Riding Out The Slowdown, Speeding Up Networks

With evidence mounting that the U.S. US economy is slowing down, you’d think it was a tough time to attract paying customers to a big IT conference.

Tough times are often the best time to invest in infrastructure.

Networks can provide competitive and productivity advantages that are even more important in lean times than in boom times. It’s those advantages that vendors of all sizes and shapes will be promoting at Interop in Las Vegas as it kicks off the week of April 28th.

Speed is a key theme this year with 10GbE networking gear offering the promise of greater bandwidth and help enterprise networks can do more.

Plenty of sessions will One of the key sessions that I’m looking forward to sitting in on is a panel discussion with Cisco, Dell, VMware and Citrix titled,”NextGen Ethernet: Challenges and Opportunities in Deploying 10G Ethernet.”

That particular session overlaps (in terms of time) with the AM keynote sessions that day in which Mark B. Templeton President and CEO,Citrix and Jesper Andersen Senior Vice President – Application Development,Oracle Corporation are speaking. Citrix’s Templeton has a tall order to fill now that his company is fully engaged in Virtualization market, by way of their acquisition of XenSource for $500 million. Citrix has already outlined its core strategy for how XenSource fits in. I expect Templeton to elaborate on that vision.

Citrix and Microsoft are hosting an invite-only event for press and analysts entitled: “Partners or Competitors -– A Deep Dive on the Virtualization Landscape with Microsoft and Citrix Systems.”

The whole concept of co-opetition is one that has always fascinated me and it will be interesting to see how these two partners deal with their open versus closed source issues.

Open Source will also make an entrance at Interop this year with no less than six sessions in a track dedicated to the topic. The key issue that I’m looking forward to hearing about is risk and governance.

Then, of course there is NAC, which for the last several years has been the term that has led the hype cycle for the networking business. NAC isn’t just hype anymore in my opinion. Over the course of NAC Day (which is the first day of Interop), numerous sessions and the exhibition floor itself, I’ll be looking to see the reality of NAC in 2008. To provide a small hint on something I’m privy too, there is a major piece of NAC industry shaking news that will debut at Interop and it’s got me extremely excited.

IT is not just a cost of doing business in 2008.

IT in the modern era is the basis on which business are built (as is the case with Software as a Service). IT in the era of the current economic slowdown may well also be the basis on which business may be able to survive and prosper as well.

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