Nortel Unveils Unified Network Management Strategy

Nortel Networks ( recently announced a three-phase plan to deliver unified management solutions to enterprise customers. Three new products are part of that plan: Optivity NMS 9.0, Optivity VPN Manager 1.0 and WEB PocketProbe 6.1.

The strategy will help enterprises manage voice and data networks as a unified system. The plan includes the enforcement of top-to-bottom application and network service level management.

Nortel Networks' unified management plan for enterprises consists of three phases: unified network management, unified policy management and unified service management.

The phases will be tightly integrated to provide enterprises with simplified management of application service levels and network services for the WAN, campus and telephony network.

"It is encouraging to see the focus shifting from element management to managing services. Our research has determined that network managers are demanding management tools with service management capabilities," says John McConnell, president of McConnell Associates, a market analysis firm.

Optivity NMS 9.0 provides the foundation for unified network management with functionality that includes discovery, visualization through layer 1-3 topology, real-time monitoring and fault management. NMS 9.0 offers a new task-oriented workflow that reduces a user's initial learning curve while aiming to quicken problem resolution. NMS 9.0 uses a system approach to network management by visualizing and monitoring groups of devices and their relationships instead of device-by-device management.

Optivity VPN Manager (OVM) 1.0 is a new application designed to simplify and address virtual private network (VPN ) management challenges. Once installed, OVM is an integrated part of Optivity Network Configuration System (NCS) 2.0. Customers using NCS with OVM 1.0 will have a Java-based configuration and a network management tool for bulk configuration of VPN services. OVM leverages NCS' Web-based client/server architecture and GUI, delivering a system-level approach to efficiently implement and maintain multiple connectivity-based VPN services.

The WEB PocketProbe 6.1 provides customers with Web-based service level management through RMON/RMON2 and SMON capabilities for fault detection, prevention and network performance monitoring. SLM from the bottom up focuses on the network performance and the aggregate application performance from network infrastructure device to network infrastructure device. The new PocketProbe software adds switch visibility and enhanced RMON2 capabilities that provide network health at a glance. Customers can use either the embedded Web server for browser access to LAN segments or through Optivity’s centralized server applications to view aggregate networkwide traffic statistics.

Clive Foreman, Nortel’s general manager of network and IP services management, says the industry is moving toward converged networks.

"We are delivering management solutions in response to customer needs for unified management for the enterprise," Foreman says.

McConnell says companies planning for converged networks should consider service level management. "Service management is ground zero for converged networks, and customers have to get it right the first time."

Nortel Networks expects to deliver phase two and three of unified policy management and unified service management later this year.

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