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Ascend helps handle ISPs

The network hardware provider rolls out tools that help ISPs better manage communications networks.

Network hardware provider Ascend Communications next week will roll out tools designed to let Internet service providers get a grip on management of vast communications networks.

The tools, to be delivered in a package called NavisXtend, works with the company's Frame Relay, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), IP (Internet Protocol), and SMDS (Switched Multi-megabit Data Service) network hardware, which are targeted at ISPs providing networking services.

The NavisXtend tools allow ISPs to better handle customer accounting, usage information for end users, network faults, order entry, network disaster recovery, and the gathering and reporting of system statistics.

Ascend says the goal of the tools is to give ISPs a clearer picture of what's happening on their networks, 24 hours a day. ISPs then can improve their profitability by lowering overall management costs, according to the company.

NavisXtend is packaged as a series of individual applications. The Statistics Server and Customer Network Management Server are priced at $7,500 each. Fault Server and Accounting Server cost $10,000 each, while Provisioning Server costs $15,000. All are available now. Report Generator and Standby Server packages are $15,000 each, and will ship in the fourth quarter.

All of the applications can be accessed by network administrators via Web browsers.