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1/29/2007
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3Com Launches Open Platform For Service Providers

Early partners include VMware, Converged Access, Vericept, and Q1 Labs.

Network equipment provider 3Com unveiled an open network strategy on Monday that lets third party and open source applications and services operate seamlessly inside a network infrastructure.

Dubbed its Open Services Networking, 3Com said the initiative enables managed service providers and systems integrators to create specific services for their enterprise customers according to their needs.

For instance, applications can be installed through software downloads with the result that service providers can centrally provision and manage service levels. One unique feature of the OSN offering is a "try and buy" service that enables users to sample new applications before buying them.

"A significant focus of our technology strategy revolves around leveraging best-of-breed technology and open source applications to differentiate our networking solutions through innovation," said Edgar Masri, 3Com's president and CEO, in a statement.

The OSN architecture operates with existing 3Com routers and switches coupled with Open Services Networking Modules that run standard Linux-based applications. Initial OSN products will be integrated with the 3Com Router 6000 line while future implementations will embed OSN Modules into additional 3Com routers and stackable and modular switches.

3Com said several partners have tested and approved the OSN strategy. They include Converged Access, which offers data and voice optimization; Vericept, visibility and control for compliance requirements; VMware, virtualization; and Q1 Labs, flow-based anomaly assessment.

Coinciding with the launch of the OSN platform, 3Com unveiled a partner program aimed at assisting third-party firms to join the OSN effort. The 3Com Open Network program is targeting at helping 3Com and its OSN partners to create new networking services. 3Com VP Anna Dorcey is head of 3Com's Technology Partner Programs.

For instance, OSN partner Vericept is using its content monitoring and control service to gain visibility over compliance violations before they occur. "Through integration with OSN," said Dave Parkinson, Vericept's president and CEO, "users have seamless access to the data and content network flow, which enables effective and complete mitigation of insider risks."

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