Autumn's here. And so is this digest of networking stories:

The ascent of MAN
Metropolitan Area Networks, or MANs, have seemed slower to take off in Europe than in the US and Asia, at least outside major areas such as the City of London. Redstone says it has added one more to the list of successes though, increasing its number of Cambridge customers to more than 150.

Cambridge's MAN is a 27-kilometre multi-gigabit SDSL fibre network, offering hosted services such as online data storage and backup, IP video, audio and Web conferencing, and remote desktop management, with secure IP CCTV on the way. Redstone reckons its success is down to the network's resilience, the services offered and pay-per-usage pricing.

Modelling for change management
Investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein has picked up an IT service modelling package from Tideway to do worldwide inventory and change management and track the state of its IT infrastructure. Tideway Foundation 4.6 does discovery and mapping, plus graphical charting, navigation and reporting, to model how IT systems relate to each other and to the business.

"This project will help to remove a significant proportion of the costs associated with manually maintaining multiple configuration management systems, and will simultaneously identify dependencies, thereby reducing management time spent in approving IT changes and identifying the impact of events," says JP Rangaswami, the bank's CIO.

Star WANs
Can't get business-class broadband at your remoter offices? Equant could have the answer: a satellite-based WAN, using MPLS - plus Intelsat hardware up there and iDirect hardware down here - to do fully managed IP VPNs for corporate networking.

It's not going to be cheap but you can get coverage just about anywhere. Satellite links can provide up to 34Mbit/s point-to-point, or 512Kbit/s point-to-multipoint, with onward connectivity provided by Equant's own backbone and its parent France Telecom.