Nortel Networks Corp. is beefing up its Succession product line with new services. The Brampton, Ont.-based network equipment maker in February launched a voice over IP (VoIP) VPN service, designed to help carriers manage networks for enterprise clients. Nortel also unveiled Succession Centrex IP to bring convergence to Centrex telephone systems, and a Succession Personal Communications manager for sophisticated call routing. As well, Succession Multimedia and Collaboration service lets business colleagues collaborate by voice, video and data, and Succession Internet Voice provides voice over broadband connections for ambitious ISPs. For more information, see Nortel’s Web site at

Blade server industry association takes shape

Blade servers burst onto the scene last year as an alternative for building high-performance computing clusters. And indeed, life science managers saw new blade products from a number of vendors, including Dell Computer Corp., IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., and RLX Technologies Inc. But as is the case with any emerging market, vendors need to grapple with some issues, such as I/O and interconnection standards. A relatively new industry group called the Server Blade Trade Association ( plans to deal with these matters. In March, the group will hold its Server Blade Summit, which will include sessions on server blade cluster management.

Tell-tale signs

Tellabs Inc. is offering customers a way to add optical and data interfaces to its 5500 cross-connect platform. In the second quarter, the company will ship the 5500 NGX, a shelf that brings optical and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces plus add-drop multiplexer functionality to the older 5500 platform. The 5500 NGX shelf enables providers to add features without adding separate network elements and separate management platforms. This can save space, power and staff resources, the firm says. Tellabs describes the new shelf as the marriage of the 5500 and its 6400 transport switch that has the capacity to support up to 28 OC-12 or up to seven OC-48 interfaces per shelf.