Networking Standards Prove Worth
The interoperability layer has most definitely shifted.The upcoming Networld+Interop Show in Las Vegas was once all about trying to make disparate networking standards communicate. During the show, you could always walk by the network operations center to see engineers and network designers pounding away trying to make diverse islands of communication talk to one another. Those engineers were usually successful but only after huge amounts of coffee, sleepless nights and workarounds that could never be duplicated in the IT center back home. In the process, those attendees helped create the standards that today make it easy to send an e-mail to anyone, anywhere; to view Web pages on anything from a desktop to a cell phone; and, unfortunately, to send a virus around the world with a few mouse clicks.
As the new products being displayed at this N+I show and the articles in this weeks eWeek discuss, the interoperability layer has most definitely shifted to the application layer in IT. While there remains a lot of work to do in machine-to-machine communication, the features of Internet-based communication are well-established. Many of the products and services being introduced are at least the second generation of products that were once revolutionary and are now seen as simply part of the computer and communications evolution. While not as glitzy as the first-time releases, these products have the decided advantage of actually being useful.