May 2009 Archives

Friendly FiRe

May 29, 2009 11:46 AM

Nova Spivack, technologist and cofounder of one the first Internet companies (EarthWeb in 1984), spoke earlier in the month at the Future in Review FiRe conference in San Jose, CA.

He made the following observation: "We're moving from a web that was like a refernce library to a web that's increasingly like radio or TV".

Right on. This reflects a move from the Internet being a bunch of pages you surf to a set of self-describing objects that you 'tune into in terms of interest areas'.

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The Consumer Effect

May 27, 2009 7:06 AM

The "consumer effect' is hitting the enterprise.

This is happening in multiple ways and goes well beyond reaching out to consumer customers through the devices and applications they use, or accepting the iPhone as an enterprise mobility tool..

For example, music players such as iPods (and features of cell phones) are becoming important employee educational and communications tools. Netbooks are becoming business tools squeezing in on laptops.

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It's not a new cell phone or music player, but a DNA barcoder reader you might be able to actually buy in 10-15 years!


Why would you want one?

Let's say you are mushroom picking, and want to know whether a particularly delicious looking specimen you have found will kill you. Or you are fishing, and catch a fish that you are unfamiliar with.

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A while back, I commented on Cisco's Nexus announcement, challenging its capacity and reliability claims.

Well Nortel has responded to Cisco with its own solution: the Virtual Services Platform 9000.

Unlike the Nexus, it supports a reliability scheme that is not restricted to 10 GigE links; Nortel's approach is based on Multi Link Trunking technology that is a key differentiator of Nortel's entire Ethernet solutions. The VSP 9000's virtualization capabilities are second to none- Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group says.

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Siemens Enterprise Networking (SEN) admits it's thinking about acquiring Nortel's Enterprise business.

No surprise, as the rumors to this effect have been rampant.

Three things make this an interesting option.

Firstly, Nortel and SEN very much have complementary installed bases, with Nortel particularly strong in North America.

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IEEE at 125

May 15, 2009 7:07 AM

The IEEE, of which yours truly is a Senior Member, is celebrating 125 years of success.

In the networking space, the development of the IEEE802.3 Ethernet standard in 1983 has certainly been a key milestone for this worldwide professional organization.

Starting at a lowly 1.25Mbit/s, Ethernet has evolved to 10 Gbit/s in its wired mode and over 100Mbit/s in its wireless incarnation.

I would highlight three attributes of Ethernet:
1) It is a truly global INTEROPERABLE standard.

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Telepresence Can Disconnect

May 13, 2009 7:30 AM

Phil Edholm has been writing an extended blog about his concept of Communications Dimensions.

In his recent posting, Phil Edholm wrote that "telepresence systems have four distinct disadvantages; the cost of the base system, the cost of bandwidth and operation, the challenges to interoperability among vendors, and eye contact."

The first three are well understood, which is why telepresence solutions have become the executive jets of the board room.

But the last point exposed for me a key current limitation of these systems- even though they use HD full size video, the lack of eye contact creates a large barrier to effective interpersonal communications. In fact, my experience has been that a sense of lack of connectedness and aloofness is created when a remote speaker is talking to you with his eyes looking somewhere else.

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Nortel just published its 1Q09 results, and, in my mind, held its own in the highly competitive enterprise market. Why do I say this given that its enterprise revenues dropped some 40%? Consider: 1. Cisco revenues went down 20% in the quarter, so that's the new benchmark in these hard economic times. 2. New customers are generally not going to go with Nortel given it's in creditor protection, though there are some noted exceptions such as the M Resort, Las Vegas' latest resort. Applying the 80/20 rule, there goes 20% right there. 3. Continue Reading...

The PUE Factor

May 8, 2009 4:53 PM

If you are in the data center business, get to know PUE: Power Usage Efficiency. PUE is a measure of how much additional electrical power is needed for cooling to deliver computing power. A PUE of 1 means all power being used for computing and none for cooling.

A 2007 US EPA survey put the PUE for your average data center at 2.

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Energywise- Another Cisco Lock-in

May 4, 2009 6:27 PM

I wrote awhile back that there were three problems with Energywise:
1) It is a security breach waiting to happen.
2) Apps should run on IP networks not be slave to them.
3) Painting Cisco switches with EnergyWise paint doesn't make them any more energy efficient. The Cisco Energy Tax lives on.

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Communications Dimensions

May 1, 2009 12:10 PM

Phil Edholm, the enterprise CTO at Nortel, has an uncanny capability of synthesizing complex issues.

Across multiple blog postings, he talks to a simple graphic of what he calls Communications Dimensions.

Edholm's Comms Dimensions.gif

I like the way he breaks out event and social driven interactions. I see these very much as two sides to the unified communications coin.

IBM has embraced this view with their Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) strategy, as has Nortel who have led the way in leveraging virtual reality for business with their web.alive solutions.

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