Nortel to unveil Web access, VPN wares

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. -- Nortel Networks this week will announce two new offerings that let users quickly access Web sites and implement secure virtual private networks (VPN).

At NetWorld+Interop '99 Atlanta, Nortel will roll out the BayStack 910 Web Cache Appliance, which is designed to help small and midsize businesses make more efficient use of WAN bandwidth by caching frequently accessed Web addresses.

Nortel's Web Cache Appli-ance is a hardware device that combines a browser application with a built-in hard drive. It sits between a router and a hub or switch and stores Web addresses in cache memory, cutting the time a browser takes to search for Web pages and handle multiple requests.

The Web Cache Appliance will also check to make sure nothing has changed on a Web page prior to pulling it out of its memory. If the appliance detects something different, it will pull the new Web page.

Because this product has been developed specifically for the small and midsize business market, Nortel's Web Cache Appliance can be installed simply by plugging it in, the company claims. The unit self-configures and requires no reconfiguration of the router, hub or switch to which it is connected, Nortel says.

"The box was installed in under five minutes," says beta user Charles Vaughn, senior vice president at Telecommunications KLRN-TV in San Antonio, Texas. "Internet access was disrupted for the time it took to patch the box in to and out of the T-1 circuit and boot up the device."

Other beta users are impressed with the BayStack 910's ability to boost the performance of circuits running at less than T-1 rates.

"It probably tripled our Internet response time," says Belinda Kromer, IT coordinator at the San Antonio Academy. "We are using an ISDN line; we don't have a T-1 yet, so [the BayStack 910] was almost a necessity for us."

The BayStack 910 will compete against Cisco's Web Cache Engine 505 and caching products from Cobalt Networks and CacheFlow. It costs $3,695 and is available now.

For VPNs, Nortel will unveil new hardware and software for its Contivity Extranet Switch that support hardware-assisted encryption, VeriSign's public-key infrastructure (PKI) digital certificates and increased WAN connectivity.

Nortel has a new Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) for the Contivity switch that enables the device to achieve encryption speeds beyond 200M bit/sec and route forwarding speeds between 250,000 and 300,000 packet/sec.

Nortel will also unveil two WAN cards that provide T-1 DSU/CSU and single port E-1 V.35 connectivity to IP networks without the need for a router.

Version 2.6 of the Contivity software adds VeriSign's PKI digital certificate technology for user authentication. Contivity already supports Entrust certificates.

Version 2.6 will be available as an upgrade for Contivity customers, either through a maintenance contract or as a purchase.

The new hardware-encryption ASIC comes factory in-stalled for new customers for $2,400 or as a field upgrade to existing customers for $2,800. Pricing for the WAN cards was not disclosed. All products will ship in the fourth quarter.

This story, "Nortel to unveil Web access, VPN wares" was originally published by Network World.

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