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LATIN for SNMP-based Management of Legacy Systems is Announced

Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2, 1996 - SNMP Research today introduced LATIN (Legacy Adapter to Internet) a new family of products supporting "instant SNMP" for legacy devices. LATIN dramatically decreases the effort and cost of adding SNMP-based manageability to a wide variety of previously unmanageable devices and systems with RS-232 interfaces, including printers, telephone switches, multiplexes, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), and environmental equipment, among many others.

"Virtually all users of large enterprise networks have selected SNMP as the management framework," says Tim Wilson of Decisys. "But, the picture of their network is limited because some devices don't have the intelligence to support an SNMP agent. A product that provides `instant SNMP,' like LATIN, gives the user an opportunity to fill in the blanks and get a broader picture of its network events and problems."

Others agree. "Most of today's networks include a mix of both SNMP and non-standard equipment and systems," noted Dr. Jeffrey Case, president of SNMP Research. "While many customers would like to include all of the IT infrastructure under an SNMP management paradigm, the effort involved in creating and implementing Management Information Bases (MIBs) for all legacy systems is sometimes prohibitive. LATIN offers a cost-effective alternative to maintaining separate management structures, or to allowing these devices to operate unmanaged."

According to Dr. Case, many organizations connect printers to legacy RS-232 ports in an attempt to capture error messages for debugging purposes. Needless to say, this method is not at all proactive, and integration with the SNMP management framework is non-existent -- making automation impossible.

LATIN supports a much more proactive approach, allowing customers to manage legacy equipment easily from any SNMP-based management station. LATIN is an IP-based product set that connects directly to RS-232 ports, obviating the need for legacy systems to direct error messages to other printers or terminals.

LATIN is available in both hardware/software or software-only packages. SNMP Research is offering a management application as well as agents -- including software-only agents and embedded hardware implementations.

Specifically, the LATIN family includes three products:

  • "Mrs. Wright" -- a management application featuring a graphical-user interface (GUI) allowing network administrators to easily configure all LATIN and LATIN subagent interfaces on a network. Mrs. Wright can either operate stand alone, or integrate with popular SNMP management stations available today. Mrs. Wright establishes control of the LATIN class of products through the use of scripts and easy-to-use commands.

  • LT301 -- hardware with an embedded SNMP agent, TCP/IP stack, and interfacing software that attaches to a device's RS-232 serial port and to the network. The software timestamps and categorizes legacy messages, handling them according to instructions given by "Mrs. Wright," the LATIN management application.

  • LISA, or LATIN Interface Subagents -- software-only EMANATE runtime extensible SNMP subagents containing LATIN adapters for interfacing legacy system RS-232 ports to the SNMP framework.

Because LATIN Subagents are entirely software-based, customers can avoid installing additional hardware to support legacy management. LISA is initially available for Windows 3.11, Windows NT, HP-UX, Solaris, and SunOS. Support for additional operating systems is under development.

The low cost LT301 hardware is ideal for customers who don't have a spare PC or Unix workstation located near the legacy device. In addition, because it is easy to configure, the LT301 is able to provide SNMP management capabilities as soon as this modem-size product is properly connected to the legacy device and the network.

Whether customers choose the LT301 or LISA, the software-only LATIN subagents, configuration and deployment is straightforward and painless using the Mrs. Wright management application. For example, customers can easily configure Mrs. Wright to launch a set of scripts when a user-specified trap is received; or operators may push a button when the trap is displayed on the screen.

When compared to other legacy and event-stream management systems on the market today, LATIN is simple to implement and highly affordable. While complex legacy management systems often start at $50,000 or more before adding a manager station application, a sample LATIN configuration managing nine legacy devices including the management application, two LT301s, and five LATIN Subagents lists for only $8,710.00.

LATIN is currently in beta test. General availability of all LATIN products is expected by third-quarter 1996.

SNMP Research International produces a complete family of management products based on SNMPv1, SNMPv2c, SNMPv2*, and other protocols for agents, management stations, and mid-level managers. These products form the basis of many of today's SNMP products offered by leading networking companies. The founder of SNMP Research, Dr. Jeff Case, has long been a contributor in the area of SNMP and has authored or coauthored many standards documents and articles on the topic. As a result of his efforts, SNMP Research is in a leadership position with respect to defining the standards and constructing implementations based on SNMP, the standard protocol for TCP/IP management.

For further information, contact SNMP Research International, Inc.

3001 Kimberlin Heights Road
Knoxville, Tennessee, 37920
Telephone: +1 865 579-3311
Fax: +1 865 579-6565
Email: info@snmp.com

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