• United States
Editor in Chief

Calling vendors to a Virtual Showdown

Feb 16, 20043 mins
Cisco SystemsNetwork Security

We challenge Airespace, Aruba, Cisco, Extreme, Symbol and Trapeze to participate in a weeklong Virtual Showdown on wireless switches.

Network World has hosted presidential-style technology debates – what we call Showdowns – at all the major trade shows, from NetWorld+Interop to ComNet, Supercomm, Comdex and the new U.S. version of the CeBit show.

And while successful, they only benefit people who attend the events. Readers too far away to make the trek miss the opportunity to see how competing vendors on Showdown panels respond to our probing, attack the weaknesses of their rivals and respond to questions from the audience.

So we’re pleased to announce we are complementing our in-person debates with Network World Virtual Showdowns. The format will be similar, but it will all happen online so you can track the show from your desktop and reference it after the fact.

To kick it all off we’ll tackle the hot wireless switch market. We hereby challenge Airespace, Aruba, Cisco, Extreme, Symbol and Trapeze to participate in a weeklong Virtual Showdown commencing March 29 (vendors need to confirm their participation by March 15).

Like the live debates, the virtual kind will be segmented into three parts, starting with the vendors answering questions from Network World Senior Editor John Cox and Craig Mathias, principal of the Farpoint Group. To minimize lag time, Cox and Mathias will formulate and pose their questions the week before the event. Then on the 29th we’ll kick off the first part by posting detailed answers to those questions and posting more queries and answers throughout the day.

It will get even more interesting on Tuesday the 30th when we move to the second segment, opening up the forum to let the vendors question each other. This is typically the liveliest part of any showdown because the vendors know their competitors cold and can hone in on technical details that matter. In the live events we minimize responses to 2 minutes to keep the discussion cooking, but online we’ll let things run their course.

And finally on Thursday, April 1 – and continuing through Friday – we’ll throw open the doors to let readers post questions.

It should add up to a lively, meaningful discussion that will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of some of the major products in this new LAN category. Log on to follow the debate and to help us keep the suppliers honest. If you want to submit questions for the preliminary round, e-mail us before March 15.