News briefs April 23, 2013

  Fortinet Inc. is expanding its secure wireless LAN solution with the addition of new switches and access points aimed at distributed enterprises like retail chains.

On Tuesday the company released two new wired devices – the FortiSwitch-28C remote desktop Ethernet switch and the 48-port FortiSwitch-348B Ethernet switch – and two new access points – the FortiAP-14C and 28-C – all of which can be controlled remotely by a FortiGate universal threat management appliance.

The announcement follows the release of products from other vendors that integrate wired and wireless management control.

“The FortiGate shows which ports are being used, you can apply different policies and VLANs”  in the new switches from a data centre, said John Maddison, Fortinet’s vice-president of marketing. Similarly policies can be applied remotely to the new access points, he said.

The new APs are among the smallest Forinet has made, he said. The 14C can be taken on the road, he added.

The 14C has a single MIMO antenna with an integrated five port 10/100 siwthc. The 28C has two antennas with a 10-port Gigabit switch.

The FortiSwitch 28C is a 10-port Gigabit device. Eight ports are for access, two for uplinks to a FortiGate UTM. The FS 328B has a 96 Gbps switch fabric, 48 access ports and four SPF uplink ports.
 (The new FortiSwitch 348B, centre, the FortiSwitch 28C top and the new access points in front)

The ForitSwitch-28C costs $395, while the FortiSwtich 348B costgs $2,495. The FortiAP 14C costs $95, while the ForitAP 28C costs $95.


Avaya to upgrade VENA 
Avaya Inc. is about to upgrade its VENA virtual network fabric to that extends its configuration and management capabilities from the data centre to remote offices.

The new capability is called Fabric Connect, a software upgrade to VENA to be released in May that will initially allow the company’s ERS 8800 Ethernet routing switch to extend services from the data centre to the edge. Later in May the capability will be enabled in Avaya’s VSP 9000 virtual services platform chassis-based switch.

However, the company says the big news will be the release May 20 of the VSP 4000, a fabric-enabled multi-service Ethernet routing switch that supports IP multicasting functions such as video surveillance cameras.

Fabric Connect, which leverages Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) will allow distributed organizations to provision Layer 2/3 services from the data centre to the edge of the network, said Amir Hameed, Avaya’s vice-president of technical sales for the Americas.

Other companies use overlay technologies to deliver multicast, Hameed said, but Avaya’s use of SPB means the network can be more reliable and scalable.

The ERS 4000 is a stackable Gigabit/10 GB switch series that scales up to 384 Gbps of virtual backplane throughput by cabling together up to eight units.

Avaya said it could appeal to enterprises that want to extend their VENA fabric to reach remote offices, to secure traffic separation for different departments or for IP video surveillance networks.

Socialcast Updated
VMware Inc. has updated its Socialcast social networking platform to include integrated project management and secure instant messaging.

The project management capability is called Projects and is a single place for the day-to-day flow of work, the company said. It allows teams to track project deliverables, action items and due dates without spreadsheets, emails or status meetings.

Messenger is a free mobile application companion to Socialcast Private Message that allows users to have ad-hoc conversations with individuals or teams, as well as share files and photos from the road, along with location information. Messenger is synchronized with Socialcast so all work-related communications are in one place.

There’s also an improved interface for community administrators so communities can be customized. Management of security, employee access, integration with other business systems, auditing and reporting are all centralized.

Socialcast is an on-premise or cloud solution.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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