News Briefs

Dell Inc. this month announced a set of network management tools that it plans to offer at no extra cost to users of its PowerConnect line of switches. The OpenManage Network Manager software is designed to help IT staffers centralize the management of PowerConnect installations that include more than 10 switches. Network managers will be able to use the software to deploy firmware updates and change the configurations of multiple switches with a single operation, saving time and money compared with doing such work on individual devices, Dell claims. In addition, the new products, which join existing OpenManage tools for servers and PCs, can track networking gear made by rival vendors, diagnose network problems and schedule data backup operations.

Gear maker opens JNI bottle

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. late last month expanded its reach into storage with the announcement that it has acquired JNI Corp., a maker of Fibre Channel hardware and software for Solaris and Windows networks. AMCC, which makes network processors and switch components, will pay US$190 million for JNI. AMCC will incorporate JNI’s Fibre Channel technology into its WAN products. Observers have long rumoured that JNI was on the market. The company competes with Emulex Corp. and Qlogic Corp. in the Fibre Channel host bus adapter market and has seen many of its employees leave in the last two years. The companies expect the acquisition to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Router sales rising

Two new reports show that the market for high-end routers has renewed life – perhaps a sign that carriers are starting to reinvest in their network infrastructures. The worldwide high-end router market grew between six per cent and 10 per cent in the second quarter, according to separate data compiled by market research firms Gartner Inc. and Dell’Oro Group Inc. Gartner says the second quarter marks the first quarter of growth in this market since declines began a year ago, which followed massive capital expenditure cutting by service providers. The worldwide service provider router market – which Gartner defines as any carrier-class multigigabit system for core or edge duty – totalled US$455.4 million in the second quarter, a six per cent increase from the first quarter, according to the firm.