Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Unofficial Rules For Cell Phone Etiquette

For me face-to-face interaction is paramount. So what I mean by that is that the cell goes on 'silent' when I'm in a meeting or group or working or on down time. Sure if there's an urgent call I might excuse myself and take it (and have the courtesy to explain to those with me that I am expecting an urgent call that I have to take) .... however that said there is this amazing software called 'voicemail' that will take a message so that's always first option!

Have a friend who says "I don't respond to bells and whistles' I cracked up when I first heard them say it - boy it's great advice though!

I cringe when I see ads parodying families/people who sit in the same room and text each other instead of talking and/or ignore each other and text the rest of the world. When the 'communication' gets in the way of actual communication we've gone too far I think.

Another rule for myself is to try (and it can be a challenge) to only use text/mobile for admin stuff and not try to do relational stuff in this away - because it's very easy to ramp up our 'avoidant' tendencies using this kind of technology. I continue to get feedback from all kinds of people about the negative impacts that this way of operating have on relationships, on both sides.

Had a colleague once who had a great saying (it was about email but applies too all this stuff I think) "Never intonate tone into email" - so this means don't try to read expression or meaning into the written word or text - a recipe for disaster in my experience. Even the way close friends write seems to have little bearing on how they actually are in person - so if I'm not sure I check out what they meant in person or on the phone. If in doubt I assume the best and continue to do so until proved otherwise!

And really, seriously, I personally believe urgent calls are not that common - i.e. a sick relative/friend, a booking that is time sensitive or someone needing support where I need to do this (i.e. if I'm a Mum or Dad or authority figure) and/or have agreed prior to hold this role. Amazing how often cells are used to make ourselves look important, or not fully engage with those around us.

Also another personal rule is KEEP THAT CELL OFF YOUR BODY, even the cell company fine print states how dangerous bodily contact is 'and yet' there are all kinds of devices that encourage this practice. This stuff is dangerous, if you love people/yourself remember that there is danger to this tech - it's not an extra limb ;-) ... if you ever get a chance talk to anyone who spends a lot of time around cancer and see what they think about this stuff - you might be surprised!

In all of this my other main rules are to make best use of this tech whilst remembering that everyone is different so I expect to be disappointed because there are no hard and fast rules really except maybe that CAPS is shouting and that I'm not sure if WTF really means 'Why the Face' LOL ;-)

If I don't know what someone is meaning then I ask - almost always I've just misunderstood anyway...and finally...think before I send!!

I like this quote:

“DNA is DNA, whether in mice or people. And mouse DNA is about the same size as human DNA. But humans are much taller antennas. When you hold a cell phone against your head, you are absorbing four to ten times more energy than those now-forgetful mice.” - electronics columnist Stewart Fist

Mobile and cellular telephonic and data devices have been around for a while now. Each of these devices show significant social impact on how and where we communicate using what used to be called a telephone .... as well as how that communication effects the real space we use those devices in/at. Including both the environment and people in immediate proximity to the conversation/interaction/mobile use.

What are your personal rules regarding mobile etiquette? And what do you consider to be the established unofficial expectations and rules around how, why, and where we use our mobile communications systems?

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Is Cloud Computing An Overhyped Technology?

"Over hyped" is in the eye of the beholder.

Cloud Computing (specifically SaaS) provides a great option for small businesses to be able to get access to software solutions that they would never otherwise be able to afford due to the prohibitive cost of entry - servers, support, staff, etc.

And getting the word out to a lot of small businesses takes time and a lot of avenues.

So, it may seem over-hyped to those of us who work with this stuff on a regular basis, but for small business owners who spend their days just "keeping the joint running", it's necessary to keep it in front of them - eventually they will look up and see they have options to make things easier/better/faster/cheaper.

But there is no question; it is being over hyped. The marketing people are making promises that cannot be delivered. I would suggest that in many cases, they are using the phrase incorrectly as well.

In many cases, the technology is being sold as a very generic solution to problems that actually require very specific answers, and Cloud Computing may not be appropriate at all.

Having said that, true Cloud Computing (public, private or hybrid) does offer some real benefits and could be used very effectively by a lot of businesses of different sizes. I would argue that it should be considered another weapon in the IT arsenal; not a replacement for the other technologies.

As far as it is actually a real technology - yes definitely overhyped.
But the more I think about it, the less I am convinced about 'cloud' being a real technology. It is more a conceptual change in the way delivery is done.

A private cloud can just as well be a normal off-site data center, just as they have been around for forever. Public clouds have already been around for ages as well (think of the way MSN has been around).
The thing is that the technologies we CAN offer both on- and off-premises have evolved in such a way that people are now starting to refer to it as 'cloud'.

This does not mean that we should not be excited about this evolution in service delivery. I personally have my doubts about the integration of hosted cloud-based services as opposed to the freedom and flexibility of a personally maintained system. This particularly if you would think of a multi-tenant unified communications environment...

I guess it's the usual answer in anything network-related: it all kind of depends...

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Reality Of Cloud Based Services

The cloud is a resource consisting of an array of server farms run commercially to be the superhighways and mass storage environments on the web in lieu of local control of such domains.

As a result of the tremendous capacity built into the communications industry during the dot com boom, organizations like Google, Amazon and others are offering these pathways and domains with tremendous economies of scale world wide for the advertising revenue.

Corporations like IBM are capitalizing on the developments by moving from a products to a services market to building tremendous associated revenues by offering entire countries like China, for instance a complete huge server farm and their own capability in the cloud.

This type of development is occurring as we speak all over the globe. Governments like the US are evolving their own version of private clouds for classified domains.

The net effect of all of this is that all the fascination we see presently about terminal hardware applications will be over in the near future. The "Cloud" and SAS will rock the hardware and software world and make access to technology easier for vast populations. Devices to do so will cost pennies on the current dollar or the will be free.

Like the PC makers, the sun is already setting on cell phone devices, associated applications, OTS packaged software and related products. Even though these products are enjoying current popularity They are expensive and will be rapidly overtaken by tight economics and services competition.

Smart,strategic planners are pointing to the future and it is not a hardware and licensed software market - it is service oriented with low cost access and rates. Volume, free products, advertising and shareware will drive it all.

Possible exceptions for a bit longer period of time are the high-end hardware and software technologies in government contracting, which for security reasons must be cloistered, protected and safeguarded. Your friendly government agency will be the last to boot its PC out the window.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Telecom Provider News For May

Here's the news from the Telecommunications industry for May 2012 .....

* MegaPath - is rolling out its new Hosted Data Backup and Storage offering for businesses, which can be sold by channel partners.

* Windstream - announced the release of Carrier Switched Ethernet. This service will provide carriers with access to Windstream's ILEC footprint through a network interconnect that will make it more cost-effective for carrier customers to provide multi-location data solutions to their customers.

* EarthLink - introduced three business IT services packaged solutions designed to help companies leverage the cloud: Cloud Launch Pad, Cloud Entry Bundle and Secure Email Bundle.

* Level 3 - has announced it has completed a substantial upgrade of the capacity of its global content delivery network.

* Cbeyond - has partnered with two fiber service providers FiberLight and Zayo so it may reach new buildings and SMBs throughout the country.

* XO - announced a new era in the company's history, unveiling an updated and boldly modern corporate brand that showcases a differentiated customer experience.

To learn more about any of the services cited above AND take advantage of special limited pricing deals, simply request more information here ....

Dedicated Bandwidth And More

Thursday, May 17, 2012

US Telecom Industry From 2010 To 2015

The U.S. telecom industry has been fast changing owing to numerous technological advancements. This research conducted by Axvoice looks at the U.S. telecom industry from years 2010 to 2015 and the different factors that are affecting it over this period of time. This research aims to provide a generic overview of the projections for the U.S. telecom industry by monitoring the current trends.

Background

The U.S. telecom industry has seen a major shift in the market share. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, landline phone services have ruled the planet. There hadn’t been any major change in trends witnessed then. However, during the last ten years, the change has been sudden and sporadic. The market has been shifting to modern telecom technologies that are more cost effective and convenient to use. This research looks at how each technology originally became popular and what place it holds in the future of the U.S. telecom industry.

Landline Phone Service

Fixed landline phone services have been the first type of phones ever available to public. This technology ruled the telecom industry in the U.S. and everywhere else in the world because there weren’t any obvious alternatives. The credit goes to landline phone services for connecting people when there was no such technology as internet. Although, one can argue that the rates of making phone calls then were pretty high, but still there did exist a means of telecommunication. Landline phones have seen the days of glory and trouble, both. Modern times predict that there is a decrease in the number of fixed landline subscribers every year in the U.S. There are several reasons why the decline has been so quick;

* The first reason is that fixed landline phone subscribers have a fixed line rent to pay which is quite high.

* With the availability of HD voice they lack the clarity of voice that other networks provide.

* They cannot be relied upon owing to their use of old copper wire technology.

* Lastly, they are not portable.

All these are the main reasons that contribute to declining use of fixed landline phone services. Here is how the trends reflect the future of landline phone subscribers from the year 2010 to 2015.

The overall number of fixed landline subscribers is expected to decrease over time. The research indicates that the total number of landline users is expected to reach from over 150 million in 2010 to around 135 million in 2015.

Cellular Networks

Cellular networks show a continuous increase in the number of customers. There have been several factors that influenced the growth of cellular networks. The number one factor has been convenience. Before cell phones, portability of a phone system was a farfetched dream. However, with the introduction of CDMA and GSM networks the shift has tilted in the favor of the cellular networks. New breed of cell phones (smart phones) aren’t mere devices of making and receiving phone calls, they can be used for storing data, taking pictures, sharing content and accessing the internet. Unlike the earlier versions of cell phones, modern smart phones can do a lot more for their users. The growth of the cell phone industry is poised to stay stable over the years. Market share of the cellular networks is expected to grow at a steady rate. The estimate of the future cellular network consumers is as follows.

The total number of subscribers is going to leap from 270 million in 2010 to around 460 million in 2015. The factors responsible for this growth discussed above include convenience, temptation for smart phones, and finding a viable alternate to fixed landline phone.

VoIP

VoIP or internet phone service has seen a lot of growth in recent years. There are many factors that have contributed to its explosive growth. The first major reason for VoIP growth is technological superiority. Unlike cellular phones and landlines, internet phones, as the name suggests, use internet to send and receive voice in the form of data packets. This digitization of voice not only significantly improves the quality of the phone calls but also improves the reliability of this service. Portability is yet another option only available to the internet phone service users. VoIP service can be used anywhere in the world by just connecting the phone to an internet connection. VoIP phone service can be used in several ways. Phone users can use it using the ATA, installing an app on smart phones, or they can even install the software on their PC. Cost is another factor that discourages people from using cell phones and fixed landlines. Internet phone services are very cost effective and offer many smart calling plans for both businesses as well as individuals which help them save a lot of money.

Comparative analysis

Here is a comparative analysis, analyzing the changes in market share of the US telecom from 2010 to 2015.

Year 2010

In the year 2010, cellular networks rule the market with most number of subscribers at 57%. The overall market share withheld by VoIP is just 12%. However, fixed landline services do hold substantial share of the market with just over 30% of the total subscribers.

Year 2011

In FYE 2011, fixed landline phone services have shrunk by 3% while the overall share of cellular networks increased by a mere 2%. However, total share of VoIP in US telecom remains the same. Total market share held by VoIP is 12%, fixed landline 29%, and cellular networks at 59%.

Year 2012

In 2012, cellular networks are expected to retain total market share at 59%. However, VoIP is expected to gain an added 4% increase. While, number of fixed landline subscribers is expected to shrink by 4%. Cellular networks is expected to remain at 59%, while VoIP is anticipated to have 16%, and fixed landline services to have 25% respectively.

Year 2013

VoIP is expected to retain its increasing trend, with a further rise of 4% anticipated. However, there is a slight decrease of 1% expected in the share of cellular networks. Fixed landline phone subscribers are also expected to reduce by a further 3%. VoIP’s total share will be around 20%, fixed landline phone subscribers at 22%, and cellular network at 58%.

Year 2014

In FYE 2014, VoIP providers are expected to see the biggest change so far by an anticipated increase of 6%. While fixed landline phone subscribers are expected to further reduce by 3%. Cellular networks are expected to have an increase of 1%. Cellular networks will be expected to have 55%, landline phone services 19%, and VoIP around 26% respectively.

Year 2015

The overall situation of telecom market share in the US would have changed by 2015. Fixed landline phone services would have lost majority of their market share to cellular networks and VoIP providers. Total market share belonging to fixed landline service providers is expected to be around 16% only. Cellular networks are expected to hold 52% share while VoIP would have a staggering 32% of the total phone subscribers market.

Courtesy of Nathan Calouro of AxVoice

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Ciena Truck Scheduled For Telarus Partner Summit




First it was the carrier channel chiefs, now it's Ciena who is dog-piling on the Telarus Partner Summit! Ciena, the global supplier of telecommunications networking equipment and supplier of Comcast Metro Fiber edge routers, will bring its world famous Mobile Lab Semi to the Telarus Partner Summit training series.

Once "docked", this lab on wheels becomes a full-fledged presentation center, sporting full climate control, HD presentation monitors, and Ciena's cutting-edge optical equipment.

Ciena has equipped the big rig with working demos of 100G, OTN, datacenter virtualization, low latency networking, and various other technologies, so you can get hands-on experience with some of the most technologically advanced network gear out there. And of course the truck is staffed by their knowledgeable network specialists, there to guide you through the demos and answer all of your questions.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Telarus Partner Summit



The marquee event of 2012, the Telarus Partner Summit is THE place for the best agents and the best carriers to network . See all of our carriers in one place, learn more about carriers you're not familiar with, meet and dine privately with your strategic vendors, and have a great time in the lap of Rocky Mountain luxury!

Every Telarus agent (and spouse) is invited to come and enjoy the world class amenities of Park City, including fly fishing, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, golf, not to mention some of the greatest restaurants in the West.

Carrier sponsors include the who's who of the industry: Comcast, MegaPath, Advantix, XO Communications, Windstream, ACC Business, AT&T, Time Warner Cable, CenturyLink, EartLink Business, Integra, Level 3, Cbeyond, AboveNet, Smoothstone, TelePacific, Telnes, Nitel, tw telecom, Vocal IP Networx, Reallinx, AireSpring, and more.

The Telarus Partner Summit will be the biggest event the channel has seen to date. In addition to boasting the Who's Who of telecom, it will be part education, trade show, blind date, president's club excursions, fine dining - all on the carrier's dime. Telarus and our suppliers will be treating you to the very best that Utah's 5-star resort, Stein Eriksen, has to offer.

* Date: June 6-8, 2012
* Location: Stein Erikson Lodge (Deer Valley, UT)
* Silver partners will enjoy free a hotel stay
* Gold partners receive free hotel and airfare
* Everyone will receive free ground transportation to and from SLC Int'l Airport to the lodge
* Everyone will enjoy free food the entire three days
* Everyone will receive a free excursion on Friday (fly fishing, skiing, golf, mountain biking, or hiking)
* Everyone will be invited to a private dinner with one of our carriers at a 5-star restaurant in Park City, Utah - the sames ones frequented by Hollywood stars during the Sundance Film Festival

Not a Telarus Agent? Interested in becoming one? Simply inquire here ....

Telarus Agent

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Monday, May 07, 2012

MPLS University... FREE MPLS-Related Education



Businesses are demanding more out of the technologies that keep them competitive. FreedomFire Communications is the one to get you there. Don't miss out on the opportunity for expert advice on MPLS technology, always-on connectivity, voice, security, regulatory and compliance requirements, cost control, and more. Check out MPLS University, brought to you by MegaPath, to get free training on all things associated to keeping your business on pace with technology. Visit MPLS University to learn more today.

MPLS University

Going to be at Channel Partners Show Vegas? Come see MPLS University Live and learn more about the MPLS Implementation Timeline from design through installation and How to Build A Private Cloud. Content will also be available on the MPLS U site on-demand after the show.

Examples of On-Demand Courses:

* Getting the Most Out of the Cloud
* MPLS and the Cloud in Action
* The Myths and Realities of Cloud-based Voice
* Get Your Head in the Cloud: MPLS-as-a-Service
* Performance, Security, and Scale are Not a Pipe Dream
* Big Network Dreams on Small Budgets

For free assistance and customized solutions covering all the cost effective network options MPLS can provide you, simply request information here:

MPLS Networks

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Applications Of Gigabit Ethernet Switching For Today's Business Environment

Important technology advances and significant price and performance improvements have enabled Gigabit Ethernet to be deployed not only in data centers but also throughout university and corporate networks. Broader deployments of Gigabit Ethernet are being accelerated by increasing bandwidth requirements and the aggregate growth of enterprise applications, examples of which are discussed below.

Since the IEEE 802.3ae standard was ratified in mid-2002, Gigabit Ethernet port shipments have grown from hundreds of ports per quarter to tens-of-thousands of ports per quarter. This rapid growth in Gigabit Ethernet deployments can be attributed to a number of factors, including:

Significant Gigabit Ethernet Price-per-Port Improvements - Current Gigabit Ethernet pricing is now less than one-fifth the pricing in mid-2002. As a result, Gigabit Ethernet price and performance today, including cost of optics, is comparable to Gigabit Ethernet-over-fiber price and performance in intelligent modular switches.

• New Optics have Enabled Broader Gigabit Ethernet Deployments - The availability of new optics now enables Gigabit Ethernet to be deployed anywhere from the data center to the wiring closet, using existing fiber cabling.

• Increasing Bandwidth Factors - First, Gigabit Ethernet-to-desktops deployments have grown to several million ports per quarter by the end of 2004. This broad adoption has significantly increased the oversubscription ratios of the rest of the network. Gigabit Ethernet can help bring these oversubscription ratios back in line with network-design best practices. Second, server adapter and PCI bus advancements have enabled servers to generate more than 7 Gbps of traffic, increasing demand for Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to servers. Finally, new applications are accelerating the need for Gigabit Ethernet performance throughout the campus, within a data center, and between data centers.

These factors are expected to continue to fuel the momentum of the Gigabit Ethernet market, which is expected to rapidly grow from US $385 million in 2004 to US$2.9 billion in 2009, according to the Dell'Oro Group.

10 Gigabit Ethernet Advantages vs. Aggregating Multiple Gigabit Ethernet Links

Many network managers are weighing the option of using Gigabit Ethernet link aggregation as opposed to deploying a single, Gigabit Ethernet link. As always, there are tradeoffs associated with each option. However, Gigabit Ethernet provides some important advantages over aggregating multiple Gigabit Ethernet links:

• Less Fiber Usage - A Gigabit Ethernet link uses fewer fiber strands compared with Gigabit Ethernet aggregation, which uses one fiber strand per Gigabit Ethernet link. This Gigabit Ethernet advantage reduces cabling complexity in data centers and more efficiently uses existing fiber cabling in campus environments where laying additional fiber could be cost-prohibitive.

• Greater Support for Large Streams - Traffic over aggregated 1 Gigabit Ethernet links can be limited to 1 Gbps streams because of packet sequencing requirements on end devices. Gigabit Ethernet can more effectively support applications that generate multigigabit streams due to the greater capacity in a single Gigabit Ethernet link.

• Longer Deployment Lifetimes - Gigabit Ethernet provides greater scalability than multiple Gigabit Ethernet links, enabling longer deployment lifetimes. Up to eight Gigabit Ethernet links can be aggregated into a virtual 80-Gbps connection.

Gigabit Ethernet Enterprise Application Scenarios

Gigabit Ethernet can now be deployed over existing fiber cabling from the data center to the wiring closet uplinks . Gigabit Ethernet deployments continue to extend beyond the network core to improve network scalability as end devices increase their bandwidth connectivity. For example, Gigabit Ethernet-to-desktops deployments have grown to several million ports per quarter by the end of 2004. This broad adoption has significantly increased the oversubscription ratios of wiring closet uplinks, especially because more than 90 percent of wiring closet traffic flows north to south through the uplinks.

In the late 1990s, it was common to deploy 10/100 Ethernet to desktops with redundant Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. If there were 192 users per switch, then the oversubscription ratio was roughly 19:1, which is within standard network design best practices of 15:1 to 20:1 wiring closet bandwidth oversubscription. However, as Gigabit Ethernet to desktops has rolled out over the years, these oversubscription ratios have ballooned to 48:1 or 96:1 even when the wiring closet uplinks have been increased to two or four Gigabit Ethernet channels. Deploying Gigabit Ethernet uplinks with today's switching solutions can help bring the wiring closet oversubscription ratios back in line with network design best practices and scale bandwidth capacity for future requirements.

Desktop Applications

Enterprise-wide Gigabit Ethernet deployments support the continued growth in desktop applications which, in aggregate, is accelerating higher-bandwidth requirements. Examples include:

• Aggregate Desktop Data Workloads - The aggregate bandwidth consumption per desktop is increasing because of increasing desktop workloads and the greater bandwidth requirements of new applications. For example, PC backup applications are critical, especially with rising employee reliance upon recent PC data. Data loss decreases and backup frequency increases when backups are automated instead of user-initiated. Frequent PC backups across all desktops in an organization places continual load on the network especially as file sizes continually increase (for example, Microsoft Outlook data files and PowerPoint presentations). In addition, companies are transitioning from traditional client/server applications (fat, proprietary client on each desktop) to Web-based applications (thin, standard browser on each desktop) to capture the operational and development cost savings associated with Web technologies. However, this transition can result in higher bandwidth usage because browsers may rely more on communicating with servers for intelligence and processing than proprietary clients.

• IP Video Applications - Enterprises are deploying bandwidth-rich IP video applications to improve productivity and operational costs. For example, e-learning increases employee productivity by providing low-cost, 24-hour access to critical training information, enabling "just-in-time" sales training, quick refreshers on how to deliver a service, lectures, and skills and regulation training. Corporate and executive IP video communications increase corporate alignment to business objectives and strengthen employee morale, and are an especially effective way to increase communication within a global company. IP video surveillance solutions are being deployed to increase security visibility and to accelerate the retrieval and analysis of archived events. IP video conferencing enables efficient collaboration among employees who need to communicate visually but do not have the time to commute to a designated location. Each of these IP video applications can generate numerous multiple-megabit IP video streams, depending on desired video quality, resulting in significant network-bandwidth consumption.

• Industry-Specific Applications - Many industries have custom applications that require significant bandwidth capacity and high performance. Whether the application is clustered or based on a client-server model, Gigabit Ethernet can rapidly increase the performance of the network. In the healthcare industry, for example, digital imaging applications (such as Picture Archive Systems [PACS]) are often used to lower the costs and reduce the delay of retrieving and analyzing medical images (such as X-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans), increasing physician and staff productivity. In the media and advertising industries, digital video applications enable companies to efficiently develop video segments and then edit and review them among distributed teams. In the manufacturing industry, large CAD and CAM design files are increasingly being shared among teams located in different locations. And in the financial industry, the continual need for more powerful, real-time financial information continues to elevate network performance requirements.

The aggregate growth of these example applications and other desktop applications is accelerating the need for Gigabit Ethernet performance across the enterprise network.

Storage Networking

The continuous increase in demand for storage capacity is propelled by applications such as customer care, messaging, e-commerce, rich online media, and catalog content. This information explosion is challenging IT managers to find cost-effective ways to access, manage, and protect this data.

Migrating from server-centric, direct-attached storage to network-centric, shared storage is an important strategy for achieving these goals. The ability to share networked storage in the data center, across the metropolitan area, and across the enterprise provides the following benefits:

• Scaled, shared, and maximized usage of storage and information resources

• Simplified administration of the storage environment

• Minimized total cost of ownership (TCO) for storage

• Improved data availability and integrity

Utilizing Gigabit Ethernet, IT managers can now take their networked storage environments to the next level and use Ethernet-based networking for the most demanding storage solutions, such as:

• Data Center Backup and Disaster Recovery for Greater Business Resiliency - Enterprises have been challenged to develop business-continuance and disaster-recovery strategies that are cost-effective, secure, and scalable enough to meet their demanding requirements. An important factor of the move to metropolitan storage networks is the need to establish backups and remote mirrors at remote locations to provide business-continuance and disaster-recovery support for critical data. In addition, companies are also faced with the need to expand data centers that have reached their capacity or alternatively the requirement to centralize data center resources of multiple campuses or locations. The distance capabilities of Gigabit Ethernet allow enterprises to provide high-speed connectivity between locations that are 80 km apart. Distances can be even further extended with the use of optical amplifiers and dispersion compensators. Enterprises can therefore support multiple campuses within this radius, supporting storage-to-server and storage-to-storage data transfers. With the high bandwidth, low latency, and security offered by Gigabit Ethernet and Intelligent Switching, it becomes easier to move data seamlessly between geographically dispersed components of an enterprise storage system. An example would be a Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure that supports all IP storage-based metro solutions and technologies including Network Attached Storage (NAS), Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI), Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP), and Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP).

For deployments that require higher bandwidth aggregation, longer distances, low latency, and support for non-IP technologies (such as Fibre Channel or IBM's Enterprise Systems Connection [ESCON] protocol), Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) provides high-capacity, protocol-independent access and transport of storage traffic across metropolitan-area network (MANs). Critical storage applications for such optical MAN connectivity include backup, remote mirroring, disaster recovery, clustering, and storage outsourcing. Synchronous mirroring requires very low latency and high bandwidth and Gigabit Ethernet provides the ideal combination of these factors to enable such mission-critical business requirements.

• Network Attached Storage (NAS) for High-Performance Data Sharing and Storage Consolidation - NAS has led the way for the mainstream deployment of IP-based storage consolidation and file sharing. NAS has achieved popularity in many environments including collaborative workgroup development, engineering, e-mail, Web serving, and general file serving. Because of the customized nature of their operating systems, NAS filers have been tuned to carry out I/O extremely efficiently so they can easily fill multiple Gigabit Ethernet pipes at wire-rate. This is fueling the demand for Gigabit Ethernet for NAS filer aggregation. In addition, there is growing demand for direct Gigabit Ethernet connections to NAS filers to support high-performance applications that generate single data streams larger than 1 Gbps, which cannot be supported by 802.3ad link aggregation.

Besides providing high-performance access to shared files, a Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure enables the added capability of filer-to-filer replication and backup to tape using protocols such as the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP).

• Increasing Fan-Out to Shared Storage - The rising costs of managing direct-attached storage, together with the growing capacity of storage subsystems to support hundreds of terabytes, is fueling the need to consolidate systems that were previously not considered as part of the storage network. The challenges in achieving this effectively center around the cost and scalability associated with extending Storage Area Networks (SANs) beyond a limited number of high-performance nodes. Enabling enterprise-wide access to storage over an IP network using the cost-effective iSCSI protocol is proving to be a very attractive way of achieving fan-out to the hundreds and thousands of servers that would otherwise be isolated from the storage network. iSCSI-enabled servers in the campus can access the datacenter Fiber Channel SAN through the Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure and the Cisco MDS 9500, which can act as an iSCSI gateway to Fiber Channel storage. Gigabit Ethernet provides the network scalability needed to support the increasing number of distributed devices accessing shared storage across the enterprise.

Cluster and GRID Computing

Cluster and GRID computing is designed to meet the demands of CPU-intensive, transaction-intensive, and I/O-intensive applications that need more than a single server to efficiently complete the workload. Clustering provides a cost-effective way to scale computing needs beyond the confines of a single server and allows multiple computing nodes to work together as a large, virtual computing node. Cluster applications can be highly sensitive to the interconnect performance between computing nodes and thus place many demands on the networking infrastructure that link them together. Thus, clustered applications can benefit from the low-latency characteristics of Gigabit Ethernet to maximize network performance. To significantly minimize server latency and CPU overhead, new server-side technologies are being introduced, such as system-level I/O Acceleration, TCP/IP Offload Engines (TOE), and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). These major advancements in network and server performance also take advantage of the interoperability, management, and investment protection benefits of widely deployed Ethernet and IP technologies.
While clustered computing deployments have typically been used by the scientific research community, the commercial sector is increasingly using this paradigm. Database and application server vendors have added support for cluster computing in their products. Cluster computing is also being used for other high-performance computing (HPC) applications such as financial analysis and modeling, oil and gas exploration analysis, and engineering modeling.

Conclusion

Gigabit Ethernet deployments are rapidly growing as price and performance targets are met, new optics enable broader deployments, and the aggregate growth of new applications continue to increase bandwidth requirements. But Gigabit Ethernet is just a network interface of a broader switching solution. Successful Gigabit Ethernet deployments also incorporate leading intelligent switching services such as integrated security, high availability, delivery optimization, and enhanced manageability to provide the necessary support for new applications. In addition, to minimize costs, the transition to Gigabit Ethernet should take advantage of existing switching investments in modules, chassis, and other components. For assistance in determining just the right solution for your application we recommend using free consultative services available at Gigabit Ethernet

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Key Issues Switching From TDM To IP Networks

When considering the question of whether to switch from a TDM based network to an IP network you must not forget to include the most important aspect of telecom service. I refer to .... provisioning, billing plattform sofware system, core help desk, and other systems I may have forgot to mention. Migrating to IP impacts everything in this sense.

A key issue is that most phone companies legacy infrastructure, especially incumbent ones, are tied to legacy systems which most of them pre-date the internet , including packet switching services.

Migrating to NGN or IP means impacting also the whole nework layout conceived for provisioning and billing, also CRM (Customer Relations Management) Software.
We are talking big money here and that could take 40% or more of the OPEX and CAPEX.

As you can see it is not only an issue of bits and bytes or hardware.

Migrating to IP also means impacting the labor unions, and that´s not an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, training , etc.

There are some major impediments for telecom companies to migrate from the present mixed networks - TDM / IP Core - to an all IP network, besides the technical flaws already pointed out in various trade magazines and forum discussions.

Retraining the huge labour force would be a major task, if ever this was to happen.
The huge sums that would have to be incurred would not be recovered in the forseeable future, and ROI would be non-existent.

There is an inherent weakness in technologists like us. Every time we see a new technology emerging and being propagated we think the end of the road has come for the presently used ones, without examining the pros and cons. Tried, tested, and stabilised methods of doing things are far more reliable and productive than fledgling technologies or even established technologies being adaptoped for applications for which they were never conceived in the in the first place.

Packet switching and IP are asynchronous communications ideally suited to handle bursty traffic. They were never designed or meant for real-time communications like voice, fax, video which call for synchronous communications and TDM fits the bill admirably.

The concept of packet voice (VoIP) was initially developed to communicate over the Global all IP network - the Internet - which had helped people to resolve their public data communications needs, and connect globally across borders. There were shortcomings in the quality, delays, etc. but this communication method served people to keep in touch with firends and kin, at no or little cost. So while such flaws could not serve the needs of business or serious voice / video communications which had to be done over Global TDM networks, VoIP served the needs of informal personal communications. Skype also facilitates free video calls over the Internet.

With this development technologists set to work to see if the same technique could be adopted for normal telephony. Despite the billions of dollars spent in this effort, the results have been far from satisfactory as we have seen from this and a previous discussion thread comparing the quality of VoIP - PSTN.

When the TDM telephony business started to saturate - 5 billion+ in a population base of 7 billion+ - some manufacturers got together to propagate the all IP network with the technology at its present level, to create business for themselves, and managed to convince some telephone company administrators to move in that direction. Hence the NGN initiative. However, now that the futility of this effort has been exposed by the trials in BT and AT&T, I do hope all proponents of this initiative will put a stop to further wasteful expenditure on this initiative. Manufacturers instead should invest in the R&D of TDM equipment and generate business in this area. There is growth potential in this also, through replacements and upgrades, besides increase in requirements. We did move from Strowger to ESS and beyond. This is the line to pursue not the softswitches and related equipment required for the all IP networks. This will not happen in the forseeable future.

They should realize that no Telco will discard working and functional equipment to move into a disruptive technology that an all IP network is. Manufacturers who think that they can force the arms of the Telco administrations by not making TDM equipment available to service existing equipment and incremental expansions, are asking for trouble and could put themselves out of business altogether. They would not do that, and will continue to supply TDM equipment and spend money on improvements and R&D, to reduce costs, real estate requirements, etc. They should remember TDM is here to stay for all serious real-time communications like voice / fax / quality video.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Cross River Fiber Attends ITW 2012 in Chicago

The Windy City is about to get a lot more Windy with the arrival of over 5,000 global telecom executives about to enter town. The annual International Telecoms Week is set to begin in Chi-town on May 14 running through May 16. This year, Cross River Fiber will make its ITW 2012 debut – as the company launched in June 2011 it is their international coming out party.

What is most exciting about Cross River Fiber is its focused, high-touch, custom dark fiber network solutions. As they build out network throughout New Jersey, they are ensuring that many municipalities, hospitals; enterprise campuses and data centers are connected with the most modern fiber infrastructure available.

Don’t get me wrong; the Cross River Fiber team has been to ITW for many years – just not in their current form. The team hails from such esteemed companies as 4Connections and Optimum Lightpath (which acquired 4Connections). The founder and CEO of Cross River, Enzo Clemente, is highly regarded in the telecom engineering sphere as he has designed some of the NY metro region’s most reliable and fastest network connections. Also attending with Enzo is Mike Sevret. Mike re-joined Enzo, as they worked together at both 4Connections and Optimum Lightpath, and is now an executive at Cross River serving as the company’s Chief Strategy Officer. Both are well-connected and extremely knowledgeable executives – their experience and know-how can help companies plan their network expansions throughout the New York metro area.

To meet the team at ITW2012 email: crossriverfiber@imillerpr.com. For information about Cross River Fiber visit: www.crossriverfiber.com.

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