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.

Making Email Useful Again

April 29, 2009 7:45 AM

You can't live without it but, boy, maintaining your inbox takes up way too much time!

The sheer numbers of emails in most corporate inboxes is a major culprit, and these days, spam is less the issue as spam filters are getting pretty good.

So what's the answer, since making a 25-hour day is not a practical option?

I see three elements.

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April 27, 2009 10:08 AM

For years (I think I started in 1998), I carried an HP Jornada handheld PC (the first one literally fell apart so I got a more recent model which likewise was loved to death). I wrote over 100 articles, blogs and white papers on this handy device and took notes at numerous meetings. It was small enough to use on a plane even with the seat ahead oif me pushed back, and unobstructive enough not to put a barrier between me and a customer during a meeting.

It ran Windows CE and Pocket Office with Word, Excel and Powerpoint (view, hide and reorder only).

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Hyperconnectivity and A Missing Link

April 23, 2009 2:08 PM

Hyperconnectivity hit home personally when my daughter, a paleomammoligist, called home last summer via a satellite phone from an island in the far north in the region of the North Pole. A storm was raging and she was confined to her tent. Nice to hear her crystal clear voice as if she were down the street!

But the story doesn't end there.

She was leading an expedition that had just found the skull of a 20 million year old fossil that they had found the year before, making her find 65% complete.

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Sunacle Bucks The Trend

April 22, 2009 7:01 AM

Let's take a look at the Oracle acquisition of Sun. Big news, that came out of nowhere after IBM tried to do the same. Big bucks for sure ($5.6B). But does it make sense?

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Social Networking vs UC

April 20, 2009 1:44 PM | 1 Comment

Unified Communications (UC) includes new modalities such as social networking, though most UC solutions today don't deliver social networking solutions, beyond simple linkages such as blog or wiki click-to-call.

A lot has been said and written about the ROI for 'traditional' UC, but what about social networking (i.e. blogs, wikis, social bookmarks and the like)?

I think the angle that enterprises planning blog and wiki investments should consider is the value of these contextual communication tools is in making it easier to connect to co-workers that may have the skills and information needed to solve business problems.

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Mobile Signing

April 17, 2009 7:43 AM

Many hearing-impaired people use email and text messaging to communicate. Some, I'm sure, are using 3G wireless phones equipped with video cameras to communicate via sign language. Great idea, but high cost and battery life are real problems that are a bottleneck to wide adoption.

Until now!

A team of engineers from University of Washington in Seattle and Cornell have just about completed a functional prototype, they dub 'mobile ASL (American Sign Language)'.

I applaud this initiative to extend the value of hyperconnectivity to more people.

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"Beware the Single Vendor as Trusted Advisor: Gartner". So read my blog of Oct 22 2007.

What's changed? Not much. Cisco is still reaping huge margins in its data business at the expense of its customers, who are also hit with higher energy bills.

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