whether it will evolve into a commercial product.

The vision driving the NetTop research project is to provide users - regardless of whether they are connected to a network or have access to an intranet or the Internet - with universal access to personal, shared, or published information across multiple devices, contexts, and locations, according to a document on Novell's Web site.

Testing

Novell engineers claim to have tested the NetTop interface with devices including pagers, cellular phones, laptops, PCs, network computers, and set-top boxes.

Like most of Novell's recent initiatives, NetTop would leverage the directory service in order to grant anywhere, anytime access to users.

Each NetTop user would have their own customised interface that would access directory-based personal and configuration data.

In addition, NetTop would integrate with existing applications, protocols, and desk- tops as well as with new Java applications, beans, and services, according to the technical document.

Although NetTop is still not an announced product, or even in Novell's official product plans, the company's engineers have demonstrated several of its features.

Although its primary function is to enable users to access data and e-mail, the interface also stores public and private keys; performs desktop administration functions; creates and manages users, groups, and companies; and controls who can access a user's personal information, according to the company.

The goal of Novell's project - to seamlessly integrate and grant access to a wide range of networked devices using Java - is very similar to the expressed goal of Sun Microsystems' Jini research project.

In fact, representatives at both companies said that Novell has worked closely with Sun on Jini and that NetTop is designed to be complementary to it.

If these research projects do come to fruition, it is possible that NetTop will actually become the user interface to Sun's Jini software, one Sun representative said.

The chances of NetTop being released as a commercial product are anyone's guess at this stage.

Sun's Jini: dream vs reality

by Chris Nerney

FRAMINGHAM - Don't expect to be networking "anything, anytime, anywhere" soon. Observers and industry analysts said the Jini networking technology vision laid out by Sun Microsystems sounds like a great idea in theory, but practice may be another matter. And even if Sun can ultimately deliver on its promise of "spontaneous networking", Jini is not likely to be available commercially in the next two years, and perhaps, for far longer.

"It's going to take time for people to actually apply the idea to real problems and then find out whether the technology performs well enough," said Tim Sloane, an analyst with Aberdeen Group. Sloane said he expects Jini "to have a three- to five-year gestation period, very much like Java".

Jini consists of a small piece of Java code that links the Java Virtual Machines in every device on a network. The idea is to enable Java hardware and software devices to talk to and work with other devices merely by plugging into the network, eliminating the need for "configuration, driver installation or device installation", according to Sun.

The new technology will also allow different types of networked devices to share processing power and increase computing speed, Sun said.

Drop me a line

ARN's Network Solutions section is designed to keep network resellers, integrators and ISPs informed about the latest in network technologies and strategies. Drop me a line at philip_sim@idg.com.au with any news leads you want followed up or opinions you feel are important to this sector of the channel.


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