Building LANs of Tomorrow

By Scot Petersen  |  Posted 2001-05-21

I can live with long cab lines in 99-degree heat. I can manage making the interminable walk from the 100s of the Las Vegas Convention Centers North Hall to the 8800s of its South Hall in less than 10 minutes. I can even stand very little sleep for three straight days. But the one thing I cant stand is those neck bands that go with trade show and conference badges.

Im hereby devoting the rest of my life to creating one that keeps the badge with the name facing out where people can see it, instead of the way I traveled at NetWorld+Interop this month—and all trade shows, for that matter—with the name upside down.

In a way, thats a metaphor for the latest N+I. Six months ago at Comdex, I noted a coming-out party for service providers—from integrators and application hosts to ISPs—in a place where, traditionally, desktop computing values still reigned.

At N+I, where we expected more of a presence, or at least more news, from the services sector, we saw instead a return to good old-fashioned infrastructure. More companies than we had print space for made storage-over-IP announcements, be it iSCSI or Fibre Channel. More than anything, bandwidth was king here, from 11M-bps wireless LANs to 10 Gigabit Ethernet and everything in between.

Of course, you would expect that here. But last year at this time, everybody was talking about the end of the corporations LAN infrastructure in lieu of the hosting companys. But as we have seen much of in the last few months, computing is all about getting back to basics.

We will still have to tolerate pie-in-the-sky keynotes from people, such as Intels Craig Barrett, who keep telling us what a wonderful world we will live in once the Internet infrastructure is all wired out. Im not going to count the days. Instead, Id like to concentrate on the present, think globally and act locally. Get your LANs in shape, for they will be the Internets of tomorrow.

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