Hoping to quell the litany of unfavorable news that has hit the firm, Cabletron Systems (CS)
is using one of its strengths--network management software--to show evidence of progress.
The company released a new version of Spectrum, a suite of management tools
for administration of systems, networks, and applications. The launch is
the first step in what should be
a busy period for
Cabletron as it attempts to right the ship under the guidance of cofounder
The thrust of the 5.0 version of Spectrum combines service-level management
with an increased focus on ease of use. Applications that govern service
levels essentially correlate data from a number of sources to provide a
manager with a view into how network-based services are running on a network.
The company has been criticized in the past for the manner in which the
application suite provides information to users. That has changed with the
update, according to Cabletron executives.
Cabletron's own enhancements have been combined with a number of
third party applications, including new integration with clearVISN device
management software from the Digital Network Products Group unit of
Cabletron, formerly part of Digital
Other portions of Cabletron's push into a service-level style approach to
management will come from third party companies like Intelligent Communication Software GmbH, Gecko Software,
and Concord Communications.
Application support for Spectrum 5.0 also includes BMC Software and Metrix.
News of the management software update comes amid concerns about the
company's future in the aftermath of the abrupt resignation of former CEO Don Reed.
Spectrum has long been thought of as one of Cabletron's strengths, leading some
to believe that the unit might be separated from the hardware side of the
firm. A Cabletron spokeswoman sought to end that speculation on Friday,
noting the product focus of today's announcement.
The firm also announced a series of applications designed to manage
networks with a variety of types of switches. The first of these, Spectrum
ATM Services Manager, will include features such
as bandwidth allocation, a process service providers may find attractive.
The initial product is due in late May, when Spectrum 5.0 will ship.
Applications targeting virtual LANs (local area networks) and remote
access equipment are due in the third quarter and by the end of the year,
Spectrum's alarm and configuration manager applications have been
enhanced to make the tools easier to use. Also, a new Java-based modeling
system will be added to the suite.