Tech Vendors Converge On Aptly Named Interop Show

Interop organizers said abbreviating the show's NetWorld&#043Interop name was a way to reflect increasing convergence throughout the industry.

During the show, Cisco Systems, San Jose, Calif., aims to further the momentum of its recently launched Integrated Services Router (ISR) portfolio by adding new fixed-configuration 1800 and 800 series models for small offices and integrating wireless capabilities across the entire line. The addition of wireless capabilities will create more service opportunities for channel partners, said Cisco executives.

Several vendors will tout Cisco partnerships at the show, including Altiris, Lindon, Utah, which will demonstrate the integration of its life-cycle management tools with Cisco's Application and Content Networking System, said James Strayer, director of product management at Altiris.

Also at the conference, 3Com plans to unveil a strategy to help VARs, integrators and carriers build security and VoIP management services around the company's products. Later this year the vendor will introduce versions of its TippingPoint security products and NBX VoIP products that have been modified to better support delivery of managed services, said Kip McClanahan, president of the TippingPoint division of 3Com, Marlborough, Mass.

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3Com is partnering with Motive, a vendor of automation technology, to build in more automated management and support features to speed service provisioning and help tie the products into back-end systems, he said.

D-Link Systems, Fountain Valley, Calif., and Trapeze Networks, Pleasanton, Calif., will be at Interop parading the fruits of their recent partnership. Six new wireless switches from D-Link will be on display, each with Trapeze's mobility system software built in to add policy enforcement and management at the switch level, said a D-Link spokesperson.

Similarly, AirMagnet, Sunnyvale, Calif., will display WLAN technology built from a combination of its wireless intrusion-detection/prevention technology and the wireless LAN arrays of Xirrus, Westlake Village, Calif.

Upstart SSL VPN vendors will continue their assault on the IPSec VPN space at Interop. Seattle-based Aventail plans to unveil what it calls the first SSL VPN that can replace IPSec VPNs outright. Version 8.5 uses "smart tunneling" technology to create a Layer 3 tunnel with Layer 4-7 control. Other vendors' SSL VPNs capable of creating a Layer 3 tunnel for application access don't provide Layer 4-7 control, said John Thelen, technical services manager for Delta Communications, a Waukesha, Wis., solution provider.

The device "appears to have the same capabilities of an IPSec VPN with additional security controls," said Thelen, who beta-tested the device. "This smart tunneling is a huge leap for us."

Array Networks plans to expand its VPN line with the launch of the SPX5000 appliance, which targets large enterprises and supports 64,000 concurrent users, 250 VLANs and 128 virtual sites within one box, said Richard Henderson, director of channel sales at the Campbell, Calif., vendor.

Elsewhere, Fortinet plans to introduce updates to its FortiOS security operating system that add ISCA-certified SSL VPN functionality to its FortiGate security appliances. It also is adding features for VoIP security. Both enhancements should be available in the second half.

Sam Fadala, CTO of solution provider Sacramento Technology Group, Carmichael, Calif., said VoIP security becomes challenging when companies try to communicate from one location to another and the latency becomes "pretty unforgiving. Most firewalls are incapable of handling multicasting, used to serve up audio or video streams," he said. "Fortinet has found a way not only to deal with multicasting but [also] to secure the transmission."

Meanwhile, Websense plans to debut upgraded versions of its Client Policy Manager and Web Security Suite Lockdown Edition. The employee Internet management solution will now protect company networks from mobile media, blocking malcode from being transferred from USB drives, CDs or DVDs, said Leo Cole, vice president of marketing at the San Diego vendor. It also prevents employees from downloading sensitive company information onto portable media, he said.