Nortel Taps Symantec for Application-Layer Security

Nortel Networks is teaming with Symantec to add intrusion prevention to its Application Switch family.

May 22, 2006

2 Min Read
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Nortel Networks is teaming with Symantec to add intrusion prevention to its Application Switch family.

Nortel’s latest move to bulk up its enterprise networking portfolio comes a week after President and CEO Mike Zafirovski outlined his long-term strategy to regain the company’s financial strength after struggling with the aftermath of an accounting scandal and years’ worth of financial restatements.

Zafirovski, who joined Nortel six months ago, detailed his strategy as Nortel disclosed that it expects a wider loss for its first quarter.

“We’re not putting Nortel on some sort of fad diet. We’re going to make this company leaner, faster and give it more endurance,” Zafirovski said during a conference call last week. “We know this is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Among Zafirovski’s plans is a commitment to focus on corporate governance, cut some R&D spending and target at least 20 percent market share and a No. 1 or No. 2 position in all of its key technology areas over the next three years.One area Nortel plans to pursue aggressively is the WAN optimization market, a space where its Application Switch family for traffic management and application acceleration can play, said Daniel Schrader, director of product marketing for application switches at Nortel, Brampton, Ontario.

Toward that end, Nortel is integrating Symantec’s Intelligent Network Protection subscription service with its portfolio of Layer 4-7 switches.

The integration of security features into the Application Switches mirrors the trend toward a layered security strategy that solution providers are seeing in the market, said Stuart Chandler, president and CEO of Optivor Technologies, a Nortel and Symantec partner in Jessup, Md.

“You can’t put a network up without putting security on it, and Nortel has been focused on perimeter security,” Chandler said. “This will enable customers to prevent vulnerabilities across the network. I think that’s key.”

Schrader said the integration aims to protect the “soft chewy center” of the enterprise network. The intrusion-prevention capabilities scan for vulnerabilities from the outside as well as those introduced internally by infected machines. “Application switches often sit within your safe zone, so this gives a layer of security in front of those applications,” he said.One of the biggest opportunities for partners will be to target the new feature at the current install base of 50,000 Nortel Application Switches, he said.

To utilize the Symantec service, customers will need to upgrade to the latest version of Nortel’s operating system and purchase a $12,000 license for Nortel’s Intelligent Traffic Management, a toolset for inspection and classification of application flows. Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec’s Intelligent Network Protection will be available in June via Nortel and its partners for an annual subscription fee of $5,000.

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