This eWEEK: April 14, 2003

Gibson: Cisco bears watching now that the company has regrouped.

Cisco is no Enron. It hit a bump in the road a couple of years ago, but who didnt? The reason it seemed like such a comeuppance was that Ciscos accomplishments, both financially and technologically, had been so extraordinary to that point. Now that Cisco has gathered itself, networking competitors beware.

If you listen to those competitors talk about it, they believe Cisco is vulnerable on price. Cisco CEO John Chambers responds to this charge in our eWeek Interview. My take: Chambers doesnt mind charging a premium as long as he can claim to deliver more value. Whether or not Cisco delivers that value is up to you, the customer. If not, make your views known. It sounds to me like Chambers will bring prices down if the market demands it.

Theres no need to read between the lines with regard to Chambers estimate of the storage networking market, however. Its big. This week, Cisco is enhancing its MDS 9000 Series switches and 7200 and 7400 Series storage routers with Fibre Channel-over-IP software to enable them to work over longer distances. See Evan Koblentzs coverage of Cisco, HP and QLogic announcements.

Lets not forget about network-attached storage. Henry Baltazar compares three outstanding NAS products from Network Appliance, Rainfinity and Tacit Networks. Tacit and Rainfinity extend NAS over WAN links, while NetApp blends NAS and SAN.

Quick, name the boss of IBMs Lotus Software division. Stumped? Get used to hearing more from Ambuj Goyal, who took the reins from Al Zollar a few months ago. Zollar represented the IBM corporate era at Lotus, and General Manager Goyal will be taking Lotus back for the developers. His mission should be to make Lotus once again a hotbed of innovation. Both Lotus and IBM traditions demand it.

In the "Why didnt I think of that?" category is RSA Securitys Nightingale, which splits encrypted data and stores each on a separate server. Not a perfect approach to securing personal information—what is?—but it raises the security bar.

How much do we need better security products? Give Tim Dycks Tech Directions column a read. Just be glad this is April and not March.

Till next eWeek, send comments to me at