May is a crazy month for conferences, and it is hard to keep up with the posts.

The Interop conference is a shadow of its heyday years, but still a significant event for networking technologies. It used to attract more of the telephony/telecom vendors, but not as much any more. The handful of UC equipment vendors there did draw pretty decent crowds.

The main theme of the conference, IMO, was virtualization – especially desktop virtualization with hints of mobile virtualization to soon be a big deal. At this time, according to the lad I spoke with in the VMware booth, no softphone is currently supported on a virtual desktop.

ShoreTel, Avaya, and Siemens (most of SEN’s booth was dedicated to Enterasys) were there. ShoreTel announced the latest versions of some of its software, and both Avaya and SEN were showing off iPad integration (Avaya announced, SEN shpping). (I am beginning to fear I may be the only person that does not own an iPad).

ALU took home a Best of Interop Award for its data center switch. It was cited by competition judge Kurt Marko for having the most compelling design and supporting products for building extremely scalable, cloud-like data center networks. Vidyo won yet another Best of Interop Award for its Adaptive Layering Architecture for mobiity… guess what, it works on an iPad.

Check out these two posts for more information: Interop 2011 Trip Report (from a UC Perspective)

Interop still has some kick to it. As many of you know, this was quite a conference in the 90s. Of course, back then it was N+I (Networld Interop). Evidently, the Networld folks went somewhere else. Despite the conference’s smaller size, it is still quite large and focused on networking technologies. However, there was a UC track, and some UC vendors and news at the event.
…A recap of some of the UC announcements at the show:…

NoJitter: It’s the Network, Stupid

…In large data centers, bigger benefits come from network gear supporting mesh technologies. Most data centers use a three-tier model–edge, aggregators, and core–optimized for hierarchical (north-south) traffic. The problem is that cloud centers are increasing traffic between servers (east-west), requiring faster mesh solutions. Alcatel-Lucent won this month’s Best of Interop award thanks largely to its unprecedented fabric capacities. The density, value, and latency of these kinds of products bring data centers (and Ethernet) to a whole new level…

Dave Michels