Stories by John Dix

ShorTel goes big in hosted VoIP: A Q&A with CEO Blackmore

ShoreTel, which made its mark in IP telephony by simplifying unified communications and reducing total cost of ownership, recently broke into the hosted VoIP business with the acquisition of M5. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix caught up with ShoreTel CEO Peter Blackmore to find out how integration of that company is going and where he is taking the company.

The security game changes when the bad guys are backed by foreign governments

Fidelis Security Systems has an interesting perspective on the world of security, working, as it does, with the U.S. government to keep other countries from prying into some of our nation's most critical networks. Now that many of those same countries are after intellectual property housed by enterprise shops, commercial customers are knocking at Fidelis' door looking for help. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix talked to Fidelis CEO Peter George about the shifting threat landscape and what companies are doing to cope.

Enterasys a growth company

Enterasys has a storied past, springing, as it did, from the loins of Cabletron, the network giant whose revenues once surpassed $1 billion, but then falling into disarray in the early 2000s. Enterasys today is a fast growing private company and part of a joint venture with Siemens Enterprise Communications, giving it added depth and reach. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently caught up with company President and CEO Chris Crowell to learn more about what Enterasys is up to and where it fits in.

SDN/OpenFlow has Cisco jumping

You can gauge the promise of an emerging technology by the reaction of the biggest legacy player potentially threatened by the new arrival. It walks a fine line between jumping in too quickly and sanctioning a nascent movement that may not otherwise get off the ground, and reacting too slowly and losing advantage to fleet-footed upstarts.

The Cisco security directive

Chris Young just celebrated his six-month anniversary as senior vice president of the recently formed Cisco Security Group reporting to Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior. He brings an interesting perspective to the position, hailing as he does from VMware and RSA. Young was senior vice president and general manager for VMware's end user computing solutions and, prior to that, senior vice president for products at RSA. After hearing Cisco CEO John Chambers proclaim in a recent teleconference that we could expect to see Cisco make big strides in security with Young onboard, Network World Editor in Chief John Dix tracked Young down for his vision and plans.

IT pro rethinks infrastructure from the ground up, ends up in clouds

Mark Adams, vice president of IT at HireRight, is living the dream -- the chance to completely rethink the infrastructure for a $300 million software-as-a-service employment screening service company. While the nucleus of the 1,600 employee company has been around for 30+ years, a three year acquisition spree resulted in data center sprawl, leaving the company with 10 facilities, including company owned and collocation and disaster-recovery sites, some of them overseas. Now HireRight is three quarters of the way through a consolidation effort with a heavy emphasis on cloud. Adams gave an update on the company's modernization progress to Network World Editor in Chief John Dix.

Piston Cloud has made the tough private cloud decisions for you

Joshua McKenty, co-founder and chief executive officer of Piston Cloud, what he calls The Enterprise OpenStack Company, was in on the ground floor of OpenStack's creation, working as he was on the Anso Labs team at NASA to build a compute cloud on top of open source platform Eucalyptus. The team eventually gave up on that and wrote Nova, which NASA uses today to power its Nebula Cloud environment, and Nova was ultimately contributed to the OpenStack project, which it formed with Rackspace. McKenty left NASA after Anso was acquired by Rackspace in 2010, and formed Piston Cloud in 2011 with co-founders Gretchen Curtis (also of NASA) and Christopher MacGown of Rackspace. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently caught up with McKenty for a deep dive on why OpenStack matters and where Piston Cloud fits in.

Siemens launches new VoIP/UC platform, says it has earned another look

Siemens Enterprise Communications, which has been rebuilding itself here in the U.S. for the past several years, will punctuate the idea that it deserves another look with the announcement Monday of Version 7.0 of its OpenScape UC suite that enables the VoIP platform to support up to 500,000 users.

A10 CEO spells out application delivery controller advantage and next steps

A10 has built a solid business in the application delivery controller (ADC) market, but its platform also supports <a href="">IPv6</a> migration and many cloud requirements, nicely positioning the company for the future. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently sat down with A10 founder and CEO Lee Chen for a company update. Chen, who was co-founder of Foundry Networks, says A10 already has 1,700 customers and more than 7,000 devices deployed.

Juniper exec gives inside look at QFabric

R.K. Anand, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper Networks' Data Center Business Unit, was employee No. 12 of the network startup back in 1996, leaving a job as a microprocessor designer at Sun Microsystems. Years later he left Juniper for a brief stint at another startup, but came back to help finalize the company's QFabric product and get it out the door. QFabric began shipping in September 2011. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently caught up with Anand at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., for a deep dive on the company's answer to high-end data center demands.

What's next with hypervisors?

The world of hypervisors is complicated by the fact that there are proprietary and open source tools and the latter are often pressed into service in different ways, say nothing of the fact that the whole market is evolving quickly.

Getting a handle on complexity

Everyone knows complexity is a foe of IT. But how bad is it, and how do you tell if your decisions are making it better or worse? Peter Leukert, CIO of Commerzbank, one of the largest banks in Germany, set to find out. Leukert, who runs the financial service giant's 3,800 member centralized IT group, built an IT Complexity Model to get a handle on the problem, and then turned to consulting firm Capco Partners to help get other financial service firms involved. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently caught up with Leukert and Mat Small, Partner with Capco in New York, for a briefing on the effort.

Vendors as partners

Ken Piddington, CIO of Global Partners LP, an $8 billion energy company in the Northeast, recently implemented an innovative vendor partnership program that he hopes will improve the product and services the company gets from suppliers while helping those suppliers more efficiently serve the company and benefit from the relationship.

Living legends: Radia Perlman, Layer 3 wizard

As important as Spanning Tree has been to the acceptance and spread of Ethernet, making it possible to link Ethernet segments without creating loops and packet storms, its inventor, <a href="">Radia Perlman</a>, says she always thought it was a bad idea.