Avaya steps up its play for data center gear via former Nortel enterprise unit

Avaya rolled out new data center switches and network management tools in the second installment of gear since it acquired Nortel's enterprise networking unit.

Avaya on Tuesday rolled out new data center switches and network management tools in the second installment of gear since it acquired Nortel's enterprise networking unit.

The privately held company, best known for its unified communication systems, acquired Nortel's enterprise networking unit in 2009 in a deal valued at $475 million. With those assets, Avaya created an umbrella strategy in November dubbed the Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture, which aims to simplify networks and deploy cloud based services.

Bill Seifert, CTO at Avaya Data Solutions, said the company has the second largest number of ports installed via the Nortel acquisition. For now, the plan is to develop products to serve its new installed base. "It's not a household fact that Avaya is in data centers," said Seifert. "We're getting people used to the old Nortel enterprise business being under the Avaya umbrella."

Indeed, if Avaya can keep existing customers of the Nortel brand it has a good shot of adding new accounts. Nortel customers have weathered a lot---restructurings, bankruptcy, turnover to name a few---and Avaya brings a new level of stability.

The trick for Avaya, however, is developing the data center product line.

To that end, Avaya is launching:

  • The Avaya Virtual Services Platform (VSP) 7000, a stackable 10GbE switch for data centers. The switch connects to data center servers with tight integration to VMware's vCenter cloud operating system. Avaya said the VSP 7000 can expand from 10 gigabit to 40 to 100 without replacing the chassis.
  • A Virtual Provisioning Service (VPS) that aims to manage, troubleshoot and provision virtual machines in the network. With the service, Avaya is looking to streamline provisioning.
  • And professional services designed to deploy Avaya's architecture and tools.

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