Network Solutions Briefs: WLAN, Netgear, Nortel, Agilent, VA Linux

WLAN to weather storm

Despite a raft of network manufacturers announcing lower than expected quarterly revenues, research by Cahners In-Stat Group, suggests the wireless LAN market is showing healthy growth.

The analyst claims that lower prices coupled with new technology producing faster speeds is driving the growth, with revenues slated to reach almost US$4.6 billion by 2005.

Key to its uptake will be the IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g standards as well as the entrance of low-cost, high-volume vendors such as D-Link and Linksys that In-Stat claims will drive prices down quickly throughout this year.

The biggest hurdle for wireless networks, according to the researchers, is its ability to measure up to standard enterprise networks' hardware and software capabilities.

Netgear announces wireless Ethernet productsNetgear recently announced a new family of 802.11b wireless Ethernet products, including the ME102 wireless access point, the MA401 network adapter for notebooks and the MA301 adapter for desktops. The products are aimed at letting users install 11M bit/sec wireless LAN technology in small to midsize offices at a low price. The laptop and PC adapters cost US$180 and $61, respectively, and the access point costs $355. All are available now.

Nortel, Agilent collaborate

Nortel Networks and Agilent Technologies have agreed to jointly develop and market an optical management system.

The offering will be designed to let service providers quickly determine when logical alarms are the result of physical fiber problems, and where those problems are located. It will combine the functions of Nortel's Preside network management and Agilent's access Fiber products.

The integrated offering will be available at the end of the year. Pricing was not disclosed.

VA Linux launches NAS

VA Linux Systems has begun shipping its latest network-attached storage (NAS) appliance, aimed at customers bogged down by increasingly large amounts of data.

The 9450 NAS, a low-cost storage unit that can facilitate file sharing between Linux, UNIX, Microsoft Windows and Macintosh operating systems, is the second in a series of such products to come from VA Linux. The latest offering stores up to 6.6TB of data.

Starting at less than $US30,000, the 9450 NAS already supports a range of protocols, from Appletalk to HTTP, so customers don't have to pay additional license fees to accommodate those protocols. The machine also comes with free software upgrades and customer support, VA Linux said.