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Radlan works behind the scenes

Feb 06, 20032 mins

* How Radlan fits into switch hardware you buy

The industry has been talking about the commoditization of LAN hardware for quite some time, and Radlan is one of several companies that have been trying to take advantage of that trend. I recently spoke with its president, Yoram Valent.

Radlan’s focus is on switching and routing software that would be embedded in network devices. The company partners with silicon makers to offer switch vendors what amounts to the “guts” of a switch.

You wouldn’t buy a switch from Radlan, but you could very well buy a switch from a company that has Radlan’s products inside. At this point, Valent says the only major vendor that publicly acknowledges the Radlan component is Alcatel. Radlan continues to talk to other major vendors as well for possible deals.

Valent notes that cutbacks at major vendors help a company like his. With smaller development staffs, such vendors might be more inclined to outsource the development of critical components.

Valent says quality-of-service controls are requested often by the switch makers. Development is also ongoing in the areas of power over Ethernet, load balancing, VPNs, storage area networks, among other areas.

I also asked about 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and Valent says the software side of the switches can handle the extra speed. Any issues are hardware-related, and the silicon companies are ramping up their activities there. In the meantime, most of Radlan’s focus is on Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet.