Archive for June 2016

New line targets more than just voice calling to support varied use cases, including Internet of Things.

With mobile phones becoming ubiquitous at work, an increasingly pertinent question is, “Can anything save the desk phone?” Unify may be on to an answer with a line of phones introduced today.

Unify designed the new OpenScape Desk Phone CP family with a couple of assumptions in mind — both of which I believe are true. The first is that employees will continue working from office spaces, if not every day at least part of the time. The second is that when workers are in the office they prefer using desk phones if convenient.

On this latter assumption, what that means is a worker who needs to place an outbound call while sitting at a shared workspace will opt to dial from the desk phone rather than another option. However, that same user will not do the same for inbound calls because doing so is too much work — having to hand out the temporary number of the day or set up call forwarding from a mobile device to the desk phone. The desk phone likely offers better call quality, but easy peasy lemon squeezy will trump that every time.

Last month, Arista Networks put the core router market in the crosshairs with it’s Universal Spine (http://www.networkworld.com/article/3049140/router/arista-takes-aim-at-core-router-market-with-universal-spine.html) system. This week Arista complimented this by announcing a Universal Leaf network platform powered by its new 7280R switch series.

The products leverage the Broadcom Jericho chipset which is optimized for 100 Gig-E, deep buffers and routing.  Arista has been one of the more aggressive vendors with respect to using a leaf-spine architecture to be the backbone of a modern data center, so it makes sense that it would try and push the evolution of both the leaf and spines.

The concept behind the Universal Leaf is fairly simple – build a switch that can be a common leaf for any use case.  The leaf switch is where things connect into the network making the requirements somewhat complex.  A leaf needs to offer high availability, telemetry, dynamic and deep buffering, and different routing options,  just to name a few requirements.  Most leaf switches are purpose built to be good at one or two of these things, meaning customers must buy a wide variety of leaf switches.

Vendors are stretching the definition of fabric, which may cause confusion and slow SDN and fabric deployments

Technology vendors love to grab terms that are hot and then overuse them to the point where no one really understands what it means any more. I understand the desire to catch a market trend and have the “rising tide” lift the vendors along with a number of others. But the overuse of terms tends to confuse buyers while they are trying to figure out what’s what.



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