• United States
Editor in Chief

A few Interop notes worth sharing

Jun 07, 20043 mins
AT&TMobileNetwork Security

Although NetWorld+Interop has come and gone, a review of my notebook turned up some exchanges that are worth passing on.

Although NetWorld+Interop has come and gone, a review of my notebook turned up some exchanges that are worth passing on.

• John McHugh, vice president and worldwide general manager of HP’s ProCurve Networking Business, said HP won’t come out with a wireless LAN switch, but likely will offer a WLAN blade for a chassis-based switch, the same approach Cisco and Extreme Networks have taken.

In keeping with its Adaptive Edge Architecture, where HP is pushing intelligence to the edge – processing, deep packet inspection, switching – wireless security will require logging on and authenticating at the edge. But McHugh acknowledged the company is still in the process of “stitching the quilt together to make it work.”

Asked how HP’s approach compares with Cisco’s newly announced WLAN Services Module, McHugh said, “Cisco is trying to address mobility from the center of the net. I don’t think that scales. You can’t roam across multiple Cisco blades, for example. Mobility, security and convergence are all really edge constructs, not core.”

• Dan Simone, vice president of product management and co-founder of Trapeze Networks, also cited mobility when asked to compare his company with other WLAN players: “Some are focused on radio frequency, and others on security. Trapeze is all about mobility and identity. We deliver trusted users to trusted services – a net-centric view – and make users mobile.”

He says this adds up to a sustainable business model and argues – obviously in a self-serving manner – that RF and security features will simply get baked into silicon over time.

Trapeze’s secret? “The way switches share information,” Simone says. “Switches understand each other and create a mobility domain.” That will become more important as customers add voice support. “I haven’t been in a discussion with a customer where voice support doesn’t come up, but only a fraction of people are doing it now.”

• Richard Klapman, product director of AT&T’s data network services, was at N+I to talk up metropolitan Ethernet.

AT&T, which has joined the Metro Ethernet Forum, offers metro Ethernet services that range in speed from 2M up to 1G bit/sec and can be used to connect a single building to the Internet or link multiple buildings. The company also is trialing the service as a way to connect a data center to a hub that is linked to branch offices using frame relay.

Klapman said metropolitan Ethernet will hit the knee of the curve in two years.