Nortel plans major enterprise product launch

Nortel is expected to announce a datacenter application acceleration product

Nortel will soon unveil significant additions to its enterprise arsenal, including its initial entré into the WAN acceleration market.

Nortel is expected to announce a datacenter application acceleration product, as well as a mid-high-end branch router and a datacenter router, according to a report issued this week from CIBC World Markets. The CIBC report states that Nortel demonstrated or discussed these products with investors this week at a technology gathering at its Ottawa labs.

Nortel declined to comment on the CIBC report and would not confirm that it previewed these products for investors. The news comes just before next week's Interop trade show in Las Vegas, typically a launching site for important new enterprise products from big vendors.

The report states that Nortel introduced an asymmetrical application acceleration solution for the datacenter with "unspecified" compression and caching capabilities.

"WAN optimization is an area Nortel has not addressed to date and a new product in this area is aimed at capturing a share of this high growth market," the report, authored by analyst Ittai Kidron, states. "We note that Nortel doesn't have a good datacenter product offering, thus, it's unclear how much traction the product would see."

Nortel would go up against Juniper, Riverbed, Packeteer, Ipanema, Allot, Citrix, and Cisco, among others, in this market.

Nortel also showed investors a new Tasman branch router -- the Secure Router 4134 -- aimed at the mid/high-end market integrated with Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) software. Tasman Networks was a router startup that Nortel acquired late in 2005.

OCS, which is key to Microsoft's voice and unified messaging strategy, is a native Session Initiation Protocol-based platform that lets companies integrate VoIP technology into existing telephony infrastructure.

Last year, Nortel and Microsoft launched their Innovative Communications Alliance, which incorporates Microsoft's unified communications software and Nortel's Communications Server 1000 IP-PBX. The Secure Router 4134 will apparently be the latest product from that alliance but it may be lacking full OCs functionality, the CIBC report indicates.

"While the Microsoft functionality is only partial at this point, a full-blown OCS will be available from (first quarter, 2008)," the report states.

"We believe a datacenter router is next, which could help in sales as most enterprises look to purchase their datacenter and branch solutions from the same vendors," the report adds. "Nortel suggested a [third quarter 2007] availability."

This story, "Nortel plans major enterprise product launch" was originally published by Network World.