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November 9, 1994

BAY NETWORKS EXPLAINS HOW THE WELLFLEET AND SYNOPTICS PRODUCT LINES WILL BECOME ONE

By CBR Staff Writer

A rather more high-key series of announcements followed Bay Networks Inc’s launch of Integrated Services Digital Network interfaces last week. The company has revealed its Bay Networks Switched Internet-working Services, BaySIS, which is designed to draw together the products inherited from Wellfleet Communications Inc and SynOptics Communications Inc into a unified framework scaling from the desktop to remote site access. According to the company, three areas are to be addressed with the architecture: transport services, policy services, and operations services. The transport services are to concentrate on routing, switching, wide area networking and shared media communications. Bay Networks says it intends to integrate routing and switching in the local area network backbone, while it also plans to develop Token Ring switching, and Advanced Peer-to-Peer Networking and High Performance Routing for SNA integration. Multcast Bay Networks has also committed itself to supporting the next-generation of Internet Protocol, IPng, as well as Internet Protocol multicast and resource reservation. Novell Inc’s NLSP and Microsoft Corp’s DHCP protocols are also to be supported by the company. The policy services represent Bay Networks’ network management strategy, in terms of the way the company says it will support network administration: through this, Bay Networks says it will define a user’s community of interest, access restrictions, and class of service. New features that the company will add are said to include support for virtual networks across multiple heterogeneous hardware systems, network-wide traffic management and remote office configuration for router-based networks. The operations services are designed to implement the policy services through network-wide monitoring and control across systems: to achieve this, the company says it will enhance the integration of shared media hub, router and switch management. To this end, Bay Networks says it has plans to extend its Media Access Control analysis and design capabilities to the network layer, enabling network controllers to maximise network performance at the subnetwork level, across the wide area network. Troubleshooting capabilities are to be extended for hub and router systems to include switch and remote office equipment, says the company, while accounting capabilities to include wide area network bandwidth use are also to be developed. Bay Networks says its strategy will be achieved through embedded software intelligence in its network devices, controlled by unified management applications supporting requirements from device and segment monitoring through to enterprise views. By Matthew Woollacott Bay Networks has also committed itself to supporting virtual networking capabilities across multiple systems next year: they are due to be added on the 28000 in the first quarter, and the System 5000 in the third quarter next year. Through these capabilities, the company says it will enable support for logically-defined communities of interest in order to ensure performance optimisation, security administration, and the simplification of network changes. Additionally, support for network layer virtual networking – enabling virtual networks to be defined by protocol and subnetwork address – will also be added, although no timescale was given. Another enhancement to be added to the System 5000 is an Asynchronous Transfer Mode Switching fabric for local area network switching: in this way, Bay Networks is trying to reposition the product as a modular local area network backbone switch, also providing direct server and router attachments. Fast Ethernet and Token Ring support will also be added, although no timescale was given for these enhancements. Complementing these additions, an Asynchronous Transfer Mode interface is also to be added to the Backbone Node family of routers, in order to provide virtual network routing between virtual local area networks. It will, says the company, operate at speeds up to 155Mbps full duplex, and will be fully standards compliant. Alongside

the broader strategy statement, the new company announced the first of the integrated Wellfleet-SynOptics products: the Access Node router-hub is an integration of Wellfleet’s Access Node, with the hub technology from SynOptics. Designed to connect remote workgroups to an enterprise internetwork via leased line, circuit switched or packet switched services, the product provides 12 10Base-T ports, and either two synchronous or one synchronous and one ISDN Basic Rate Interface ports. It is Simple Network Management Protocol-compliant, and through support for RFC 1516 (the IETF’s Definitions of Managed Objects for Ethernet Repeater Devices) is said to enable a central management station to remotely monitor the operational status and statistics for each hub port. Access Node Routing, bridging and wide-area support is consistent with that on the Access Node, while Data Link Switching for Ethernet, Token Ring and SDLC is also supported, as is its Transparent Synchronous Pass-Through. The company has also incorporated the Integrated Services Digital Network Basic Rate Interface announced last week for the Access Node. The Access Node router-hub is shipping now for $3,345. The product is manageable via Optivity/RM, a suite of management applications that combines SynOptics’ Optivity management system, its RouterMan system for managing routers – which was enhanced with support for Wellfleet routers in April – and SynOptics PathMan and Site Manager modules. According to Bay Networks, the system, which forms the basis of the company’s network management strategy, is said to work stand-alone on Sparcstations, RS/6000, and HP 9000 Unix workstations, or using third-party Simple Network Management Protocol-compliant network management systems such as OpenView, NetView/6000 for AIX, and SunNet Manager. It is shipping now costing $6,000 per workstation.

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