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Bay to update management tools

The firm plans to make the next version of its Optivity network management suite more Web-friendly and more application-centric.

Bay Networks soon will lay out a strategy to tie its network and systems administration story to several prevalent management software themes in the industry.

Bay executives said the firm will roll out its plans next week to make the next version of its Optivity network management suite--dubbed 9.0--more Web-friendly, more application-centric, and more policy-based, so that overseeing the infrastructure of a network is easier for administrators.

Optivity 9.0 is due in the fourth quarter of this year, with components of the forthcoming upgrade scheduled to roll out starting this summer, according to Clive Forman, vice president and general manager of network management at Bay. A service provider-focused version will roll out in the first quarter of next year.

As part of Bay's strategy, the company will announce an alliance with VitalSigns Software next week, a company that makes software that measures the performance of Web access from a user's perspective. Bay hopes to take advantage of some service-level management technology VitalSigns provides. The result will be an application called Optivity SLM which, combined with an Optivity Configuration application, will ship this summer.

The company also will provide a Java-based front end for the Optivity suite, allowing applications to be viewed via a browser, as well as support for both Unix-based systems and Microsoft's Windows NT, Foreman said.

And Bay also will focus on greater support for third-party equipment, such as routing devices from Cisco Systems.

Bay intends to simplify the operations between components of Optivity, using a focus on applications, service levels, and central data stores, such as a directory, to make an administrator's job easier, Foreman said.

The network management thrust represents the last strategic portion of a road map laid out by chief executive David House at last year's Networld+Interop trade show to revive the company.