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More than 80 percent of the products and solutions unveiled at this year’s
Interop networking trade show are related to virtualization, representing a
seismic shift in the culture and future of a technology space that has been
dominated by switches, routers, and, well, networking technology. Today it’s
about the data center.

The three C’s of virtualization are dominating the show floor of the Interop IT
Expo and Conference in Las Vegas this week, according to industry analyst
Charles King, who said that more than 80 percent of the products and solutions
are virtualization-related, whether as consolidation, collaboration or cloud
computing technologies.

The networking industry-focused show has evolved in the years since Sun
Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy made his famous “the network is the
computer” remark. The network has become a robust, secure and highly resilient
architecture that is the critical glue that keeps all the pieces of a business
or service provider together, said King, president and principal analyst at
Pund-IT, an IT industry analysis firm.

But Sun is now part of Oracle, and networking has become part of a greater
whole as well.

Although King noted there are a good number of feeds-and-speeds announcements
around the importance of 10G-bps Ethernet and converged network infrastructure,
virtualization is a theme of this year’s event.

“Virtualization’s been around for four decades, and I would say for 35 of those
years it really was a fairly arcane, even obscure, corner of the technology
market,” he told Channel Insider. “It started in the mainframe space, and it
really stayed in the mainframe space until about 10 years ago when companies
like IBM and HP and Sun started developing
more robust virtualization capabilities for their Unix platforms.”

Among the new product announcements is Brocade’s enhancements to the Brocade
ServerIron ADX Series of application
delivery controllers that are designed to help organizations “realize the
promise of on-demand, elastic data center computing.”

Three products were part of the announcement, including the new Brocade
Application Resource Broker software module that provides visibility into
application performance across the network and virtual machine infrastructures,
the new Brocade ServerIron ADX 1008-1 module
for on-demand capabilities in Brocade’s entry-level ServerIron ADX
1000 Series products, and the introduction of the ServerIron ADX
v12.2 software release.

Ixia, Cisco Systems and Emulex are demonstrating an end-to-end converged data
center at Interop that features server virtualization and I/O consolidation
over a converged fabric. The proof-of-concept converged data center is built on
a lossless Ethernet infrastructure powered by Cisco and Emulex hardware and
Ixia’s IxVM virtual switch.

D-Link announced several new business products at the show, including the
D-Link xStack Chassis Series (DGS-8000, its first chassis line), the D-Link
DSN-5000 Series of xStack SAN Arrays, and
the D-Link L2+ Unified Wired/Wireless Gigabit Switch (DWS-4026). D-Link also
took the opportunity at Interop to announce its revamped VIP
Channel Partner Program.

Cloud computing was a major part of F5 Networks’ series of announcements at
Interop. The company announced BIG-IP Version 10.2, which is software that
enables enterprises to extend their data center architectures into the cloud
and get the benefits of on-demand IT.

SonicWall’s big announcement of the show was the impressively named Project
SuperMassive, which the vendor is touting as a next-generation security
platform and technology that can detect and control applications, prevent
intrusions, and block malware at up to 40G bps without creating network

That’s just a sample of the announcements being made at this year’s Interop. In
addition to virtualization, King said other popular announces revolve around
network tools for disaster recovery and compliance, security (such as McAfee’s
converged security announcement, McAfee Firewall Enterprise Version 8) and
technology built on Intel’s Nehalem Xeon 7500 microarchitecture.