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In brief: Judge says 3Com can back Huawei

Jul 14, 20035 mins

Plus: Flaw found in Cisco CatOS; Wi_Fi Alliance OKs first batch of 802.11g products; Oracle says more takeovers could happen; Sprint shows off disaster SAN with Hitachi and Cisco; Sun unveiled as another SCO licensee.

A judge ruled last week that 3Com can participate in a lawsuit filed by Cisco against Huawei Technologies. 3Com can assist Huawei in future court proceedings, the judge said. Cisco is suing Huawei for copyright and patent infringements. 3Com’s stake comes from the joint venture it formed with Huawei in March, through which 3Com will resell Huawei-based enterprise network gear.

In January, Cisco sued Huawei, a China maker of WAN routers and LAN switches, for patent and copyright infringement. Cisco alleges that Huawei hijacked its IOS software and copied text from Cisco training manuals. A Texas court last month issued an injunction against Huawei to stop using Cisco software and training materials, but Huawei said it had already removed any offending lines of code or text. Cisco said it did not object to 3Com’s participation.

A flaw in Cisco’s CatOS, which runs on Cisco Catalyst switches, could freeze TCP-based management services on the switch. A fix is available from Cisco’s Web site. The vulnerability could let an attacker disable some management interfaces to a Catalyst switch. The flaw cannot be exploited to affect basic packet switching, according to the BugTraq security alert mailing list. Upon receiving eight non-standard TCP flags (a series of send/receive messages involved in a standard TCP handshake), a Catalyst switch running CatOS will stop responding to TCP requests. This will disable TCP services on the box until it is rebooted. Catalyst 4000, 5000 and 6000 switches are affected by the CatOS flaw. Cisco and BugTraq say that only Catalyst chassis running CatOS, and not IOS software, are affected.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, following successful interoperability testing, has approved the first batch of products based on the new 802.11g wireless Internet standard. This is the fourth Wi-Fi product certification developed by the alliance since it began its interoperability-testing program in March 2000, the Alliance says. Nearly 800 products received Wi-Fi certification. The new 802.11g standard lays out the ground rules for wireless LAN gear capable of 24M to 54M bit/sec, while remaining backward-compatible with existing 802.11b gear that runs at a maximum 11M bit/sec. Both use radio spectrum in the 2.4-GHz radio band. Another standard, 802.11a, defines 54M bit/sec gear in the 5-GHz range.

Oracle executives last week repeated that more takeovers could follow the company’s bid for PeopleSoft. “We’d be interested in buying almost anything,” Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison said at a meeting with financial analysts at his company’s Redwood Shores, Calif., headquarters. That is if the price is right, and “almost anything” has its exclusions, Ellison said. Oracle won’t buy Ariba or CommerceOne, vendors of online marketplaces. Also, Oracle looked at buying Legato Systems, but didn’t because it felt it couldn’t win from Veritas in storage management software, he said. EMC last week announced a deal to buy Legato in a stock transaction valued at $1.3 billion.

On the database side, Oracle is interested in technologies that will help users reduce cost and fit with its strategy of getting more information into a database, while on the applications side Oracle wants to move further into verticals such as healthcare and retail, executives said.

Sprint along with Hitachi Data Systems and Cisco last week demonstrated a storage-area network that replicates data for disaster-recovery purposes over distances greater than previously possible. The network, which uses the recently adopted Fibre Channel over IP standard, connects two SANs located 1,800 miles apart in Overland Park, Kan., and Burlingame, Calif. Sprint says that previously FCIP could span only 45 miles. FCIP, which encapsulates Fibre Channel data in IP packets for transport, allows for a greater number of less-expensive connections than the dense wavelength division multiplexing lines traditionally used for long-haul communications. Sprint’s pilot network connected Hitachi Freedom Storage Lighting 9900 V Series systems using private Sprint circuits and Cisco MDS 9000 Fibre Channel switches.

Microsoft and Sun finally have something in common: Both have signed Unix licensing agreements with The SCO Group in the last year. The licensing agreements, which cover source code and patents contained in SCO’s Unix operating system, will net SCO a total of $13.25 million in 2003, according to documents filed by SCO with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

Sun’s license is one of several it has signed with various owners of Unix System V source code, of which SCO is the latest, says John Loiacono, vice president of Sun’s Operating Platforms group. Microsoft announced a similar deal with SCO in May – a move that some industry observers interpreted as supporting SCO’s ongoing breach of contract lawsuit with IBM. Sun’s agreement can be seen in a similar light, according Harry Fenik, the president of industry consulting firm The Sageza Group.