Nortel enhances VPNs

Nortel Networks Corp. disclosed Tuesday its plan to unveil the latest upgrades to its secure networking portfolio next week, complete with enhancements to its virtual private networking (VPN) line and its remote access offerings.

At the N+I show in Las Vegas, the network equipment manufacturer demonstrated its Contivity VPN 5000 platform, which the company said will up data throughput to 400Mbps. Nortel also noted that the platform comes with routing, firewall, bandwidth management and quality of service (QoS) features and can also be clustered behind its Alteon load-balancing platform to distribute VPN demand across different devices.

The Brampton, Ont.-based company also announced Contivity 4.8, new software that will enable administrators to set access restrictions. Contivity 4.8 consists of a login and a password, which require that a client system be configured according to the administrator and also requires the system to be running critical security software such as antivirus. The software will also perform random checks on clients to ensure they are in compliance with administrator rules.

In addition to the access software, Contivity will feature Remote Access Manager software to provide traveling employees with the best dial-up access. The software keeps a record of local access numbers from different service providers and maintains rate and price lists for access. Contivity pricing will be available upon release next week, the company said.

Also expected next week are the Nortel BayStack Layer 2 switches. The BayStack 470-24T 10/100 switch comes with 24 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports, along with two gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and can stack up to eight devices. In addition, Nortel gave a sneak preview of its BayStack Operating System Switching Software, designed for the 470-24T, which offers a single software image across a set of products to determine characteristics and adapt to particular requirements of that device. Both the BayStack 47-24T and Operating System Switching Software will be available at the end of May.

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