Tragedy overshadows launches at conference

The Networld+Interop show in Atlanta has been dominated by the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September.

The Networld+Interop show in Atlanta has been dominated by the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September.

Many major vendors have pulled out, including AT&T, Intel, Novell and most of the Microsoft team. Some products were unveiled but without launch celebrations.

Telecom giants AT&T and WorldCom each revealed IP Virtual Private Networks products. Both companies said the new services allowed enterprises to better prioritise traffic over VPNs.

WorldCom's Private IP Premium Policy service was designed to make traffic flow more predictable by allowing network managers to label applications such as video or voice transmissions as "first class", while relegating e-mail and Web surfing as lower priorities.

AT&T also unveiled new service classes for its private IP VPNs. Like WorldCom's offering, AT&T's service is touted as a way to let network managers tag VOIP (voice over IP) and other applications to higher traffic-priority classes.

Both companies based their services on MPLS (Multi-protocol Label Switching) technology, while WorldCom also said that its CoS (class of service) capability relies on an IETF standard called DiffServ IP.

AT&T announced that it would bundle in its recently debuted Managed Router Service for IPFR (IP-enabled Frame Relay).

Communications company Sprint had planned to use the conference to showcase its new DWS (Direct Wave Services), a method of transmitting data over different wavelengths of light within the same fibre.

Based on DWDM (Dense Wave Division Multiplexing) technology, DWS is said to support bandwidth-intense applications such as mainframe connections, while giving enterprises options to lease or install their own dark fibre.

Among other low-key product launches, AT&T unveiled a Managed Services Portal for its managed hosting customers. It gives them access to performance reports with integrated service level agreement data, collaboration tools, and electronic customer service tools, including trouble tickets and electronic billing. Pricing was not immediately available.

Spirent introduced an enhanced version of it SmartxDSL test suite at the show. The diagnostic tool measures key network and network device performance metrics such as throughput, latency, packet loss and session establishment tests. Priced from $3,995 (£2,724), the suite will be available worldwide.

Network Appliance released new versions of its DataFabric Manager data storage management tool, NetCache content delivery software and ContentDirector content distribution management system. Pricing was not immediately available.

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