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Ariel offers NT-based gear

The struggling remote access player redirects its hardware efforts, noting the explosive growth in shipments of PC servers based on Windows NT.

There is growing evidence of a lucrative niche market for dial-up remote access services based on Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows NT server operating system.

Companies such as Ariel (ADSP) have noted the astronomical growth in shipments of PC servers based on Windows NT and redirected their remote access hardware efforts. The move follows the recent release of NT-based capabilities for 3Com's popular Total Control remote access hardware system.

At next week's ComNet trade show in Washington, the struggling remote access player will introduce a networking card that fits into a PC server system slot that supports up to 24 ports of 56-kbps, ISDN (integrated services digital network), or analog modem connections.

Shipments of server systems in 1997 based on Windows NT surpassed those of both Novell NetWare and all flavors of Unix combined, according to market researcher International Data Corporation.

"This is where we see the world going--it's going NT," said Steve Curtin, marketing manager for Ariel.

Ariel executives highlighted an easy installation process for the company's Rascal RS 2000 card, which costs less than $300 per port, as well as the built-in remote access services (RAS) found within the NT operating system. They said the card is targeted at mid-sized businesses.

The company has added only an administration software tool to the NT remote access functions, which include multi-protocol routing and client support for RADIUS, a protocol that facilitates secure connections, among other remote access features.

The executives also left open the possibility that agreements with third-party server companies such as Dell Computer could be in the offing.

The Rascal RS 2000 will ship this quarter with an introductory price of $6,995.