Nortel continues the enterprise fight

NortelEven though it filed Chapter 11 and is reportedly looking to sell off huge chunks of its business, Nortel is not giving up the enterprise fight.

The company this week will unveil its next generation large enterprise core/data center aggregation switch. The Virtual Service Platform 9000 is Nortel’s entry into the increasingly crowded core data center switch field, which has seen numerous announcements of late from Nortel’s competitors: Force10, Extreme, Juniper and even 3Com, which is re-entering the battle to provide a lower cost alternative to Cisco during these trying economic times.
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Nortel says the VSP 9000 will go up against Cisco’s Nexus 7000, Force10’s ExaScale, Extreme’s BlackDiamond 8900, Brocade’s BigIron RX, Juniper’s EX8216, 3Com’s S12500 and any other switch approaching or exceeding 100Gbps per slot capacity and designed to aggregate hundreds of 10Gbps Ethernet ports.

Nortel’s challenges are significant, however. The company is restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors so its future is uncertain. Also, the VSP 9000 won’t ship for another year, while most competitor offerings are already on the market.

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What it will take for mobile VoIP to get enterprise-ready

voipBy all rights, mobile VoIP sounds like an enticing proposition for a lot of companies.

After all, what enterprise wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to save money on their mobile phone bills by sending their wireless calls over an IP network rather than a cellular network? But despite this attractive premise, current mobile VoIP technology has yet to evolve to the point where users can simply switch on their phones anywhere and expect to connect to a secure IP network.

The obvious reason for this is because mobile VoIP devices today are reliant upon Wi-Fi technology, which can offer quality voice service but which also has limited range and is prone to coverage gaps that make it problematic as a voice technology. These factors have so far limited mobile VoIP offerings to office environments or home environments where workers can securely connect to local hotspots to get a dedicated voice channel. But Stan Schatt, an analyst at ABI Research, says that these in-office, in-house technologies have not yet matured enough to the point where they can properly support more complicated applications such as conference calling.

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