Ascend tackles remote access

Ascend debuts NetClarity, software that links routers to remote access gear.

Ascend Communications (ASND) will next week tackle the remote access side of network management and provide a bridge to administration of backbone networking gear.

The company plans to debut NetClarity, a software package for managing networking infrastructure gear like the company's enterprise MAX TNT remote access boxes, as well as switches and routers from Cisco Systems, Digital Equipment, Bay Networks, and 3Com.

The tool allows network managers to group sets of networking gear by location, so that the equipment at a specific Internet service provider point-of-presence can be represented on one console, for instance. The software can also implement hardware configurations for groups of routers, switches, or modems in a remote access server.

The toolset also can be accessed via the Web, with performance and capacity reports available to administrators for trend analysis in HTML.

The NetClarity series of products will debut in July. The standalone product costs $4,995 for Hewlett-Packard's OpenView running on Sun Microsystems' Solaris 2.5; $2,995 for Solaris 2.5 only; and $995 for a standalone version for Microsoft Windows NT. Agents that reside on specific Ascend hardware products cost $25 to $4,995, depending on the model.