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Cabletron plans package with Sun-Netscape software

In a move to boost sales of its networking products, Cabletron is bundling Sun-Netscape Alliance's software with three new Spectrum network management tools.

In a move to boost sales of its networking products, Cabletron is bundling Sun-Netscape Alliance's software with three new network management tools its Spectrum division plans to ship by early next year.

As reported earlier, Cabletron had licensed the Sun-Netscape directory server, a tool that serves as a central database for network, computer systems, and an individual user's information.

The new pact boosts Cabletron's new strategy of expanding its networking products to support technology from other software and hardware makers, with the greater goal of selling more network management tools to telephone companies and ISPs.

Cabletron's competitors, like Cisco Systems and 3Com, have similar network management strategies, said Infonetics Research analyst Mike McConnell.

The Spectrum division will use the directory software for three new products that will address quality of service issues and security concerns for telecommunications carriers, Internet service providers (ISPs), and large corporations.

The first product Spectrum plans to offer is a software technology that allows a network manager to give certain applications priority on a network. For example, a user could allow for more network space, or bandwidth, for human resource applications, over less-important applications, like email.

Spectrum's second offering addresses network security, allowing users to set parameters for network access. The final piece of the new software package allows service providers to specifically configure how data will flow through a network, said Patrick Kelly, Spectrum's product management director.

The first versions of the products--called Spectrum Policy Aware--will support Cabletron's routers and switches. Future releases will support networking equipment from competing vendors, such as Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, and Lucent Technologies, Kelly said.

The software will be bundled with the Alliance's Directory Server, but can run with any directory server that supports a standard called Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), he said.

The Spectrum division plans to demonstrate its new technology at the Network+Interop conference in Atlanta in September.