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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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"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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ProCurve, Now Pro-Nortel

February 9, 2009 10:44 AM

John McHugh now heads Nortel's Data Networking Division. A few years ago, he was selected as one of 50 most powerful people in networking as the head of HP's ProCurve group , winning kudos for his well-rounded enterprise strategy, which encompassed convergence, wireless LANs, WAN access and more.

John clearly has his sights on getting us ahead of the pack as the clear alternative to the gorilla in data.

CERN LHC Not Reliant on Core Routers

September 18, 2008 2:26 PM

In a recent blog, John Roese, Nortel CTO, highlighted the IT infrastructure behind CERN's Large Haldron Collider, 'the single largest machine ever built and the biggest scientific experiment ever conducted on the planet'. This 'grid' will distribute, process and analyze some 15 petabytes each year.

What John failed to mention is that the primary network behind CERN is not based on core routers, as is done in the Internet at large and in conventional research and education networks. Networking researchers concluded that core routers just couldn't meet the latency demands for the huge files that needed to be shipped around and for the grid computing applications (i.e.

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Great news for enterprises, who now have a proven low risk choice to the guerilla.

Sure some of these have been loyal customers since the Bay days and are now moving to the latest and greatest.

But most are swapping out their incumbent vendor (often Cisco) in favor of better performance and resilience, lower energy consumption and/or lower TCO. Yet others are bringing a second vendor (Nortel) into their networking environment as part of a dual vendor strategy.

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Stop On Cisco Order

April 30, 2008 7:34 AM

In an earlier blog, I echoed Gartner's recommendation: Beware the Single Vendor as Trusted Advisor, referencing their Vendor Influence Curve.

I'm here at Interop and customers are getting the facts (verified by independent third parties) on Green networking (50% less energy consumption), on performance (20x better), on reliability (7x the resilience) and on TCO (50% reduction) of our networking solutions.

One customer (an educational institution) apparently is stopping an order for $2M of Cisco gear when they heard this story!

The bottom-line is that enterprises need to do due diligence and look at alternatives to Cisco in the data space. That's exactly what this institution is doing.

Converge In Real-time

April 15, 2008 2:57 PM

With Hyperconnectivity, the diversity of traffic on enterprise networks expands significantly and includes latency- and bandwidth-intensive applications associated with person-to-person, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications.

Delivering end-to-end real-time performance for UC users and for time-sensitive sensor/actuator applications is a key challenge. Time-sensitive applications must operate within an end-to-end delay window (150 msec for human communications, but potentially much less for telemetry). These applications can’t tolerate packet loss because there’s no time to retransmit.

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Earlier this week, Cisco launched its ASR 1000 (Aggregation Services Router), positioning the technology for both carriers and enterprises.

Now consider the following:

1) The press release quotes the SVP and GM of the Cisco Service Provider Group, confirming who the product was primarily designed for.

2) It's called an aggregation router. But aggregation in enterprise networks is most often provided by the public network cloud (based on MPLS, Ethernet or the Internet).

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Duke Dukes It Out With Pre-Standard 802.11n

February 27, 2008 11:29 AM

You may have seen the story about Duke University plans to cover its campus with a pre-standard 802.11n wireless network. Quoting its CIO: "We expect the campus-wide 802.11n wireless network to increasingly be the primary mode of connectivity for data access and mobility applications." This is a great example of an enterprise, implicitly embracing Nortel’s unwired enterprise vision.

The CIO of Duke went on to say that "Universities are an ideal testing ground for new technologies." So should you jump into pre-standard 11n testing ground to duke it out with this new technology?

Duke is one of the 1% of enterprises that are going with pre-standard 11n because they truly need the higher bandwidths and are willing to take the risk.

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Nexus is not a Lexus- Part 2

February 21, 2008 11:32 AM

Well, the blogsphere is a wonderful space.

After my original Nexus is no Lexus posting of Feb 13, Brad Reese of Network World picked it up, and that generated a response from Cisco and a further comment from me.

Two highlights:
1) In November, Cisco announced VSS, touted for non-stop communications and bandwidth scalability; now it tells us that it won’t be supported on Nexus (in contrast to Nortel’s proven end-to-end architecture based on MultiLink Trunking; end to end means wiring closet to aggregation to core).
2) Energy efficiency will be the subject of lots of marketing claims and misinformation (see my last posting). Third party validation is key for enterprises to make the right decisions.

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