Video over IP will drive carrier and business network loads to new highs, forcing users to look to Cisco for products and services to manage this network stress, CEO John Chambers said to a group of industry and financial analysts.
Stories by Phil Hochmuth
One analyst says the security acquisitions that went down last week - Juniper buying Funk Software, Citrix's purchase of Teros and Force10's MetaNetworks buy - highlight some of the most intriguing areas in network security technology: Layer 2 network-access control and application firewalls are hot spots.
Cisco is preparing to announce new technology and a business unit focused on integrating two-way radio, cellular, VOIP and other communications methods into an IP backbone.
The IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS) consists of existing Cisco products and new server software that Cisco says will let public safety organizations and companies IP-enable two-way radio voice traffic and integrate disparate radio infrastructures with other public safety or private organizations.
The true value of convergence won't be realized until self-contained corporate VoIP networks are linked in to the larger IP world through carriers, network professionals said at last week's Fall VON 2005 Conference & Expo .
Several IT executives reinforced the idea that Linux now has the technical brawn and industry support to hold up the most demanding business applications in such environments as finance, airline reservations and stock trading.
Avaya was borne out of AT&T/Lucent's legacy. But since its 2000 launch, the enterprise telephony vendor has tried to recast itself as an enterprise applications company, with a focus on voice. Recent moves include the migration of Avaya's legacy PBX to a Linux-based server application, and the introduction of an application server for partners and users to develop VOIP-integrated software such as applications that integrate VOIP and messaging with ERP software, Web sites or portals. Avaya CEO Donald Peterson recently discussed the company's evolution, as well as current trends in the enterprise VOIP market, with Network World Senior Editor Phil Hochmuth.
While large IP PBX vendors continue to build on server-based platforms, some international vendors are taking more unique approaches to small-business VOIP systems.
Among the distinctive small-business VOIP products emerging is an embedded IP PBX appliance for small offices that fits in a briefcase. Or, for customers not interested in any extra hardware, another VOIP system uses peer-to-peer technology in IP phones, eliminating the need for an IP PBX. Users of these types of products say the gear is more focused on the needs of small-office phone systems and provides a good cost-saving alternative to expensive server-based IP PBXs from larger vendors.
Big companies that make big products - the GMs, Dows and Boeings of the world - have worked for years toward better factory and back-office integration. But even smaller manufacturers are following this trend.
While not yet a technology for the masses, more corporations are adopting 10G Ethernet as prices fall and vendors refine their 10G product portfolios.
Whether 10G Ethernet is ready for widespread corporate deployments in switches, wiring closets and desktops is debatable. But what's inarguable are the changes in the technology over the past few years and efficiencies in manufacturing that have decreased prices by more than 85 percent since 10G gear was introduced in 2002.
Avaya Inc., Motorola Inc. and Proxim Corp. are set to announce a codeveloped handset and enterprise network gear that let mobile phone users roam between cellular networks and wireless LANs.
The combination holds the promise of cutting phone costs for business customers and making mobile workers more productive. It is based on a new Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based Wi-Fi/cellular handset from Avaya and Motorola, IP-based or IP-enabled PBXs from Avaya, plus new WLAN switch and thin access points developed by Avaya and Proxim.
The Boeing Co. is expanding its IP telephony rollout to its entire enterprise and will standardize on Cisco IP telephony equipment, the two companies announced this week.
Cisco Systems this week will announce availability of its Network Admission Control security technology for Cisco routers, and lay out a road map for adding NAC capabilities to its lines of LAN switches.
While few Web sites can handle an average of 200 million queries and a billion HTTP requests a day, Google has done it for years. But the search engine leader wanted to do it better.
Known for its speedy return of relevant search topics, Google recently decided to give its site a boost with a Web server load-balancing upgrade. But the firm wanted a product that did more than just keep traffic flowing smoothly among its thousands of servers, says Urs Holzle, a Google fellow, who heads infrastructure strategy at the firm.
The oil and gas industry was once the province of the world's fastest supercomputers from makers such as Cray Inc. and IBM Corp. But recently, industry heavyweights such as Amerada Hess Corp., British Petroleum PLC, Conoco Inc. and Shell discovered that large Linux clusters are capable of tackling the massive computational tasks involved with finding oil.
"Linux clusters are moving in and becoming very competitive in areas where large Unix clusters were used in the past," says Bill Claybrook, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc. That's because Linux clusters cost between five to 20 times less than proprietary high-performance computing systems that require small fortunes to acquire and maintain.
This is the year that enterprise IP telephony hits full stride with advanced product features and more large-scale user deployments, experts predict.
Remote-office resiliency, wireless voice over IP, and expanded server platforms and protocol support are some of the items IP PBX users want - and VoIP vendors say customers can expect - in 2003.
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