I got a lot of great feedback on my recent proposal to create an International Association of Networking Service Providers (ARN, August 31, page 27). Several folks requested an elaboration on the problems I'd briefly mentioned. Others wondered why I didn't feel the ITU or other organisations were up to the job. Finally, folks wondered why the invisible hand of the free market wouldn't serve to sort out everything in the long run.
An IDC report from December 2004 contains some interesting figures for NetWare, the former king of the server room. From an installed base of 2,336,000 units this year, IDC anticipates a drop to 1,408,000 by 2008 -- with a similar story for new license shipments. Extrapolation and statistics have never been my forte, but suffice to say, if IDC is spot-on, then around 2019, things will start to get pretty asymptotic for this once mighty leviathan. It may by then be forgotten that there was a time when the world of the server was almost exclusively red, had teeth and spoke in a languid Midwestern drawl.
Managing a data network in 2005 is much simpler than in 1995 or even 1985. The tools are more intelligent, and the information available is more accurate and complete. But network managers have let this sophistication cloud over a fundamental trait of corporate networking in 2005 - application fluidity.
Today we'll continue our retrospective on the past five years in the world of convergence, this time looking at what has evolved in the core network. When we started this newsletter five years ago, we defined one of the faces of convergence as "network convergence" - defining it as the integration of data and voice networks' transport and signaling infrastructures in a carrier's core network.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling, in the case of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association vs. Brand X, that we believe will affirm how Internet services will be provided and who will be required (or not required) to provide them.
Not satisfied with being the pre-eminent network hardware vendor on the planet, Cisco leaps to the top of the stack with its new Application-Oriented Networking strategy. If the network giant succeeds, competitors might view AON to mean "All Over Now" as Cisco's lock on most corporate networks could turn into a stranglehold.
Despite the recently announced US$21 million sale of its assets to Moseley Associates, Proxim intends to introduce an appliance this week that brings its product line in sync with centralized wireless LAN management architectures.
Novell's recent quarterly financial announcements brought a good news-bad news mix for NetWare that's almost becoming the permanent snapshot for the company. Once again, for what seems like the 100th quarter in a row, NetWare was Novell's top-selling product. And once again, for what seems like at least the 20th quarter in a row, NetWare sales were down year over year.
Juniper is supporting both IPSec and SSL in its NetScreen security gateways, making it possible to use the more appropriate VPN technology depending on circumstances.
With its Self-Defending Network strategy, focus on adaptive threat defense and Network Admission Control initiative, Cisco has become the largest network security provider and trusted network player in the industry. What Cisco is doing is putting automated protections into the network to defend against the harmful effects of viruses, worms and exploits. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer should personally thank John Chambers for the investment he is making in network security to fix what is mostly a Microsoft-inflicted industry problem.
One year has passed since Juniper closed the books on its acquisition of VPN and intrusion-prevention vendor NetScreen Technologies, but the company has yet to parlay its year-old enterprise security presence into a broader corporate business.
One of the highest priorities for the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) is to enable IT managers to manage a heterogeneous storage environment from a single, consolidated management point. This will mean that buyers of IT equipment can make hardware purchasing decisions based on features, functionality, serviceability and so forth, but without having to worry about the long-term issue of managing disparate resources from different vendors.
If I had to choose a single reason why anyone should go to SNW (Storage Networking World), it would be: because you can see stuff actually working, which is also an opportunity to take an early peek at new, upcoming products.
As Gigabit and 10G Ethernet networks take hold in companies that need more speed, the copper physical layer of cabling has evolved to easily handle future applications. One of the most recent improvements to infrastructure is Category 7 cabling (sometimes called Class F).
Until two years ago, Intel looked unassailable.
Last week, another big acquisition: Verizon announced it would acquire MCI for US$6.7 billion in cash and stock. As we noted when SBC announced its intent to acquire AT&T, some will cry out for the poor customers, suggesting competition is going to die. And as we said before, we don't buy the unwarranted crocodile tears. Today, we'd like to talk a little bit about why we maintain our position that competition is alive and well.
Cisco's intent to acquire wireless LAN switch start-up Airespace for $US450 million in stock, announced last week, reminds me that the IT and networking businesses more closely resemble the political arena every day.
With many technologies, we've had to wait through many "years of" - as in "this is the year of VoIP" - before vendors finally delivered on their promises. That hasn't been the case with wireless LANs. The level of vendor innovation has been nothing short of astonishing, with vendors finding solutions for range, throughput, interference - you name it. With all that, wireless LANs have become a magnet for all kinds of uses. But beware: As with any system, you can just pile on applications without understanding the impact.
Most of the enterprise-class wireless LAN access point makers say they can triangulate the location of a wireless VoIP call to within a few meters of an AP. This bodes well for E-911 over WLANs.
The drive for higher throughput in wireless LANs has pushed the IEEE to develop 802.11n, a new version of the 802.11 standard that promises throughput in excess of 100M bit/sec in 20-MHz to 40-MHz of bandwidth. This standard would permit very-high-speed interconnection of wireless devices over distances of 300 feet or more.
The VDI market is forecast to reach US$25 million by 2025. This represents a huge opportunity for channel partners to help their customers deliver service-driven solutions.. Read more