Optivity ties together CTI and network management

Optivity 9.0, the latest release of Nortel Networks’s infrastructure management software, will bring together the LAN/WAN and telephony worlds and provide the basis for Nortel’s policy-based networking roll-out.

Slated for a June release, Optivity 9.0 will be simpler to use than previous versions of the product, promised Eric Harber, enterprise solutions product line marketing manager.

“At a high level, what we’ve tried to do is revamp and make more simple what had gone on in the past,” he said.

Part of that simplification involves enhancing Optivity’s capabilities in NT and Java. Harber said customers had liked Optivity’s functionality in Unix environments and had wanted more of that functionality to be included in the NT version.

With Optivity 9.0, the look and feel of the product will be the same in Unix, Java and NT.

“You don’t lose any functionality if you move to a browser, for example,” Harber said.

Another simplification is the consolidation of several Optivity applications into two core components — InfoCenter and OmniView.

InfoCenter, which has the functionality of three previous Optivity applications, allows network managers to launch applications and customize network views.

OmniView gathers network statistics including CPU, buffer and memory utilization.

Also new in Optivity 9.0 is, unlike previous releases, it no longer has to run in conjunction with an enterprise management platform such as Hewlett Packard Co.’s OpenView.

“We’ll leverage them if they’re there, but if they’re not there we want to provide the basics for the client,” said David J. Easter, senior product manager for Optivity NMS.

This feature appealed to Brian Teepell, a senior network engineer at Rights Exchange in Buffalo, N.Y.

“The only reason we’re using Sun Domain Manager is to run Optivity,” he said.

Beginning with Optivity 9.0, Nortel will also begin supporting new devices from the day they’re released, rather than forcing users to wait for a new version of Optivity that incorporates the new products. New Nortel devices will now ship with a file that can integrate with Optivity without any recompilation of the base software code.

Policy-based management and LAN/WAN/telephony integration features will be added to Optivity 9.0 later this year.

The LAN/WAN/telephony integration will see Nortel bring the administration tools for its Passport ATM switches and Meridian voice switches into Optivity. Over time, the company plans to integrate the various pieces more and more tightly together.

Nortel is also unveiling a pair of new Optivity tools.

The Optivity VPN Manager allows users to bulk configure Nortel Contivity extranet switches.

“Configuring these switches one at a time is laborious, so if you’ve got five, six, 10 to configure, it’s not a lot of fun,” Harber said.

For traffic management, Nortel is releasing the Web PocketProbe which supports the Switched Monitoring Management Information Base.

“Within minutes of installing one of these guys, you can get Java-based reports,” Harber said.

Optivity 9.0 (www.nortelnetworks.com/solutions/enterprise/data/e2e_mgmt.html) will list at US$9,995. VPN Manager is available now and costs US$4,995. The Web PocketProbe is also available now and lists from US$1,495 to US$1,995.

Nortel Networks in Brampton, Ont., can be reached at 1-800-466-7835.