Bay Networks has thrown down the gauntlet to Cisco by announcing that's. it will license its routing code. The move is a bid to make it, and not Cisco's Internetwork Operating System (IOS), the pre-eminent core code within network products.
The networking company announced that it has acquired routing code vendor Phase2 Networks and formed a new open routing division (ORD).
Created by the meshing of Phase2 routing code with Bay's proprietary BayRS routing code, ORD will sell the combined code to anyone who wants it, including its competitors.
Peter Crowcombe, of analyst firm Spikes Cavell, said the licensing made the proprietary code more open, as well as demonstrating Bay was already flexing its muscles after being acquired by Nortel.
Crowcombe said the move would allow the functionality of a switch or router to be integrated into a server, reducing the amount of kit to be supported. "Why have a switch, bridge, server and router if you can collapse that into one box? It's a powerful story for the Wintel organisation," Crowcombe said.
Les Dodd, IP services product manager at Bay, said the company had developed routing APIs for Windows NT in a joint development with Microsoft. He added that few companies had routing software expertise, so the licensing would fuel innovation. "This (licensing) will broaden availability and reduce time to market," said Dodd.
Phase2 charges between $30,000 and $200,000 per module for the licences, and Bay said pricing would remain in the same range. The company has not announced a date when the combined code will be available for licensing.
Although Cisco has made IOS available for licensing, few companies have adopted it because it is a monolithic set of code, according to Bay.
IOS: ALL GLUED UP
Cisco touts IOS as the glue that provides value-added capabilities across its switch and router product lines. Planned features, such as its Tag Switching technology for high speed, guarantee that forwarding across Wans will be included in the code set. Bay plans to license BayRS to start-ups and other third parties, allowing them to pick and choose among modules. The code sets are designed to enhance open standards for routing, optimising performance and bundling in features such as multicast and prioritisation.
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