LAS VEGAS — You’ve heard about the “cloud,” yeah? That’s a fancy marketing term for connecting to computer services over a wire. In the old days they called that a mainframe. But we’re oversimplifying, of course. Whatever it is, cloud is clearly where it’s at here at Interop.
Better yet, people actually seemed moderately excited to be here. The gloom and doom of recession felt as if it were lifting. A conference organizer told me that paid attendance was up, even though booth revenue was flat.
Here are some highlights of the show:
Cloud Champions: Two of the leading “cloud networking” software vendors — which we defined yesterday as deploying content and applications as a service — are VMWare and Citrix, who were ever-present at the show. VMWare (VMW) launched VMForce with Salesforce.com (CRM) which allows developers to deploy Java-based applications in service-as-a-software environment. Citrix was demonstrating a cool product in Receiver, which allows you to access your Windows desktop and applications from an iPad.
Hot Startup: Arista Networks, the brainchild of networking heavyweights Jayshree Ullal (ex Cisco) and Andy Bechtolsheim (ex Sun), is making some real progress with a high-performance Ethernet data-center switch. First, they shipped the sucker. And impressive demo with Ixia shows the switch delivers 800Gbps of throughput with less than 3 microseconds of delay (between you and me, that’s damn fast). The company is clearly trying to take out Cisco’s data-center switch business. The Arista 7500 claims 10 terabits per second of switching capacity with one-tenth the power of competitive platforms. We saw some big-time potential customers in the booth, including some top network architects from Yahoo and United Airlines. It was winner of a Best of Show award.
Quote of the Day — Had a great lunch with Simon Crosby, CTO, and Laura Heisman, Director of Analyst Relations, both from Citrix. Simon fascinated with long soliloquies about the future of cloud computing and IT technology. More on this later. For now, his zinger on cloud computing and what it means for the IT business: “Anything with an operating system is legacy technology.” Hmmm.
Avaya Doubles Down on Data: Many have been wondering what Avaya would do with it’s dumptruck filled with Nortel gear that it acquired in Nortel’s implosion. They’re not taking it to the dump, they said, as CEO Kevin Kennedy is working hard to re-energize interest in their data portfolio. Remember, this is one to watch. Avaya went private in an $8B deal. I imagine they are trying to claw their way back to the public markets.
Las Vegas Wind Warning: Hmm, is it any coincidence that during a major technology show infiltrated by reams of ‘cloud computing’ announcements, the National Weather Service had issued a high-wind warning? I don’t think so.