First, Cabletron will incorporate the I2O specification in its SecureFast software architecture found in its switches. The protocol provides a standard communications interface between subsystems within servers, for example, and networking equipment, allowing performance data to be gathered about both network elements.
Support for the I2O specification will allow Cabletron to implement policy-based network management within SecureFast, a hot topic since rival 3Com unveiled its TranscendWare strategy earlier this year.
Second, Cabletron will be among the partners to back a new solutions-oriented set of network options from Northern Telecom called Power Networks. Northern Telecom will act as an integrator for customers, providing a variety of third party-products from the likes of Cabletron and Fore Systems and selling them as a total network solution to corporate customers.
The switching hardware maker will add support for an expensive, high-speed fiber optic transmission technology called Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) at the show. SONET links are popular in Europe, but have not gained widespread acceptance in this country.
However, because the pipe moves a variety of data an speeds of up to roughly 52 mbps, it has become a hot commodity for telecommunications carriers as an offering for specialized markets that need to transfer large files and multimedia data over wide area networks, like the health care sector.
The new Fast Ethernet modules allow Cabletron's switches to be connected directly to SONET links. Customers can accomplish this by purchasing a $2,900 module and sliding it into existing SmartSwitch hardware. The modules will be available in 60 days.
The company will also announce support for IP multicast technology within its SecureFast switching software architecture. The technology, which allows a single video stream to be segmented into multiple links to desktops at network end points, will be included as a standard feature with all Cabletron switches. Support for the technology will enable easier deployment of multimedia applications across Cabletron-based networks.