NetWorld + Interop
September 13-17 1999
N+I 1999 offers a host of new network products and technologies.
By Al Gallant
Call me "Encouraged". It has been some time since I have had the opportunity to look N+I network vendors in the eye and ask "So what do you have that is new?" This year many will answer my request with very impressive information.
Fall NetWorld Interop tends to be larger than the spring event and this fall is no exception. My phone has not stopped ringing with vendors wanting to book appointments for new product announcements. My dance card is just about filled and time will not allow me to see everything that is going to be announced. Still, I would feel satisfied if I could get the latest from vendors who really have something new to provide the industry. There are going to be over 500 players at this year's event and I have only three days to cover as many as I can. Two vendors that I am interested in seeing are Intel and Cisco.
Intel recently announced a new networking architecture and a host of network products. Intel feels that the network industry is not flat and that there are billions to be made in network products over the next year. I will be taking a good hard look at Intel's offerings and hopefully get to the heart of the matter by spending time with Intel's StrongARM engineers.
Cisco is providing two product appointments. One on the conference floor and one in a demo area set up in a local hotel. Apparently they have too many products to show in just one area.
Hot Hot Hot
Besides the Atlanta weather, N+I will be covering lots of hot topics. "Gigabit" seems to be the big buzzword and although gigabit products have been around awhile, the interesting offerings at this event will be gigabit over copper. I will be taking a serious look at the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance and tracking the progress of its members. Hopefully I will see some interesting performance measurements and talk with the designers to find out everything there is on 1000baseT.
"Convergence" is another sizzler. The industry definition for Convergence is: "The integration of all kinds of information (voice, video, data) over a common network infrastructure". Convergence is becoming a practical reality. There are significant trends occurring in voice over DSL as well as Video. The hardest hurdle for convergence will be standards and security. You should look for a Convergence Standards Committee to be established soon. This year N+I has a Convergence Pavilion, staffed with representatives from such vendors as Cisco, Radvision, Polycom, ACT Networks, and BreezeCOM. Spending time at this pavilion should prove valuable.
What will CrossNodes be doing at N+I 1999?
I will be arriving at N+I Monday evening September 13th and spending three days at the event. I will provide daily updates, through the CrossNodes N+I discussion groups, on all attended events. I am extending an invitation to all CrossNodes readers to participate in these discussions. I would like to hear what you have to say about N+I 1999. Tell me, on which vendors CrossNodes should concentrate; what technologies to watch; and what network issues affect you.
By the way, for those of you attending the event, if you see me walking around (look for EarthWeb/CrossNodes press badge) stop and introduce yourself. I would like to hear what you think of N+I and EarthWeb/CrossNodes.