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In brief: Enterasys snaps up Tenor’s routing smarts

Apr 21, 20034 mins

Plus: Cisco shows off Wi-Fi IP phone; FTC seeks to block porn spam; Microsoft shows antitrust compliance; AT&T launches hi-availability service; EMC acquires Astrum; Invensys to sell off pieces.

Enterasys Networks last week said it is buying the intellectual property of failed Multi-protocol Label Switching start-up Tenor Networks, a move aimed at developing the routing expertise at the Cabletron spin-off. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, also brings Tenor cofounder Leon Woo to Enterasys as executive vice president of engineering. He will manage worldwide research and development. Tenor’s MPLS and IP routing technologies will be integrated into Enterasys’ line of enterprise routers, which compete with products from Cisco, Nortel and Allied Telesyn.

Cisco last week displayed a Wi-Fi IP phone at its channel partners conference that the company says will ship in June. The Cisco 7920 is an 802.11b IP phone that will work with Cisco’s CallManager IP PBX, letting users have phone access and all IP PBX features while roaming in a Cisco-based Wi-Fi network. Slightly larger than a cell phone, the device will have about a two-hour battery life, Cisco said. The company also is talking with mobile phone vendors for integrating cell phone technology into the device. Pricing for the 7920 has not been set.

For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission has asked a judge to block a spam operation that allegedly uses deceptive subject lines to drive customers to an adult Web site. A spokeswoman for the agency promised more such lawsuits against spammers. According to court documents, the spam operation generated 46,000 complaints to the FTC in the past nine months. The FTC asked the court to halt unsolicited e-mail coming from an operation owned by Brian Westby, a resident of suburban St. Louis. He has registered more than 20 adult-themed Web domains. The agency accuses Westby of running a spamming operation that sends e-mail with subject lines such as “Did you hear the news” and “New movie info,” but contains sexually explicit material. An FTC press release said children and workers at companies with antipornography policies might have been inadvertently exposed to the contents of those e-mails. Westby could not be reached for comment.

Microsoft has begun to take steps to prevent antitrust settlement violations, including employee training programs, as part of the agreement it reached with the U.S. government in November. Microsoft detailed the measures in a joint status report it filed last week with plaintiffs in the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The company also took pains to outline information-sharing agreements between the parties that protect its proprietary information from leaking to the public.

The status report is presumably the first of many to be filed in the wake of the landmark antitrust case, in which the software maker was found to be a monopoly. As part of the settlement deal, Microsoft now has to put a series of protections in place, including unbundling its middleware, sharing some source code and taking an even-handed approach with PC makers.

AT&T this week launched an umbrella service for large-enterprise customers that promises predictability and reliability for local and long-haul connectivity. The interexchange carrier’s High Performance Access Service offers users an end-to-end 99.999% network availability and reliability guarantee. The guarantee is for the carrier’s largest customers with dedicated connectivity between OC-3, 155M bit/sec, and OC-192, 10G bit/sec. Initially, AT&T is targeting its largest business customers that have very high-bandwidth requirements, such as those in the financial services industry. HiPAS is available in AT&T’s 67 local service markets nationwide, but the carrier says it will offer the performance guarantee for local connectivity over other service providers’ networks.

EMC last week augmented its storage resource management software portfolio by buying privately held Astrum Software for an undisclosed sum. With the acquisition, EMC could provide midtier customers, which typically buy Clariion arrays, with a more comprehensive view of their storage resources and simplify the implementation and management of networked storage, says Barry Ader, director of open software marketing at EMC. EMC will inherit Astrum’s SRM products for multiplatform, midtier storage environments and 30 employees. Customers will start seeing Astrum’s SRM products in EMC storage-area network products soon, Ader says.

Long-suffering Invensys last week unveiled plans to offload more than half its remaining business units, including its Baan software division. The conglomerate, which provides software and systems for controls and automation equipment, says it’s shedding the holdings in its core energy-management division to reduce debt. As a result, Baan – which offers ERP, CRM, supply-chain management, and production life cycle management products – will change hands for the second time in three years.