Lippis Report Issue 96: What 2008 and 2012 Have In Store

December 17th, 2007

A warm Happy Holiday wish to all Lippis Report subscribers, supporters and their families. We have a special Lippis Report for you. Zeus Kerravala and I review the important and game-changing trends of 2007 and predict what 2008 has in store for business and IT leaders. We then take a further look out to 2012 and paint a picture of what the industry will look like. We provide this analysis in both written and podcast formats.

Zeus KerravalaRelated Podcast:
Lippis and Kerravala Make Industry Predictions for 2008 and 2012

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Can Software as a Service Tie Together Cisco Communication Applications?

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December 17th, 2007

Jeff KaplanJeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, and founder of the Managed Service Showplace and Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) Showplace, joins me to discuss how communications is being added to Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings and in particular how Cisco may use SaaS as part of its unified communications strategy. Cisco offers unified communications, WebEx and arguably the best video conferencing systems on the market, that being its Telepresence system. Will Cisco integrate these services or let customers pick and choose which communication services they want? Jeff and I explore what impact SaaS may have on Cisco’s unified software strategy.

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Lippis and Kerravala Make Industry Predictions for 2008 and 2012

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December 17th, 2007

Zeus KerravalaZeus Kerravala, SVP of The Yankee Group joins me to discuss important 2007 industry developments, what 2008 will bring and what the industry may look like 2012. Zeus and I compare notes and debate the future of our industry. It is longer than our typical podcast, 27 minutes, so enjoy and relax while you listen to it in the car, on a bike, walking the dog or during a coffee break. It’s a great way to start off your year. Happy Holidays Everyone!

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Communications Transformations: Implementation Considerations when Enhancing Enterprise Communications Solutions with SIP Trunks

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December 17th, 2007

By Cisco Systems

Service providers are starting to offer “SIP trunk services” because Session Initial Protocol (SIP) is used as the signaling method between the service provider and enterprise communications systems. SIP trunk access is being provided for both local and long-distance PSTN access. These SIP trunks allow for unified communications IP access to the PSTN from the enterprise as well as the promise of new applications and services with end-to-end unified communications IP calling between enterprise users and external users.

Many enterprises add unified communications SIP trunk access to their networks in addition to the traditional TDM connectivity already in place. Cisco solutions offer enterprises the unique capability of upgrading their existing equipment that provides TDM connectivity to also support IP connectivity to the service provider. This connectivity provides access to new services for their users while at the same time minimizing reconfiguration in the network by keeping existing call patterns in place as well as providing backup access for emergency calling and redundancy.

When deciding whether, or when, to add a unified communications SIP trunk entry point to your network, be sure to consider more than the cost and services of the offering. This decision also has implications for call routing, high availability, Call Admission Control (CAC), security, and various other aspects of network design. The evaluation steps to consider when adding a unified communications SIP trunk to your network are covered in this white paper “Communications Transformation: Integrating a SIP Trunk into the Enterprise”. This paper discusses the technical considerations of this integration.

Cisco TrustSec: Enabling Switch Security Services

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December 17th, 2007

By Cisco Systems

As the separation between public and private networks becomes increasingly blurred, enterprise administrators have begun to recognize that they must find better ways to control access to corporate resources and information. Isolated best-in-class solutions no longer meet their operational requirements. Identity authentication needs to be applied across all access methods in a consistent manner. Access to critical applications and network resources must be provided to any user on any device or any platform across a variety of access points. With so many types of users and access methods, a converged policy engine is required to manage user roles and access control requirements. And the integrity and confidentiality of transactions frequently must be ensured, even within the campus.

Cisco has developed a new architecture along with a set of products and technologies called Cisco TrustSec, which allows enterprise networks to transition from:

  • Isolated identity mechanisms to secure campus access control
  • Disjointed policies to converged policies
  • Unplanned to pervasive integrity and confidentiality

Ultimately, this transforms a topology-aware network into one that is role- aware

Making WLANs Work Reliably and Cost-Effectively in a Multimedia World: A Guide for Small/Medium Business and Public Hot Zone Operators

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December 17th, 2007

By Ruckus Wireless

Administrators of small-to-medium businesses or independent hot spots at hotels, stores, transportation centers, and other public venues are often frustrated by the limitations of wireless consumer products and have no time or budget for enterprise-class solutions. These companies need an affordable, easy-to-use alternative that is still robust and scalable enough to extend the reach of their wireless LANs, support existing and next generation services and provide reliable and predictable Wi-Fi performance.

This paper examines the opportunities and challenges associated with operating a small-to-medium business WLAN or public hot spot. It explains the benefits of a self-configuring platform that can deliver Wi-Fi more reliably to increasingly diverse devices and applications, covering larger areas and higher user densities, while minimizing total cost of ownership. Finally, this paper introduces the Ruckus ZoneFlex wireless LAN system and its attempt to fill the gap between current low AP and high-end WLAN platforms.

A Special Edition Lippis Report: Cisco Launches TrustSec Expanding Network Admission Control to Role-Based Access Control

December 5th, 2007

Today Cisco launched its TrustSec architecture to expand network security from controlling admission to controlling access to IT resources through a role-based approach. This is a significant announcement as it addresses an important issue to all public companies, that being regulatory and legislative compliance to regulations issued after September 11th 2001 and because the Enron, WorldCom, et al., scandals have restricted corporate boards from fully developing their growth strategies. As the network is the business platform, corporate boards need confidence that their networks are in auditable conformance to applicable regulations as they develop business strategies. To meet that end, Cisco’s TrustSec organizes and simplifies existing authentication and policy schema allowing administrators to configure and maintain identity-based access to IT resources while identifying and applying policy based on the user’s role in the organization. TrustSec also provides encrypted links between end-points and servers. TrustSec is an architecture which builds upon existing network services embedded into network infrastructure. Cisco will ship TrustSec-based products in the future, and we’ll cover those as they come. But for now, I provide an in-depth view of TrustSec so you can wrap your mind around this new approach to securing IT assets.

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Lippis Report Issue 95: The Communications Industry Braces For Restructuring

December 3rd, 2007

In the early summer of 2007 I attended the Siemens Communications Analyst conference in London. And while I have known for the past five years that a massive industry change was unfolding thanks to IP telephony, it wasn’t until this conference that the change agents became clear. It was during the presentation of Eduardo Montes, Siemens AG, Managing Board Member Chairman, Siemens Enterprise Communications that the light bulb went off. Eduardo talked frankly about the restructuring and consolidation that would occur in the enterprise communications market and he used service provider and equipment supplier dynamics to make his point. I didn’t buy it. The SPs had consolidated which forced all the equipment supplier consolidation. These dynamics are not occurring in the enterprise space. So I challenged his ideas during the break and what he said, through a thick Spanish accent, made immense sense to me. In short, the distribution channel for enterprise communication is restructuring and will drive consolidation.

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The Five Requirements Of Application Delivery Switches?

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December 3rd, 2007

Gary HemmingerThe new trend in application delivery switches is an expansion beyond load balancing toward specific application support of firms like Oracle, BEA, SAP, Microsoft, et al. With enterprise spending on application acceleration equipment expected to reach $3.7 billion by the end of 2008, we identify the five issues IT leaders need to consider before they procure and deploy these switches in their data centers and server farms. I discuss this with Gary Hemminger, Director of Product Marketing for Application Delivery Products at Foundry Networks. No matter where you are on the buying cycle, you need to listen to this podcast before you act.

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Forming RF Beams and Making Wi-Fi Faster On Purpose with 802.11n

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December 3rd, 2007

by Ruckus Wireless

This black paper provides detail on spatial multiplexing which can significantly increase data throughput as the number of resolved spatial data streams is increased. Each spatial stream requires its own TX/RX antenna pair at each end of the transmission. It is important to understand that MIMO technology, a major architectural element of 802.11n radios requires a separate radio frequency (RF) chain and analog-to-digital converter (ADC) for each MIMO antenna. This increasing complexity ultimately translates to higher implementation costs as higher-performance systems are required.

ServerIron Application Delivery Solutions

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December 3rd, 2007

By Foundry Networks

Foundry Networks’ application delivery solutions are adopted by over 2,000 of the world’s largest enterprise, service provider and e-commerce organizations. These solutions are offered on the industry’s only purpose-built ServerIron application traffic and management switch family. These switches enable high performance, always-on and secure IP application and service delivery. The ServerIron family accelerates, secures and scales IP, Web and Voice over IP (VoIP) applications. The ServerIron products support business-critical applications including financial trading, e-mail, DNS, VoIP, Web, CDN, e-commerce and ERP.

Securing and Accelerating Application Delivery

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December 3rd, 2007

By Foundry Networks

This presentation by Foundry Networks describes their approach and investment in application delivery for both the enterprise and service provider markets. It starts with company history then quickly gets into application delivery. The ServerIron L4-7 solution is explored in detailed while providing the most common and effective deployment scenarios.

Wideband Audio: Exploring the Potential for Improved Enterprise Communications

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December 3rd, 2007

By Avaya

Have you ever wondered why the sound quality on your phone seemed so poor after listening to your iPod? The reason? Limited bandwidth thanks to 20th century compromises between cost and quality resulting in narrowband audio. Today’s network infrastructure is not limited to these old constraints and much higher audio bandwidth is available. This paper explores the possibilities for better sound quality within IP telephony through the introduction of Wideband Audio technology and the business implications for improved productivity that the new wave of sound can offer. It will also explore how Avaya, one of the leaders in IP Telephony, has chosen to exploit the productivity potential for Wideband Audio in its new line of telephones. With all the time spent on communications in a typical day, improving audio quality makes for an improved work experience.

Doorways to Increased Productivity: Advances In IP Telephony User Interface And Phone Design

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December 3rd, 2007

By Avaya

The communications industry has changed more over the past five years than in its 100-year history. With all this change to converged networks and IP telephony the doorway to increased communications functionality, i.e. the telephone and its user interface, has not generally been viewed as a critical factor. That emphasis is about to change. The origins of the change are based upon a growing realization that the productivity increases that had been expected with the conversion to new IP telephony systems have not been fully realized.

This paper will explore the importance of the telephone user interface and the integration of the interface into telephone design in achieving full productivity potential inherent in IP telephony. It will address the challenges faced by users with conventional telephony interfaces in accessing advanced telephony features and the productivity drag that has occurred. The paper will also discuss some recent research findings that underscore the negative impact of interface complexity. It will explore the potential possible for enhanced productivity with a re-thinking of the user experience designed to achieve greater simplicity and confidence in advanced feature use. Finally, the paper will explore how Avaya has stepped up to the productivity lag challenge with the introduction of new phone designs and interface paradigms.