Vol 02 issue 03 December 2009 | Rs. 50
S E L ECT
S E R IES
SPECIAL If you are fascinated with all these wires on our cover, wait till you wind your way through the whole package inside
Forget the slowdown - growth ahead in this segment PAGE 16
The promise of new apps and SMBs PAGE 18
Ever heard about the term optimisation? PAGE 22
There you go - wires again! PAGE 24
The Network Has Arrived
Businesses today can mix and match wired and wireless as per their needs and budgets.
illion years ago, Sun Microsystems had proclaimed, ‘The network is the computer.’ The punchline may have been passé with the dotcom bust (Sun had helped fuel the boom), but today no business can survive – forget thrive – without a network in place. This is true of almost all businesses in the developed world and increasingly so for most in surging economies like India’s. And even though many say that you don’t need to have your own network infrastructure in a cloud-computing paradigm, the networks within data centres that spawn those clouds in the first place must keep growing. In the year gone by, the economic slowdown did put a dampener to the rising fortunes of both vendors and solution providers in the country. But if industrial activity is any indicator, things are already beginning to look up this year. New installations and greenfield projects, the primary growth drivers for many in the network infrastructure industry, are likely to get the go-ahead. Commonwealth Games to be held in October in Delhi are being looked at very positively by all sectors of the economy. But setting up the basic initial infrastructure is only the beginning of the network story. The more interesting and sustained story lies in scaling, managing and adapting that network for organisations’ agile needs. From a barebone infrastructure that can do file-sharing to a superfast one that can
do video-streaming on the fly, there are multiple nodes of opportunities for those in the networking business. In this context (or should I say ‘contest’), an interesting phenomenon is currently at play. There seems to be a tug-of-war between the realms of wired and wireless networking, especially in that hallowed growth segment we all know as the SMB (small and medium business). Contrary to the myths that businesses cannot do basic functions securely on a wireless network and that they have to go either with wireless or wired, today’s advanced wireless solutions are equipped to handle most SMB requirements with as good security as one can get. At the same time, there’s need to educate businesses about meshed networks that use both wired and wireless so they can mix and match according to their particular wants and budgets. Wireless and wired will both co-exist and lend new dimensions to what the network can really do.
SANJAY GUPTA Editor Digit Channel Connect
sounding board sounding board Vol 02 issue 03 December 2009 | Rs. 50
S E L ECT
S E R I E S
SPECIAL If you are fascinated with all these wires on our cover, wait till you wind your way through the whole package inside
Forget the slowdown - growth ahead in this segment PAGE 16
The promise of new apps and SMBs PAGE 18
Ever heard about the term optimisation? PAGE 22
There you go - wires again! PAGE 24
Write to the Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Digit Channel Connect is National Media Partner for COMP-EX ’2010 • Raunaq Singh, Vice President, Targus Technologies: “Majority enterprises still perceive wireless as a secondary networking option.” • A study by Springboard Research: The market for enterprise networking equipment in India is estimated to grow from $1 billion in 2008 to $1.7 billion by 2012, recording a compounded annual growth rate of 15 percent during this period. • Ketan Kothari, director, Sigma Byte Computers: “It is very difficult to get skilled structured cabling solution providers who can support the entire project lifecycle. One also needs to have the right mindset to serve the mid-size to large projects, which usually take at least a period of three to six months to set up the basic infrastructure.”
Snail Mail: The Editor, Digit Channel Connect, K-40, Connaught Circus, New Delhi 110 001
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DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT
VOL 02 ISSUE 03 | DECEMBER 2009
Managing Director: Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Printer & Publisher: Kanak Ghosh
INFRASTRUCTURE Solution providers can reap real benefits if they keep their offerings attuned to the needs of today’s CIOs. Here’s what most technology heads are gravitating towards and why
ARCHITECTURE IS THE KEY
NETWORKING EQUIPMENT Growing Connections
With slowdown fading away, vendors and solution providers have something to cheer about
“Networks are expected to offer diverse functionality”
SAMIR MISHRA, RM, ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES – CHANNELS, CISCO
RAJ JADHAV, D-LINK INDIA
“Wireless networking is on every IT manager’s budget”
New apps and demand from SMBs will fuel growth in this segment
With rise in energy costs, businesses are looking at ways to optimise power usage
Tying Up Loose Ends
OTHERS EDITORIAL.......................................................... 03 TRENDS.............................................................. 06 GUEST EXPRESSION . ........................................ 27
The need for robust infrastructure solutions among enterprises is growing
NEW PROJECTS AHEAD
SALES & MARKETING VP Sales & Marketing: Navin Chand Singh National Manager - Events and Special Projects: Mahantesh Godi (09880436623) Business Manager (Engagement Platforms) Arvind Ambo (09819904050) National Manager - Channels: Krishnadas Kurup (09322971866) Asst. Brand Manager: Arpita Ganguli Bangalore & Chennai: Vinodh K (09740714817) Delhi: Pranav Saran (09312685289) Kolkata: Jayanta Bhattacharya (09331829284) Mumbai: Sachin Mhashilkar (09920348755) PRODUCTION & LOGISTICS Sr. GM Operations: Shivshankar M Hiremath Production Executive: Vilas Mhatre Logistics: MP Singh, Mohd. Ansari, Shashi Shekhar Singh CHANNEL CHAMPS Sr Co-ordinator - Events: Rakesh Sequeira Events Executives: Pramod Jadhav, Johnson Noronha Audience Dev. Executive: Aparna Bobhate, Shilpa Surve
Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd., KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi, Navi Mumbai - 400 703 Phone: 40789666 Fax: 022-40789540, 022-40789640 Printed and published by Kanak Ghosh for Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt Ltd. C/O KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station), Navi Mumbai 400703 Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur C/O KPT House, Plot 41/13, Sector 30, Vashi (Near Sanpada Railway Station), Navi Mumbai 400703 Printed at Silverpoint Press Pvt. Ltd, TTC Ind. Area, Plot No. : A - 403, MIDC, Mahape, Navi Mumbai - 400709
D-Link..........................................................................IFC Digilink...........................................................................5 Cubix..............................................................................7
KK SHETTY, DIRECTOR, TYCO ELCTRONICS INDIA
BRAND COMMUNICATION Product Manager: Ankur Agarwal
HP.................................................................. False Cover
“Partners need adequate training for design”
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DESIGN Sr. Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Art Director: Binesh Sreedharan Associate Art Director: Anil VK Manager Design: Chander Shekhar Sr. Visualisers: PC Anoop, Santosh Kushwaha Sr. Designers: Prasanth TR & Anil T Photographer: Jiten Gandhi
Business Without Wires
Optimisation at Work
EDITORIAL Editor: Sanjay Gupta Sr. Correspondents: Charu Khera (Delhi), Soma Tah (Mumbai)
Tyco..............................................................................11 cover design : prasanth t r
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New Atom chips from Intel to push up channel sales
ntel Corporation has announced new as netbooks in particular have been hot Intel Atom processors that feature sellers during a recessionary year due to integrated graphics built directly into their affordability, function and small size the CPU, enabling improved performance (7-10.2” screens). Additionally, Intel is and smaller, more energy-efficient designs expecting to see broad channel adoption in a new generation of netbooks and Atomfor Atom in a variety of small form factor based entry-level desktop PCs. entry-level desktop PCs at low price points, Major OEMs have committed to having including ultra-small designs (less than systems on the new Intel Atom processors 1-litre chassis), fanless designs, and lowand a new companion chipset available cost all-in-one designs. within the next few weeks. Since Intel announced the first Atom The newest Intel Atom platform for processors for netbooks and entry-level netbooks consists of a new Intel Atom desktop PCs in June 2008, the market has processor, the N450, and a new low-power expanded rapidly. Since introduction, Intel Intel NM10 Express Chipset. For entry level has shipped over 40 million Atom chips for desktop PCs, it consists of either the Intel netbooks to every major OEM around the Atom processor D410 or the dual core Intel Atom D510 microprocessor world. In the same timeframe, netbooks D510, also paired with the Intel NM10 ramped faster and sold more units than Express Chipset. The Intel Atom processor was designed from the Apple’s iPhone or the Nintendo Wii. According to ABI Research, total ground up for small devices and low power, and is built on the compaAtom shipments are expected to grow to over100 million by 2011. ny’s 45nm high-k metal gate manufacturing process. “The Intel Atom processor has fueled an entirely new category of The overall package, including chipset, just got smaller due to computing over the last year and a half and we think the growth the increasing integration and 45nm manufacturing, which means will continue for devices like netbooks and entry-level PCs built smaller, more compact system designs, lower costs for OEMs and around basic computing and Internet usage models,” said Mooly improved performance. Eden, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s Intel continues to see broad industry support for the Atom platform PC Client Group. n
PC market returns to growth
uoyed by strong back-to-school demand, worldwide PC shipments returned to positive growth in the third quarter of 2009 (3Q09) with an increase of 2.3% after three consecutive quarters of decline. Consumer portables remained the key driver, with shipments increasing 33.5% from a year ago, while consumer desktop demand remained weak as the market continued its transition to mobility. The decline of commercial PCs also started to slow in 3Q09, providing a hint that IT spending will gradually pick up in upcoming quarters. Mini Notebooks (a.k.a. Netbooks) continued to see strong growth with a 37% gain over the previous quarter, while the Mini Notebook share of consumer portables increased to 28% from 14% a year ago. According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, the strong showing in 3Q09 and growth in key segments will lead to net growth
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of 1.3% for 2009 and set the stage for further gains throughout the forecast period. Looking forward, the market is expected to quicken the pace of growth in 2010. Emerging regions, which now account for half of the total market, will lead the way with double-digit growth for 2010 while mature markets are also
expected to make steady gains. Desktop shipments will be roughly flat in 2010, while portable PC growth of 18.1% will continue to drive overall volume gains. The commercial sector is expected to rebound in the second half of 2010. Mini Notebooks will continue to grow, but at a slower rate, as the introduction of new ultra-thin portables will generate new growth points and limit the share captured by Mini Notebooks. “Vendors are competing aggressively to capture back-to-school and holiday demand,” said Jay Chou, research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. “Beyond stabilizing their business, PC vendors are trying to position themselves for gains as the market recovers. We’re seeing aggressive promotions and expect innovations leveraging new technologies, including ultra-thin designs, touch screens, and LED panels.”n
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Gujarat Gov, HCL to work on tribal development
CL Infosystems has signed a Rs110 crore contract with the Government of Gujarat aimed at speeding up development in the tribal districts of the state. Gujarat has been consistently recording stable economic growth and this move under Gujarat Government’s vision and the Chief Minister’s ten point programme (Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana) will only strengthen the vision of inclusive growth. HCL Infosystems has been chosen to implement this project under a transparent model based on Public Private Partnership, wherein the Government will keep a close watch on the progress and services delivered. Under the scope, HCL will supply PCs with biometric finger print scanner and UPS to over 7000 schools across the state. HCL would implement the Biometric based attendance system, offer facility management and run teacher training programs to supply and implement robust education software effectively at schools. The program strongly underlines the need to focus on launching result oriented initiatives, involving local people for the benefit of the tribes and forging strong convergence with various departments of the Government responsible for implementation. The project will focus on Ashram Shal, Adrashnovasi Shala, Eklavaya, primary and upper primary schools “Today, the need to create a progressive environment of inclusive growth is more than ever before. We deeply appreciate the Government’s vision and commitment to take IT to the grass root levels of the state. With the experience and in-depth understanding of the unique Indian needs, we are confident of quality delivery in such a complex project
Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems
that involves reaching out to the remotest part of the state. With focus on harnessing private initiatives in a mutually beneficial manner, such programs will lead tribal communities into the new age.” said Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, HCL Infosystems Ltd. The project plans to cover over 7000 schools in the state with over 1000 schools under Tribal Department & over 6,000 schools under Education Department. n
D-Link launches worldwide certification programme
-Link has launched its worldwide certification programme for channel partners, aimed at enhancing their knowledge of industry-standard networking technologies and D-Link products and solutions. D-Link Certification Programme is offered at two levels. Level one is for D-Link Certified Specialist (DCS), and level two is for D-Link Certified Professional (DCP). The DCS certification is aimed at equipping technicians, sales and presales people to help them understand D-Link products and how to promote them. In order to be DCS certified, candidates need to pass the DCS on-line written exam. The DCP certification is aimed at technicians, engineers and technical support staff who have Raj Jadhav, D-Link India attained the DCS certification and wish to pursue in-depth understanding of D-Link solutions. The certification helps participants understand the how-to of supporting and operating D-Link products, which includes installation, configuration, administration, and troubleshooting. In order to be DCP certified, candidates will need to pass the DCP on-line written exam as well as a hands-on Lab test. “One of the best ways to meet customer needs is to offer dedicated services that will enable them to achieve greater value for their money. By developing long-term relationships partners can build higher customer satisfaction,” said Raj Jadhav, VP - Solution Consulting, Tech support & IT, D-Link (India) Ltd. n
DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT
Microsoft loses patent appeal against i4i
icrosoft has been in legal trouble for quite some time as it was found that some technology used by Office products for parsing XML content in its Office Open XML files (docx, xlsx, pptx etc.) infringed on i4i’s copyrights. The technology, which allows for manipulating the architecture and the presentation of a document separately, is present in all Office application including Word, and Microsoft is supposed to stop sales of its products by January 11th. Microsoft claims that the technology isn’t present in the Office 2010 betas, and they will be moving fast to remove the offending features from Office 2007 to ensure it can continue selling the products sans the custom-XML features after January 11th. Customers who already own a copy of Microsoft application with the infringing features can continue to use them. In return i4i will have to be remunerated with a sum of $290 million. n
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APC launches global partner programme in India
P C by S c h n e i d e r “The challenges customers Electric has and partners are facing with announced the regards to power and cooling launch of its Channel Partner and overall energy efficiency Programme (CPP) in India. As is simply unprecedented. part of the programme, over New tools, techniques and 3,000 partners across 40 cities technologies are required, in India will get to attend trainincluding new ways for the ing sessions involving APC’s vendor community to optimise technical, sales and marketing higher learning requirements teams. and shorter sales cycles. APC CPP is focused on five critihas always focused on helpcal success factors – Channel ing partners find new, sizable Gaurav Burman, Director, profiling and alignment to APC, market opportunities by offerTransaction Business, APC Empowerment, Enablement ing innovative solutions that and Profit. Under each of these factors, APC are easy to sell. We have always believed that has defined processes that will enable parta well trained, knowledgeable partner will ners with in-depth understanding of APC’s deliver better value to the customer and theresolutions, and get them to be more customerfore we are rolling out CPP as an intensive, focused in their business approach. country wide partner training initiative to Announcing the programme, Gaurav enable our partners differentiates themselves Burman, Director, Transaction Business, APC, in the market place.” n
HCL launches new range of ME series laptops
CL Infosystems has unveiled its new range of 3G-enabled ME series netbook - HCL ME 06. Especially designed to match the persona of today’s youth and support the on-the-go lifestyle of business executives, HCL ME 06 comes with integrated 3G capabilities, offering seamless connectivity and faster access to the Internet. With energy star 5.0 certified, HCL ME 06 will be available in a range of exciting festival colours including red, blue and black. HCL also launched the new notebook ‘HCL ME 45’, equipped with multi-touch gesture touchpad that helps user to expand, shrink and rotate the picture through the movement of figures on touchpad. Other innovative features include Split Me where one can share their data without worrying about the size of the file; and Lock Me that
prevents data theft from the system. This feature ensures that the data cannot be copied on to external storage devices, USB memory sticks, CD optical disk drives, hard disk drive without authorisation. HCL ME 06 Netbook is priced at Rs 19,990 and HCL ME 45 notebook is available for Rs 39,990. These products will be available across stores in the country. With the launch of these products, HCL also kick started a special festival campaign the ‘Winter Carnival’. Under this limited period festival offer, a consumer will get an assured gift Yuvraj Singh autographed Reebok Track suit worth 5,999. In addition, on purchase of a HCL ME 38 series laptop, a consumer will also be eligible to receive a Nokia 3500c mobile phone worth Rs 6,289. n
Dell introduces high performance computing solutions
ell has announced the launch of its high performance computing (HPC) solution for the Indian community, aiming at lowering TCO, simplifying procurement, reducing time to deploy, simplifying manageability and ensuring assured support to the scientific users – enabling them to focus more on their research. As per Dell, HPC services bring latest high speed technology to the masses, available in mainstream products to all customers at an affordable price. It also removes the complexity, allowing for greater processing power for available budget. Dell integrates server and storage technologies with open source and middleware to deliver scalable platforms that deliver price/performance. Dell solutions are based on existing, validated architectures employing best practices that allow us to greatly reduce consultancy and implementation time. According to IDC, the current HPCC (high performance computing cluster) market alone is worth approximately $10 billion, approximately 20 percent of the total server market and it is predicting to grow to $15.6 billion by 2012. HPCC is becoming more pervasive, productive and easier to access with lower barriers and cost to entry. Approximately 25 percent of all CPU sales go into HPCC environments. Every year, HPC enables research institutions to achieve significant scientific breakthroughs that expand our understanding of the world and affect how we live. These discoveries help position them to compete for more students, faculty, and grant funding. Dell HPC solutions boost productivity by enabling customers to quickly order, implement and deploy systems. Neeraj Gupta, GM for Public, Dell India, said, “Dell’s HPCC solutions use standards-based technology building blocks to maximise computational power while simplifying deployment, management and scalability. This solution is targeted at higher education institutes, scientists and academicians.” n
DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT
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LG forays into SMB segment
G Electronics India has announced its foray into a new territory of small and medium businesses (SMBs) of India. After successfully establishing itself as a player in Home Electronics, Appliances and IT business solutions, LGEIL has taken a step further by venturing into the unexplored $400 million SMB market. The SMB sector will witness the launch of extensive range of Office Solutions innovatively developed by LGEIL. As per the company, with more than 70 percent of the Indian SMBs preferring onestop shop buying for all their office equipment, this sector provides immense opportunity and potential for growth. With this, LGEIL plans to invest Rs 200 crores over next three years in this initiative. The LG SMB solution is an attempt to provide full range of electronics, appliances and computing solutions to SMB owners at ‘one-stop’. “With the launch of LG SMB Solutions, we aim to support the Indian B2B segment with our collective offering. We are confident that our technology strength backed with market insight and research will enable us to offer SMB specific and vertical specific products, creating an effective business environment for SMBs in India. The single source buying and service support will enhance the comfort
of Indian SMB customers,” said MB Shin, Managing Director, LG Electronics India. “India market plays a significant role in the global map for LG. The Business Solutions Products have contributed positively in the overall turnover of the company. We have witnessed tremendous growth in the year 2009. The Business Solutions division of LG India has generated revenue of $170 million in 2009 with overall growth of 10 percent and number one market share on monitors. Our India division has shown immense opportunity for growth of SMBs as the country provides a unique business environment for them. We are positive that our basket of products offered will set new standards in enhancing the productivity of SMBs,” said Paul Kim, Head of Business Solutions GTM Team, LG Electronics, South Korea. The range includes Network Monitors, Digital signage, Projectors, Surveillance security, water purifiers, air conditioners, refrigerators and microwave ovens, etc. With the new SMB Solutions, LG aims to provide SMB owners, the one-stop sourcing and customised solutions for the business environment. The new SMB Solutions will be helpful for busy business owners to purchase products and avail service support. n
Rajesh Sahore of D-Link (Left) receiving the Top Selling Brand 2008/9 Award from Sachin Mhashilkar of Digit Channel Connect.
DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT
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Ravi Swaminathan to head AMD India
MD has appointed Ravi Swaminathan as the MD and Regional VP of Sales and Marketing for AMD India, effective 4 January 2010. He will be responsible for growing AMD India’s sales and marketing functions in the country, reporting to Benjamin J Williams, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, AMD Asia Pacific. “Ravi has extensive experience building relationships with large enterprises, government, SMB as well as consumers and his experience will be a strong asset to AMD India’s leadership team as well as to the broader Asia Pacific and worldwide sales and marketing teams,” said Benjamin J Williams. Swaminathan replaces Ram Subramanian, who will remain a senior member of the AMD team responsible for corporate strategic development. Dasaradha “GD” Gude will continue to be Managing Director for AMD India, responsible for engineering and operations. Swaminathan joins AMD from Hewlett-Packard where he was most recently President of the Personal Systems Group (PSG) in India. In another development, AMD announced the AMD Fusion Partner Programme, its global partner programme in India. It is designed to provide channel partners with tailored tools and resources to help them gain sales traction based on their unique business models. By fusing its four existing partner programmes, AMD now gives partners customised resources to accelerate sales – especially when selling all-AMD (AMD CPU, AMD GPU and Chipset) solutions. Partners also will receive more personalised tools and training. n
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MSI rolls out Pine Trail netbooks in India
icro Star International (MSI) has announced the availability in India, of the Wind U130 and Wind U135, the company’s first netbooks based on Intel’s Pine Trail platform. With the just announced Intel Atom N450 processor and the new generation NM10 single chipset architecture that provides extremely low consumption of 5.5 watts, increasing battery life by 15% and overall performance by 10% over existing models, the ultra-thin MSI Wind U130 and Wind U135 are convenient, highly portable. Weighing only 1.2 kilograms including the battery and smaller than A4-size sheet they can be easily carried in a handbag. With its Eco Engine technology, the battery life of the Wind U130 and U135 are pushed to the edge to provide you with an extended power supply and user can choose from five power supply
modes - Gaming, Movie, Presentation, Document and Turbo Battery to customize the power supply based on user requirements. This flexible allocation of power during use extends endurance to its limits and gives the U135 and U130 all-day, uninterrupted, ultra-long battery life. The outer shell of the Wind U130 and Wind U135 is coated with MSI’s exclusive Color Film Print and features flowing silver lines and rippling water designs. The U135 comes in four dazzling colors – refined silver, wind dancer black, trendy blue and cherry red – while the U130 comes in two all-new standard colors – angelic white and wind dancer black. Due to their stylish look and extreme portability, the MSI Wind U130 and U135 are targeted at fashion seekers and mobile users. They are most suited to those who need extreme mobility and need to carry their information wherever they travel – such as salespersons always on the move, or students on vast campuses. Prices start at Rs. 23,000 for Wind U130 and Rs. 25,000 for U135 for the basic configuration. n
Matrix wins award for Best PBX-KTS Company
atrix Telecom was declared winner of the Electronics For You (EFY) Readers’ Choice Award for 2009 in the category of PBX and Key Phone Systems. The other nominees for the award were Siemens, Panasonic, BPL and Accord. Electronics For You, Asia’s leading magazine for the electronic industry, has instituted the EFY Awards to recognize and felicitate the outstanding contributions of corporates and individuals who have acted as catalysts in the growth of the Indian electronic Industry. Ganesh Jivani, MD, Matrix Telecom, said, “Winning the EFY Readers’ Choice Awards for the fifth time is not only a great source of honor and pride, but also an inspiration to set the bar higher for ourselves.” The EFY Readers’ Choice Awards across 26 product categories were selected on the basis of the rankings given by the readers of the ‘Electronics for You”. The nominees and winners were selected on the basis of the rankings given by the readers of the ‘Electronics For You’ magazine, who represent various segments, mainly from the electronic industry, professionals and even associations from different parts of the country. On the basis of the rankings, the top five nominations were selected and the most popular brand voted was declared the winner. n
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Cyberstar to distribute A-Data, Panduit products
yberstar Infocom has announced that it has been appointed by A-Data as its national distributor. To begin with, Cyberstar will bring A-Data’s portable storage devises and flash drives to Indian market. Cyberstar will be the official distributor throughout India. In turn, Cyberstar will work with their partners in different cities to promote A-Data products in India. “We see a potential market for us in India which persuaded us to partner with Cyberstar”, said Chris Chang, Sales Manager, A-Data Technology. “We believe that Cyberstar will help us grow our reach in India and increase our market share in due course”. “We are excited to be part of A-DATA and to bring them to Indian market. This association would enhance our reach in the storage segment,” said Raj Rathi, Founder and Managing Director, Cyberstar Infocom. In another announcement, Cyberstar joined hands with Panduit, a global leader in Unified Physical Infrastructure SM (UPI) -based solutions, to provide the latter’s offerings which deliver integrated services and a complete product portfolio to address diverse physical infrastructure needs of customers on a pan-India basis. S Vasunandan, Regional Director, Panduit
Raj Rathi, MD, Cyberstar
India and South West region, said, “The combination of Cyberstar’s focused approach and reach and our industry-leading technology and solutions promises to deliver stepchanges in productivity for all our customers.” Panduit offers solutions, services and product systems like electrical cable ties, wiring accessories, wire holding clips, wiring ducts, terminal connectors, aluminum connectors, power connectors, installation tooling, identification products, heat shrink products, etc.n
fter gaining confidence by participating in the Intel Channel Conference 2009, Strontium Technology has announced plans to focus on the smaller cities. As a part of this policy, the company will leverage the strength of its existing channel partners and also will appoint new resellers. In the first phase, Strontium will identify and focus on the high-potential B-class cities and in the second phase, the company will tap C-class cities. As part of this strategy, Strontium participated at CMDA Pune IT Exhibition held from 11th Dec till 14th Dec 2009. Ajay Kogta, Country Manager, Indian Subcontinent, Strontium Technology said, “There is a huge number of customers available in the B & C-class cities and they are ready to pay for the quality products like their counter parts in the bigger cities. I think by targeting these smaller places, Strontium will be able to tap the potential market for its quality products.” Strontium organizes events for its channel partners periodically to educate them on product quality and new product offerings. Furthermore, in the coming year, apart from channel activities, the company will also focus on end-customer activities in the Indian market. n
DIGIT CHANNEL CONNECT
AVG advises ways to stay safe online
Strontium to appoint new resellers
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VG Technologies has warned that cyber criminals watch out for opportunities such as holidays and festive occasions, which they piggy-back in order to lure victims to their malicious websites. Roger Thompson, Chief Research Officer, AVG commented, “In the run-up to Christmas, many websites are set-up claiming to offer top gifts at marketleading prices. Shoppers often fail to check the authenticity of these retailers, and end up handing money over to a website which simply vanishes a few weeks later.” To help users remain safe while using the Internet, the company has produced a list of six top tips to avoid being the victim of scammers: Think before you link. Employ a URL scanning tool to ensure you don’t click on links that lead to infected web pages. The time to find out whether a page is bad is BEFORE you load it into your web browser - AVG LinkScanner does this. It’s free, and it works with all other security and anti-virus offerings. Look for the “S” - Make sure the websites you are purchasing from are secure and have “https” in the URL when you are in their checkout/ purchase process. The “s” ensures security. When you are in the secure section of a web site, you will also see an icon of a locked padlock on your browser, either on the address bar or on the bottom right corner. Stay current on security software This means making sure you have the latest virus protection software updates from your security software provider. It’s important because the bad guys move around frequently, but security software companies are working to stay one step ahead of them. If you are up-to-date, you are staying one step ahead, too. Keep your private information private - When shopping online, create a separate e-mail account that is just for shopping. Use a unique password, different from any other accounts you have. Your dedicated shopping e-mail account should be in no way affiliated with your personal, everyday e-mail account. n
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A DYNAMIC INFRASTRUCTURE Solution providers can reap real benefits if they keep their offerings attuned to the needs of today’s CIOs. Here’s what most technology heads are gravitating towards and why
key competitive advantage. “CIOs want a scalability that matches the business dynamics of the industry in which he/she operates. For instance, if it is a fast growing company, the CIO wants to scale-up quickly and the other way around is when things start to go bad,” says Michael Aandahl, Business IT Manager, SCA Packaging - a leading Belgium based provider of customerspecific packaging.
RAHUL NEEL MANI
one are the days when physical IT infrastructure was a true parameter for the success of IT. Today, businesses demands dynamism to help scale your infrastructure up or down as you wish, to make the most of what you have and finally to go beyond those walls and glass doors. Welcome to the world of dynamic it infrastructure – CIO’s friend indeed A dynamic IT infrastructure is one which facilitates an efficient IT delivery which helps you to provide the flexibility that can enable business transformation and drive business innovation. With a new approach to IT service delivery, CIOs
will be able to better manage costs, improve operational performance and resiliency and more quickly respond to business needs—by delivering dynamic and seamless access to IT services and information, and helping to improve both productivity and satisfaction. CIOs are inching closer towards dynamic IT infrastructure for several reasons. The infrastructure itself (depending how you use it) doesn’t provide any significant competitive advantage, and therefore becomes a commoditised element in the IT value chain which implies that cost (without compromising quality) becomes the
Business needs There are multiple reasons a CIO would need to move to a dynamic IT infrastructure. The new economic models are pushing IT environments to make this shift. The dramatic improvements brought about by leveraging virtualization with optimised systems and networks across all systems resources—accomplished by uncoupling the applications from the underlying resources to greatly
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top view improve their portability and the underlying cost structures. This is a big reason why CIOs and the top management are convinced on making the IT infrastructure dynamic. Further, it can deliver quality service quickly which is critical to businesses of all sizes. Dynamic structure also helps in tight alignment with the business and provides with easy access to the real-time information necessary for making sound decisions quickly, and for anticipating challenges instead of simply reacting to them. In many ways, it’s no more a CIO’s choice but a critical business need. Dynamic infrastructure is a technology platform providing agility to the business. In other words, it is a business driver. “It’s not just cloud or virtualisation, but it’s an enterprisewide, secured IT architecture capable of driving business enabling it to stay ahead of the curve. In my view, all organisations using IT have this dynamism, only its degree varies. We use ERP, DMS integrated with ERP etc. and in process of reaching towards higher degree of dynamism,” says Col. Shankar Gurkha, CIO GIPCL. The paramount issue in this thread is the perspective related to choice. Is it the CIO’s choice to implement or pursue a dynamic infrastructure? It may not be a CIO’s choice - as the single decision maker. “The CIO is in a position that straddles technology and business strategy. In this gray area in-between is where the CIOs earn their pay. One must recognise IT trends, employ best practices and position for competitive advantage through process efficiencies, business analytics and data translation into business knowledge. Does this add up to a dynamic infrastructure? Perhaps yes, but it is not true for all industries It is the needs of the business that influence the CIO’s decision; it is the CIO’s understanding and response to the stated needs and available technologies that drive the alignment with dynamic or traditional infrastructure choices,” says Oren Birks, Senior Manager, IT at the US based Wyandot Centre for Community Behavioural Healthcare.
Value of being dynamic IT organisations with a dynamic infrastructure and platform are fully aware of the strategic value their infrastructure provides in helping them run their business efficiently and staying ahead of competi-
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tors. Costs come under full control. There is integration between users and data, desktops, and servers. Collaboration between users and departments becomes very pervasive and mobile users have nearly on-site levels of service and capabilities regardless of location. Dynamic infrastructure helps in fully automating the processes, allowing IT to be aligned and managed according to the business needs. Additional investments in technology yield rapid, measurable benefits for the business. As you can see, there is no specific technology mentioned, though to achieve the benefits described some technology choices will make it easier to deliver, such as virtualisation or cloud computing, depending on the nature of the enterprise. “This is the key point. If you have a large mobile workforce, providing an infrastructure where mobile users have nearly on-site levels of service and capabilities regardless of location, you will probably require some form of cloud computing. If your organisation is office-based and using huge files (data analysis or media rich), cloud computing has less to offer. Which level in the IO model is right for your organisation will depend on its nature. For my own organisation we are working towards being ‘Rationalised’ as there simply isn’t the business case to justify the expenditure required to reach ‘Dynamic’,” explains Kevin Glynn, Manager - IS at New Plymouth District Council, New Zealand. Another added benefit to this Infrastructure 2.0 is scalability, which is immensely beneficial in the server room environment because you can rapidly expand without jeopardising the efficiency and effectiveness of your environment. This especially relates to virtualized environments and heavily clustered environments. They key to success is to properly plan and a big chunk of that is to identify exactly what you are trying to accomplish from a business perspective. The next KPI on this is to avoid focusing solely on cost containment because while you might never fully realise the “cost savings” that everyone speaks of you will definitely see improved response times meaning better SLA delivery as well as overall server up-time. Just to touch upon the points mentioned above, virtualization generally helps in mainly in control-
A dynamic IT infrastructure is one which facilitates an efficient IT delivery which helps you to provide the flexibility that can enable business transformation and drive innovation. With a new approach to IT service delivery, CIOs can better manage costs and improve operational performance.
IT organisations with a dynamic infrastructure and platform are fully aware of the strategic value their infrastructure provides in helping them run their business efficiently and staying ahead of competitors.
ling your data centre’s space. In addition it does have an effect on the global warming too. Once you virtualize your servers, you also bring down the electricity cost, the air conditioning cost thus saving a lot for the environment. Virtualization also helps in terms of business continuity activity. “We have implemented Virtualization solution from VMWARE and have been using the same for almost three years now. We started off with individual implementation on the servers and last year we moved the technology to a SAN solution. The benefits are numerous to mention,” says Mathew George, Sr. Manager – Systems at Total Oil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd.
Are there precautions? This scenario will be working greatly for the CIOs but the fact is that there aren’t many good alternatives but to live with a dynamic IT infrastructure. But while doing this, there are some precautions required to see tangible benefits of dynamic infrastructure. You can decide about/play with the timing of the new releases/versions to some extent but in reality in most of the cases you are forced to take new versions of different (data-bases, applications, etc.) vendors to keep the platform secure and viable through its lifetime. “Another aspect is that the IT platform portfolio keeps on thickening and you need to listen to your customers, so there is no way out but to move on to dynamic infrastructure, says Markus Ekman, CIO, SVP Information Management VTT – an applied research organisation based in Finland. “I agree that this whole movement is becoming commoditised, but if you look at it from a pure cost savings initiative, you’ve lost the real value in this technology,” concludes Davis of Atlantic Aviation. CIOs in every industry are all too familiar with the operational and financial challenges resulting from growing infrastructure complexity and rising energy costs. The vision for a dynamic infrastructure should offer an evolutionary new model for efficient IT delivery—giving CIOs the tools to overcome the pain of daily operations to drive real business innovation. It’s an approach that allows CIOs to position themselves as agents of change within their organizations and to help break down barriers to global integration. n email@example.com
N/W INFRA SPECIAL Networking Equipment
“NETWORKS ARE EXPECTED TO OFFER INCREASED AND DIVERSE FUNCTIONALITY” Samir Kumar Mishra, Regional Manager, Advanced Technologies - Channels, Cisco India & SAARC
MISHRA shares with CHARU KHERA Cisco’s plans for the SMB market and some interesting trends in the networking equipment segment. Excerpts: DCC: Cisco currently has a dominant position in the enterprise networking space. How are you placed among SMBs?
Cisco Systems plans to increase its customer base of SMBs to three million over the next five years from the current base of 300 customers. Currently, there are six million SMBs, mainly in the Western Zone of India-Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa--with a large percentage of these businesses on the threshold of globalisation. Cisco is planning to hire about 3,000 channel partners over the next three years to reach its targeted customer base. Cisco will tap the commercial market through an initiative called the Network on Wheels (NOW) van, which is a mobile van showcasing the company’s networking solutions for SMBs. DCC: With growing competition in networking, what message would you like to give to the channel community to make customers brand-loyal?
In India over 95 per cent of Cisco’s business is through channel partners and thus it’s of paramount importance to ensure that our partners accelerate growth, differentiate their business and increase profitability using Cisco certifications, specializations and incentives. Cisco’s unique channel programmes help its partners define
skill sets required to successfully deploy and operate Cisco solutions, optimize the technology performance and to reduce deployment risk. Cisco is committed to focusing on its long-term vision to build a collaborative channel. DCC: Can you share some of the key trends of the networking equipment market in India?
The booming network and communications market is propelling the growth of the router and switching market in India. There is phenomenal growth happening across all industry verticals. Indian banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), and telecom service providers will remain key adopters in the market. Government is also emerging as a big spender due to various e-governance and SWAN (state wide area network) initiatives. Over the years the role of networks has evolved – initially networks provided basic connectivity to users, bandwidth, and access to applications that supported business processes, and the “intelligence” existed outside the network. The focus was on capital and operational cost reduction. However, today, networks are expected to offer increased and diverse functionality as organizations face the demands for increasing scalability of the infrastructure; the need to integrate complex technologies and support new business apps; challenges of new and daily threats from hackers and viruses; and
For Cisco and our partners, architecture is the key to driving significant growth and competitive differentiation across all markets, positioning us as trusted advisors to customers and ensuring long-term relationships.
the escalating costs of systems integration. Enterprises require sophisticated systems and tools that deliver greater capability with less complexity. The network plays a crucial role because it touches everything from end users to middleware, services, applications, and servers. Adding intelligence to the network has enabled applications and services to operate more effectively. DCC: What growth prospects does the networking equipment market offer to channel partners?
The constant growth in quantity and quality of networked systems and the concerns of complexity and diversity of components in a multi-vendor environment require sophisticated management of resources. At Cisco, we’ve introduced an architectural approach for the integrated management of all resources in a networked system. An architecture is not a product, or simply packaging. It is the outcome of our own evolution from a focus on products and services to systems and, ultimately, solutions. For Cisco and our partners, architecture is the key to driving significant growth and competitive differentiation across all markets, positioning us as trusted advisors to the customer and ensuring long-term relationships. n firstname.lastname@example.org
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GROWING CONNECTIONS As the effects of the slowdown fade away, networking hardware vendors and solution providers have something to cheer about Charu Khera
n the year 2008, AMI Partners predicted that small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India invested $605 million in networking hardware, up a healthy 24 percent over 2007. About 40 percent of this spending was towards LAN switches alone. Over the years, the role of networks in Indian enterprises has only grown. Initially, networks provided basic connectivity to users, including bandwidth, and access to applications that supported business processes; but the ‘intelligence’ existed outside the network. The focus was on capital and operational cost reduction. However, today, networks are expected to offer increased and diverse functionality, as organisations face demands for increasing scalability of infrastructure; the need to integrate new, complex technologies and support new business applications; the challenges of threats from hackers and viruses; and the escalating costs of systems integration. Moreover, enterprises today require sophisticated systems, equipment and tools that deliver greater network capability with less complexity. The network plays a crucial role, because it touches everything from end-users to middleware, services, applications, and servers.
Market trends and drivers The networking equipment market in India is at an interesting juncture. As per a research (‘Epicentre of Growth: Indian Enterprise Networking Equipment Market) done by Springboard Research, the market for enterprise networking equipment in India is estimated to grow from $1 billion in 2008 to $1.7 billion by 2012. The report further states that the largest spenders are banks and the government sector (37 percent of the total market in 2008). The research organisation has divided the networking equipment market into data, voice and network security equipment.
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N/W INFRA SPECIAL Sanjay Jotshi, Director, Enterprise and Channels, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks, says that networking hardware spends jumped by a healthy 24 percent over last year. “The year 2010 is expected to be a year of solid growth for the networking equipment market in India, after two years of relatively slow growth,” he adds. Key factors that will drive the growth of networking hardware in India are higher PC penetration and the boom in IT and ITeS (IT enables services) and BPO (call centres) sectors. A further fillip is expected to come from the expansion of SMBs/SMEs and many BPO (business process outsourcing)/ KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) companies. As per AMI Partners, SMBs accounted for a majority (about 57 percent) of total networking expenditure in 2008. Next year this proportion could be even bigger, considering that there’s still a lot of untapped potential in this segment. Furthermore, the booming network and communications market will propel the growth of the networking equipment market, especially routers and switches. Sharing the key growth factors, B Raghavendran, Vice-President,
Key factors that will drive the growth of networking hardware in India are higher PC penetration and the boom in IT and ITeS (IT enables services) and BPO (call centres) sectors. Channel Operations and Commercial Strategy, Cisco India & SAARC, says, “There is phenomenal growth happening across all industry verticals. Indian banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and telecom service providers, will remain key adopters in the market. Government is also emerging as a big spender due to various e-governance and SWAN (state wide area network) initiatives. Additionally, spending from the SMB segment on integrated network security appliances will also grow steadily.” As per Cisco’s estimates, from a networking perspective, 14 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2010 and the network will become one of the primarily utilities of the 21st century. Various forms of communication enabled by
the network will drive the next wave of innovation and will connect businesses and people. As per reports and industry figures, spending in government, BFSI and telecom sectors is on the rise. Applications and services such as IPTV and EVDO, and the shift to cloud computing and other bandwidth-heavy technologies are placing increased demands on the network. “The future outlook for the networking equipment space is very positive, with most organisations looking to consolidate their network infrastructure. Although there has been a dip in the capital expenditures, service providers and enterprises do realise the need for key network transformations that will drive growth,” says Jotshi. Atul Jain, Country Manager (India & SAARC), Netgear Technologies India, expects a 30 percent increase in the network equipment market in India in 2010. He believes that the key drivers for this growth are Internet penetration into homes and the SOHO (small office home office) segment, besides most government departments.
Value for partners While India is getting networked fast, partners who have forayed in this growing domain are sure to succeed. Vishak Raman, Regional DirectorSAARC & Saudi Arabia, Fortinet, says, “Channel partners need to partner with a leading vendor in the network equipment space, particularly one that is clued into the latest innovations in the space and has a plethora of carrier and enterprise customers worldwide. This will enable them to bring value to their end customers.” The true value to channel partners will come from the fact that most organisations today have either upgraded, or plan to upgrade, to better networking infrastructure. The channel community can thus benefit from the increase in demand for networking equipment. With better sales, the fraternity would not just witness an increase in profits, but could also grow its customer base. Furthermore, this increase in demand is expected to lead the partners to focus on providing additional services to customers, including remote infrastructure management, software as a service, network monitoring and several others. Jain of Netgear believes that the community will act as solution
feature provider and will be the key driver to give customers supplies/solutions and value additions such as services and maintenance. Playing the dual role of solution provider and value service provider would be beneficial for partners – not only in monetary terms, but also in creating their brands’ awareness in the networking equipment arena.
Channel members need to partner with a leading vendor in the network equipment space, particularly one that is clued in to the latest innovations in the space.’’ VISHAK RAMAN, REGIONAL DIRECTOR - SAARC & SAUDI ARABIA, FORTINET
Indian banking sector, financial services and insurance (BFSI) and telecom service providers will remain key adopters in the market.” B RAGHAVENDRAN, VICE PRESIDENT, CHANNEL OPERATIONS AND COMMERCIAL STRATEGY, CISCO INDIA & SAARC
Technological trends With increasing demand, vendors as well as partners, have transitioned from equipment providers to multisolution providers. Furthermore, continuous innovation has encouraged many networking equipment manufacturers to develop a host of advanced applications and industryspecific solutions. Most partners that DCC spoke to state that customers today demand products that are technologically advanced and that suit business requirements for today and the future. For example, consumers demand wireless routers (they act as a gateway between broadband connection and home network) that comply with the IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 standard and possess the capability to integrate features such as content processing, VPNs, firewalls and load balancing. Today, most wireless routers come with builtin switches for making hard-wired network connections. Also popular are dual-band routers. Switches, too, now come in technologically advanced form factor – for instance, switches that support hot swapping; or modular switches that allow users to easily determine port configuration. Many partners state that the key concerns with any networking hardware today are performance, security/ risk, and efficiency. However, with the growing maturity of business users and the enhanced level of skill-sets of partners as a result of more training and certifications, these concerns should be taken care of. As per Gartner, the global networking equipment market grew by 5 percent in 2008 to reach $112.8 billion. In India, while the slowdown has hit the industry hard, partners, industry leaders and networking vendors are optimistic that 2010 will be a great year for network hardware sales. n email@example.com
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A host of new applications and demand from SMALL and MEDIUM BUSINESSES will fuel the growth of WIRELESS NETWORKING in India AZEEZA
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n increasing number of companies in India are realising the benefits of wireless networking. An independent research indicates that many large companies have seen an average rise of 40 per cent in employee productivity and an improvement in customer satisfaction by 35 per cent after implementing wireless access solutions. According to another study by Springboard Research, the market for enterprise networking equipment in India is estimated to grow from $1 bn in 2008 to $1.7 bn by 2012 – a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent during this period. Of these, a substantial contribution is expected from wireless. Another encouraging trend for the industry is that large companies aren’t the only ones that are making investments in intelligent wireless networks -- even the small and medium businesses (SMBs) are increasingly turning tech-conscious and mobile. Considering the aspirations of these businesses, vendors and channel partners are bonding strongly to tap into the growing business opportunity in India. For 2009 AMI Partners forecasts an estimated spend of $1.04 bn
on networking products and services by SMBs -- 11 per cent more than in 2008. Interestingly, the growth is expected to be spearheaded by wireless networking. According to Sumeeta Mishra, Research Associate, AMI Partners, “The number of SMBs using Internet services was around 1.3 mn in 2009, and the universe is expected to grow at 8 per cent in the coming year.” The higher adoption of wireless networking is driven by three factors – ease of use, reduced total cost of ownership and mobility. Another factor is the centralised management of the network. By deploying a centrally managed wireless LAN, companies can get rid of multiple networks and also the need of training and support, besides the maintenance costs. That is why networking majors such as Cisco and D-Link are trying to make the best of market opportunities by cementing stronger channel ties.
Technology trends Currently, the Wi-Fi technology is commonly used for Wireless LANs and short range mobile access networks in most companies while, wireless USB is the technology for Internet connectivity on the go.
N/W INFRA SPECIAL However, the most promising technology in this space will be the next generation of Wi-Fi: 802.11n. New applications and usage of wireless such as Voice over WLAN.IEEE 802.11n solutions will operate in the 2.4-GHz, the 5-GHz radio band, or both bands, offering backward compatibility with pre-existing 802.11a/b/g deployments. Talking about technology trends that the enterprises these days are indicating, Atul Jain, Country Manager, Netgear, India & SAARC, says, “The companies would like to invest in dual bandwidth switches to have the flexibility of both the technologies as and when required.” With networks becoming more intelligent due to emergence of new technologies such as virtualisation, embedded software on open platforms and software-as-a-service (SAAS) model. Networking storage and security are key verticals.
Tough turf WLAN adoption is still relatively new and niche in India and it is only now that enterprises and other segments are rethinking their wireless strategy. They are realizing that an integrated approach – which allows seamless integration between fixed and wireless networks – would lead to more flexibility and productivity. In most channel partners’ view, a big roadblock in the way of wider adoption of wireless networking is the buyer mindset that wireless cannot be the primary network of an enterprise. Raunaq Singh, Vice President with Noida-based Targus Technologies, says, “Majority enterprises still perceive wireless as a secondary networking option.”
S Nautiyal, CEO, Spark Technologies, Delhi, agrees. “Wireless can never match the standards of a wireline network. There is a perception that wireless offers relatively lower throughput which is not sufficient to support voice, data and video all on the same bandwidth. Also, high-quality entrylevel devices are quite expensive.” Laxmi Narayan Bhat, Director, Product Management, APAC, EWLAN & Security, Enter prise Mobility Solutions at Motorola, differs. “It is only a matter of misconceptions as cost of wireless hardware is one-third that of the wired network,” he disputes, saying that the sophisticated solutions once used by the defence agencies, are now easily affordable by enterprises. There are other concerns as well. According to Mishra, “Another possible concern for companies is interference. For instance, if the regulations aren’t in place to limit the amount of transmissions done for 802.11b in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, then companies can face challenges in getting the reliable wireless LANs to work. Also, carrying out business operations using highend applications- with no connectivity breaks is a challenge.” While enterprise deployments have taken off in a big way -- verticals such as, hospitality, manufacturing, academic institutions are early adopters -- the response to public hotspots (Wi-Fi) had been tepid till recently. “With the Government’s move to de-license the 2.4 GHz and 5.1 GHz bands, on which the Wi-Fi platform works and with incumbents such as BSNL and MTNL looking at this space actively, the adoption is set to grow,” says Prem Nithin, Senior Technical Consultant, Cisco, India & SAARC.
SELL WELL TIPS FOR PARTNERS Raise awareness and demystify myths around security concerns in wireless networking n The channel partners should associate with vendors who provide end-toend solutions in wireless networking and simplified deployments to the end-customers n Focus on niche segments n Channel partners should focus on making the most of training initiatives provided by the principals n Adopt service-oriented approach to building strong relationships with clients n Integrate solutions and give your clients a complete package. n Site surveys are crucial for channel partners. Use RF technology tools to identify hotspots to install access points n Look at systems that can be seamlessly upgraded to future technologies such as 4G n Client budgets play a pivotal role in decision-making for buying a solution. Avoid standard thumb rules; customise solutions depending on client needs. n
The higher adoption of wireless networking is driven by three factors – ease of use, reduced total cost of ownership and mobility.
IN MOST CHANNEL PARTNERS’ VIEW, A BIG ROADBLOCK IN THE WAY OF WIDER ADOPTION OF WIRELESS NETWORKING IS THE BUYER MINDSET THAT WIRELESS CANNOT BE THE PRIMARY NETWORK OF AN ENTERPRISE.
Nithin sees rationalisation of tariffs, lowering cost of handhelds and proliferation of smart handheld devices as a key trigger for wireless adoption.
Agenda 2010 There has been a worldwide revolution in business wireless networking arena. Wi-Fi enabled notebook computers proliferate and drive the adoption of enterprise wireless LANs (WLANs)--making business mobile. The acceleration of enterprise adoption of WLAN technology radically transforms business operations, network edge, data centres and centralised IT control. The industry will continue to explore new opportunities and applications to improve the way business is done and enhance productivity through a mobile workforce. Technologies that drive Wi-Fi enabled business applications and devices for a variety of uses, including mobile healthcare, inventory management, retail point-of-sale, video surveillance, real-time data access, asset tracking and network visibility will have an edge. Wireless adoption in large enterprises, campus wide deployments in educational institutions and even small and mid-sized businesses, is witnessing increased traction. Key verticals that drive the growth include the IT and Telecom sectors. “The adoption of mobility solutions, based on the wireless platform, by industry segments such as, hospitality, manufacturing, retail and real estate , etc., contribute to more adoption and proliferation of the WLAN platform. Government SWAN’s and rural connectivity also lead to more adoption of wireless in the country,” says Subhashini Prabhakar, Chief Technology Manager, Dax Networks. One of the major technologies which is expected to be popular with Indian enterprises is Wi-Max. Last year was a challenging year for the channels, especially the networking channels. With the financial chill gradually weaning away, advancements in hosted unified communications, WAN optimisation, network access control and wireless 802.11n protocol will help the channels attract the attention of enterprises. n firstname.lastname@example.org
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“WIRELESS NETWORKING IS ON EVERY IT MANAGER’S BUDGET” Raj Jadhav, VP - Solution Consulting, Tech-Support & IT, D-Link India
JADHAV holds forth on the scope and opportunities for channel partners in the WIRELESS NETWORKING space in an exclusive interaction with CHARU KHERA. Excerpts: DCC: Has wireless networking really become the preferred choice for last mile access for businesses?
Truly speaking, gone are the days of ETTH and FTTH (Ethernet to Home and Fibre to Home). All thanks to cloud computing and Web 2.0, rather than big pipes for information exchange, due to these technologies one needs reliable, resilient connectivity with quality of service. Today, we can say wireless networking with better security features is almost matured to take on wired mesh environments for internet application. Broadband wireless (WiMax and Wimesh) has the potential to vastly reduce the initial investment and risk compared to wired. In addition to this, customer premise equipment contributes to a significant portion of the cost of wireless deployment - deferring that investment until the carrier signs up the customers can be a great advantage. For service provider some of the great advantages of wireless networking for last mile are easy deployment; flexibility and scalability in service; and use of the same infrastructure to handle urban and rural user densities. It is secure, reliable and offers great performance while reducing the total cost of ownership. DCC: Security has been a key concern in wireless networking. What are you doing to address this issue?
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No network is safe. So one needs to ensure their network is safe from malicious content that can cause damage to their valuable data. To help maintain a secure wireless network, D-Link wireless networking solution provides the latest in wireWireless less security technology by supportLAN is not ing both Personal and Enterprise limited to versions of WPA and WPA2 (802.11i) with support for RADIUS server backSOHO and end. To further protect your wirelow speed less network, MAC Address Filtering, applications. Wireless LAN segmentation, disable SSID Broadcast, Rogue AP Detection Enterprise and Wireless Broadcast Scheduling wireless and are also included. DCC: What are some of the key opportunities for partners in the wireless networking business in India?
Wi r e l e s s L A N i s n o t l i m i t e d t o SOHO and low speed applications. Enterprise wireless and ISP last mile access wireless networking are key businesses, and partners should use their skill-sets to design networks for hassle-free and quick deployment with easy management techniques. Due to simplicity in deployment, matured security and total cost of ownership, wireless networking is on every IT manager’s budget. DCC: What value addition do your partners provide to consumers?
‘The customer is king’ and is important for channel partners to be updated on
ISP last mile access wireless networking are key businesses, and partners should use their skillsets to design networks for hassle-free and quick deployment with easy management techniques.
all the latest happenings on the technology front. Many SOHO products are designed in such a way that consumers can easily configure them through wizards; however, for secure and reliable networking, one should have good knowledge of wireless networking. Hence, in order to enable our partners with all the required skill-sets, we conduct training programmes on a regular basis. Our mantra is to educate partners and customers. As part of this effort, we will soon be launching ‘Sales Pro2010’ – an exclusive two-day training programme for partners. DCC: How crucial is the servicing aspect for partners in the wireless networking space?
Channel is an integral part of our organization structure. We have been working very closely with them and addressing their service-related concerns through our 23 service centres all across the country. In addition to this, we have designed a very comprehensive and flexible service support system to match their specific requirements. As part of this endeavor we have set up Technical Support, Web-Based Support (unlimited access to technical documentation that includes installation and configuration guides, release notes, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and a management information database) and Hardware Support system. n
S E L E C T
S E R I E S
Optimisation at I WORK n the year 2010, the increasing load of energy costs for data centres is expected to worsen as per a Gartner analysis. Besides, the rising operational expenditure will not be limited only to the date centre – businesses need to adapt the green technology and energy-efficient measures across other functions as well. The increasing downtime costs due to high occurrence of power outage and unclean and uneven power supply will also force businesses to invest in power management solutions in the days to come. A joint study by Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT) and Emerson Network Power (India) revealed that India Inc reported a whopping loss of Rs 43,205 crore in the last fiscal due to non-availability and mismanagement of power alone.
Growth vectors In the year gone by, given the slowdown in the economy, many vendors had to reposition their strategies in order to cater to the specific customer requirements in a cost-conscious market. “Currently operational expenses are a major
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With energy costs rising in proportion to overall operational costs, businesses are keenly looking at ways to OPTIMISE their power usage
concern for facility managers in most of the market segments. Hence, power management has tremendous growth potential across all power intensive verticals, especially in the BFSI, telecom, education, healthcare, IT and ITeS, and even in the government organizations where energy consumption is typically high”, says, Pradeep Sangwan, Country Manager – Channel Sales, Socomec. Deepak Sharma, GM, SAARC & South East Asia, Electrical Group, Eaton, says, “There is a massive opportunity in the business of data centres, as it is expected that the overseas
companies will shift their data centres to India in the coming years. This eventually will increase the need for power optimisation.” This is also why the pressure to cope up with the rising energy cost – which is an important part of the data centre operational expenditure – is mounting on the date centre managers. Because, IT infrastructure is an integral component of any business, a robust and reliable power management solution to keep the mission’s critical systems
N/W INFRA SPECIAL running is required. However, keeping in mind the increasing energy cost which creates pressure on the operational expenditure, one needs to ensure that there is judicious distribution and optimum usage of the available energy across the infrastructure. Ankesh Kumar, Senior Manager— Channel Products, Emerson Network Power, says, “While power outage is a problem faced by businesses across India, the power quality also continues to be a serious concern in the nonmetros. Considering the implications of these disruptions and the estimated downtime costs, businesses are likely to look for ways to maximise the uptime in the coming days.”
Addressing business concerns The increasing costs and downtime concerns are likely to make people invest in innovative power management tools and technologies in the coming days. Network infrastructure solution providers will see increasing demands not only in their existing
TIPS FOR POWER MANAGEMENT n Consolidate Data Centre
Sites: Consolidating multiple sites into a smaller number of larger sites, which will often result in financial savings.
n Rationalize the Hardware: This involves taking out those systems that are underutilised or old, or where the workload can be run on more efficient hardware.
Manage Energy and Facilities Costs: Tools and techniques for managing the energy cost curve include: raising the temperature of the data centre to around 24 degrees Celsius, which reduces the level of cooling required; using outside air as an alternative to air conditioning where possible; using hot aisle/ cold aisle configurations, blanking and economisers; and using server-based energy management software tools to run workloads in the most energy-efficient way.
accounts but in the new market verticals as well. With businesses increasingly adopting ‘green’ measures in their IT infrastructure, including the data centre environments, the demand for energyefficient products will also increase and this will eventually bring down the opex drastically. According to the EPA study, green technologies and strategies can reduce the use energy in a typical data centre by an estimated 25 per cent. The advancements in technologies will propel the possibility of greater energy savings. The key challenges are to make the green power solutions costeffective and adaptable for businesses. In addition, creating awareness on the need and long-term benefits of green power is also a challenge for the power industry. The best means that can drive the message home is a tangible ROI benefit, in this case. A recent Gartner survey says though the contribution of energy costs in the total data centre opex is increasing, data centre managers are not paying sufficient attention to the process of measuring, monitoring and modelling energy use in their facilities. Another challenge is to bring in new technologies and components into an existing data centre. Data centre managers need to work out the technical problems of introducing new components into their facilities and determining whether they can keep the data centre up and running while renovations are being done, the Gartner report says.
There is a massive opportunity in data centres, as it is expected that the overseas companies will shift their data centres to India in the coming years. This eventually will increase the need for power optimisation. DEEPAK SHARMA, GM, SAARC & SOUTH EAST ASIA, ELECTRICAL GROUP, EATON
power costs in their IT facilities. There is an increasing demand for remote power management tools which offers increased functionality over traditional power products. It also allows administrators to remotely power cycle servers and devices, and troubleshoot problems. Organisations are also opting for them to manage servers at offices and branch locations for carrying out cost-efficient ‘lightsout’ operation in those sites. Consistent use of power management tools across the infrastructure reduces network and system downtime by 65 per cent, while virtualisation and other downtime reduction measures reduce downtime by 10 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. In businesses, a significant amount of power consumption goes in cooling the infrastructure environment as well. Optimising airflow with the right kind of rack and cable management, using economisers for energy-free cooling, and bringing cooling closer to the source of heat will reduce energy consumption in cooling alone.
Opportunities and challenges
Optimising power usage Another important concern for the businesses as studies have shown is underutilised servers. It is seen that an average server burns more than half of its rated power even when it is non functional. It requires on an average about 200 per cent additional power to handle distribution and cooling. “They need to realise that removing a single x86 server from a data centre will result in savings of more than $400 a year in energy costs alone,” says Rakesh Kumar, research VP at Gartner. Businesses have reported that such hardware rationalisation has lead to 5 to 20 per cent reductions in the number of servers being used. Besides, with consolidation and hardware rationalisation ef forts, data centre administrators can even consider using the various tools and techniques available for reducing
Power management has tremendous growth potential across all power-intensive verticals, especially in BFSI, telecom, education, healthcare, IT and ITeS, and even in government organizations. PRADEEP SANGWAN, COUNTRY MANAGER – CHANNEL SALES, SOCOMEC
Saving a definite amount of energy by reducing the cooling and power distribution loads– consumed by the IT equipment – will lead to an additional energy savings. People often procure advanced and innovative solutions, without even knowing the extra burden they put on their operational costs. In this scenario, the key lies in right-sizing the power requirements and then recommending a solution which will fit their needs perfectly. Customer s are also becoming aware of uptime and ROI calculations, as they look towards costefficiency without compromising on these two aspects. In this case, it also becomes very difficult to make them invest on products which are little high on TCO, and where the cost can be recovered over the life cycle of the product gradually. However, organisations have b e c o m e awa r e o f t h e b u s i n e s s impact and network downtime due to non-availability of power. They are looking at investing in robust and dedicated power management solutions that will keep operational costs under control. They are also expected to spend heavily on energy-efficient products for the same reason. n email@example.com
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TYING up LOOSE ends The need for robust infrastructure among enterprises is expected to drive growth in the STRUCTURED CABLING market SOMA TAH
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he adverse economic conditions in 200809 took a bite out of cabling vendors’ profits, but that has not flattened the growth curves of the networking infrastructure market in 2010. In fact, analysts predict strong demand and investment for infrastructure upgrades in the New Year, both in the enterprise segment and in greenfield projects. Since the network is the backbone of any IT infrastructure, there will be great demand for networking equipment, including structured cabling and passive components. A study by Springboard Research says that the market for enterprise networking equipment in India is estimated to grow from $1 billion in 2008 to $1.7 billion by 2012, recording a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15 percent during this period. “There is tremendous potential for the growth of enterprise networking in India, given the current
low standard of telecom infrastructure in the country, government focus on increasing broadband penetration and lack of basic infrastructure in many areas,” says Nupur Singh Andley, senior research analyst-connectivity, Springboard Research.
Growth curve Though structured cabling was considered to be a good riddance from the cabling mess businesses had to face earlier; enterprises have gradually started to understand the role of robust cabling infrastructure in reducing network downtime. The growth of structured cabling is mainly driven by an unprecedented growth in the volume of organizational data. The cabling infrastructure also needs to be robust enough to support increased bandwidth usage, which is resulting in considerable growth in the networking infrastructure market. In fact, UK-based research firm BSRIA reported India’s emergence as one of the fastest growing
N/W INFRA SPECIAL structured cabling markets, with an increase of 33.6 per cent by value in 2008. The mounting pressure on the data centre environment, with companies increasingly hosting their missioncritical applications in third-party data centres, is also a key growth vector in this aspect. Besides data centres, g rowing demand from the expansion programmes in banking, government, IT and ITeS sector, BPO units, and new townships are also fuelling the growth of this market segment in India.
Technology trends Vendors continue to deploy accepted and proven solutions, such as Cat5, Cat6, and Cat6A. According to IDC’s India Structured Cabling Solutions Market Study last year, the Cat6 cable segment is expected to clock a CAGR of around 22 per cent, growing from Rs 365 crore in 2008 to Rs 977 crore in 2013. Cat6 is likely to remain the biggest market segment during the fiveyear forecast, mainly for high bandwidth requirements and high-speed data transmissions in data centres and other enterprise environments. India is also witnessing the deployment of latest technologies such as Cat6A and Cat7 in niche segments. Cat6A cabling is mainly used for data centre applications. Cat7 is yet to gain momentum, since there is no wide-
HOW STRUCTURED CABLING SCORES: Minimal downtime: It is easy to identify, isolate and fix problems with minimal downtime.
spread preparedness or demand for Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and foil screened twisted pair (FTP) cables in India. Reports also state that there has been a very slow uptake on the 10G front. While the debate on fibre versus copper continues, fibre has some advantages over standard copper coaxial cables, in terms of data transmission, extended coverage, resistance to interference and robustness and better security, which make it a smart choice for enterprises. However, the cost of the supporting equipment poses a deterrent in the mass adoption of fibre; leading to growth in adoption of copper. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) will also continue to make people invest in copper in the coming days.
To wire or to be wireless While some fear that wireless networks will eventually displace all physically structured cabling system networks, most vendors believe that wired and wireless networks will complement each other. Though a number of business and technology trends are creating a new set of requirements for wireless networks that can deliver increased value to the enterprises, unfortunately, the cur rent WLAN architectures are not equipped to enable optimum benefits for enterprises. There is no functional, performance or economic advantage that wireless networks provide over physically cabled networks. That is why wireless today does not pose any potential threat to wired networks.
No vendor lock-in: Structured cabling is compatible with multiple vendor integrations and gives the flexibility to support various applications and hardware from different vendors.
Cost-effectiveness: Offers excellent ROI. The cabling system accounts for only five percent of an organization’s total networking expenditure, but outlives most of the components in the network. The upgrading costs are also cheaper.
Low maintenance: It requires very little maintenance.
Scalability: Upgrading is much easier with standardized components. System upgrades also do not require modifications in cabling infrastructure.
According to IDC’s India Structured Cabling Solutions Market Study last year, the Cat6 cable segment is expected to clock a CAGR of around 22 per cent, growing from Rs 365 crore in 2008 to Rs 977 crore in 2013.
Intelligent cabling The advent of intelligent cabling has added a new dimension to the conventional cabling infrastructure by providing greater visibility into the network. It can reduce the manpower and downtimes cost considerably, while increasing network efficiency and network security. Though real-time monitoring and troubleshooting become very simple with intelligent cabling, it can be expensive to deploy a full intelligent cabling solution within an organization – in some cases, a mid-size organization may not be able to afford that. This is where patching technology comes in, which can take a lot of pain out of the cable management process.
The road ahead “The future of next generation cabling and connectivity solutions is
UK-based research firm BSRIA reported India’s emergence as one of the fastest growing structured cabling markets, with an increase of 33.6 per cent by value in 2008. The mounting pressure on the data centre environment, with companies increasingly hosting their mission-critical applications in third-party data centres, is also a key growth vector in this aspect.
feature bright and positive, as new technology and trends mark the path for future growth. Consolidation and virtualization techniques force the organisation to move into next generation cabling and connectivity. Organisations that would like to be at par with the current technologies would like to be early adopters of next generation cabling and connectivity solutions. However, based on the standards being published, few organisations gradually wake up to the next generation cabling and connectivity solutions,” says Prasanna Kumar, regional director, India & SAARC, Leviton. “The structured cabling market has been going through a tough time due to a steep rise in copper prices, which has diminished the growth rate further in this down economy,” says KK Shetty, managing director, Tyco Electronics India. Rising prices in already adverse economic conditions have also made it a daunting task for solution providers to convince customers. As Kumar says, “Customers would also like to wait and watch a little, before implementing a solution that is next-gen, futuristic and robust. They would also wait for standards ratification and affordability.” However, one of the key challenges associated with next-generation cabling and connectivity is the partners’ and customers’ awareness of current and new technologies. People often fail to understand that the performance of a network depends, to a great extent, on the cabling infrastructure; and poor cabling can adversely affect even the quality of the bandwidth the network delivers. “It is very difficult to get skilled structured cabling solution providers, who can support the entire project lifecycle. One also needs to have the right mindset to serve the midsize to large projects, which usually take at least a period of three to six months to set up the basic infrastructure,” says Ketan Kothari, director, Sigma Byte Computers. Nevertheless, despite the challenges, there are ample opportunities for vendors and partners who are able to convince customers of the benefits and deliver customised solutions at affordable prices. Not everyone will wait and watch. n firstname.lastname@example.org
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“PARTNERS NEED ADEQUATE TRAINING FOR DESIGN AND INSTALLATION” KK Shetty, Director, Tyco Electronics India
As the economy starts showing signs of recovery, Shetty sees a promising growth curve in the structured cabling business and also indicates the latest technology trends that will dominate this space for the next few quarters. Excerpts from an exclusive interview to SOMA TAH: DCC: With organizations gradually waking up to the next generation cabling and connectivity solutions, how do you view future growth in this segment?
With the economy reviving, we expect to have an additional 12-15 per cent growth in the structured cabling segment. Besides a huge requirement coming from data centres, we expect demand will also be coming from small and midsize business and the branch expansion of enterprises. Additionally, we see a set of emerging IT infrastructure requirements in the greenfield projects as well as in the B and C class cities which will bring in further growth into this segment. An increased usage of various data intensive applications in the enterprises, which will rise further with the 3G rollout, will also infuse strong growth into the structured cabling market. DCC: Do you see any specific sectors or user segments bringing new opportunities for partners in 2010?
The year 2009 has not been a good year for us as almost all the companies in the cabling industry have recorded a flattened or a negative growth throughout this period. Overall, the structured cabling solution (SCS) market has suffered a major setback in 2008-09 by declining almost 22-23 percent in this period mainly due to adverse economic circumstances worldwide. The growth in
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the cabling market comes largely from the new infrastructure set-up and the future expansion requirements and almost all the expansion decisions were either put on hold or got delayed due to a tight operOverall, the ational budget. But we expect the market structured will slowly open up in 2010 as we see cabling solution sizeable IT infrastructure expansion market suffered requirements coming up from the banka major setback ing, telecom, government and manufacin 2008-09 turing sectors, and especially from the IT by declining and ITeS sector, which will start hiring almost 22-23 activities shortly. The demand will also percent in this come from the architecture sector, with period mainly a couple of new townships projects and due to adverse the enterprises that have branch office economic expansion and local support centre circumstances development plan beyond metros. worldwide. But DCC: What are the key challenges in this segment?
The fluctuating copper price has made the cabling market more volatile in terms of pricing and also become a major concern for the businesses. The steep rise in the copper price last year has aggravated the market further, as almost all the companies were putting a tight rein on the infrastructure spending due to tight operational budgets. There is also a lack of awareness regarding the new technology offerings and the advantages as well as the skilled manpower to cater to the emerging network infrastructure requirements. Partners do need adequate training to design and install
we expect the market will slowly open up in 2010 as we see sizeable IT infrastructure expansion requirements coming up from the banking, telecom, government and manufacturing sectors, and especially from the IT and ITeS sector, which will start hiring activities shortly.
the copper and fibre networks. DCC: What are some of the new technology trends or innovations you see in the passive networking components segment?
The CAT6 market will grow further in the SME space and the CAT7 products are also likely to find increased usage in the future. An upward trend in the adoption of intelligent cabling solution will be seen among the enterprises, for the ease of manageability and the lower operational costs. There will be a significant growth in the 10G cabling system in the data centre space and an increasing fibre adoption with high density MPO connectors [types of multi-fibre connectors]. DCC: How do you view the structured cabling market vis-a-vis wireless connectivity?
We don’t see these two markets competing with each other. Wireless connectivity will rather grow as a complementary solution to wired connectivity. While it [wireless] might suit the small office environment, it is not viable for the large organizations for robustness issues, who will largely go for structured cabling. In some cases there can be a mixed environment where the wireless access points will be used to bridge the wired and the WLAN architecture. n email@example.com
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NAVIN JACOB MATHEWS
Data Centres being a critical resource in
What appeared to be futuristic technologies have now become realities in data centres
Navin Jacob Mathews
about by new
he growth in information coupled with IP convergence has resulted in more devices and applications residing on the network. It’s hardly surprising that data transmission in 2012 is expected to be 6 times of what it was in 2007. During the same period of time overall IP traffic is expected to grow to over 46 billion gigabytes. This is going to place demands on the Data Centre like never before. Data Centres being a critical resource in the enterprise, greater efficiencies brought about by new technologies will provide CIOs/CTOs with the much required edge to not only deal with the current requirements but also to systematically plan and outlay resources for future requirements. In the Data Centre environment, the requirement is for reliability, flexibility and scalability in high bandwidth environments. New technologies will have profound implications for the Data Centres along with new cabling and connector solutions, higher fibre densities and higher bandwidth performance. What appeared to be futuristic technologies have now become realities in Data Centres. Technologies such as 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), IP convergence, and server virtualization are no longer distant dreams but are fast becoming realities. What makes these technologies hot? Take the 40 and 100 GbE standards – less than a year from now, they will address both multimode and single
greater efficiencies brought technologies will
mode optical fibre cabling and will see deployment in high-bandwidth switching, routing and aggregation points in a variety of environments. What’s encouraging is the fact that with 10 Gbps over each lane (4 lanes for 40 GbE and 10 lanes for 100 GbE), we can now look at transmitting 40 or 100 GbE over short distances of shielded copper cabling! The other interesting technology is FCoE which looks to consolidate both SAN and Ethernet data transmission onto one common network interface. Thus, the same cable can be used for both purposes! The other technologies that CIOs will watch out for are server virtualization and IP convergence. While server virtualization can drastically reduce the number of servers, IP convergence will ensure that all forms of communication traffic will converge over a common infrastructure. What’s very clear is that the CIO is looking at reducing the TCO. While technologies such as FCoE, server virtualisation and IP convergence are aimed at reducing TCO, the reality is that the overall increase in data transmission and equipment is going to put a strain on the data centre’s power, cooling and space requirements. In such a scenario, the channel partners are required to be sensitive to the pain points of their customers and align their strategy to not just providing new technologies, but also provide far sighted solutions to mitigate the change. For the partner, deep technical knowledge coupled with a
provide CIOs/ CTOs with the much required edge to not only deal with the current requirements but also to systematically plan and outlay resources for future requirements.
guest expression thorough understanding of customer requirements is the basic foundation on which a relationship of trust can be built. They need to evolve themselves into total end-to-end solution providers as they provide vendors with footprints across the nation and help in increasing the volume of sales. Partners today are fast emerging as complete consultants with complete knowledge of why a company needs a network and what type of load/ information will it carry. They are best placed to recommend steps that will reduce the TCO while retaining operational efficiencies. Good cable (fibre and copper) management is an essential first step as high density of cables in the Data Centre tends to increase the cooling requirements. Given that network infrastructure outlives IT infrastructure by 3-4 generations, partners must understand the lifetime of the deployment. Partners can suggest cables which have a smaller diameter and hence lend themselves better to cable management. Above all partners must constantly strive towards adhering to design and installation best practices. Close involvement of partners with the vendors in early stages of design and implementation can be a great benefit for the partners. This is absolutely necessary as the vendors can reach out to diverse markets with their solutions only through the partners. In the data centre scenario, with lowering of TCO being a key concern, channel partners have a wide range of solutions that not only prepare for the next data centre, but they also enable more efficient operations, reduced power consumption and lower life cycle costs. Based on the customer’s requirements, the partner may also recommend additional technologies such as intelligent cabling depending on the network deployment. Partners are advised to recommend the deployment of solutions like 40 and 100 GbE, FCoE, IP convergence and server virtualisation in the data centres today to take advantage of the benefits they offer to the customer. Customers are more demanding and they value well informed counsel from their partners. The end objective for partners should be to consistently exceed customer expectations through a mutually beneficial partnership with the vendors. n Navin Jacob Mathews is Director of Sales, Enterprise Networks, ADC Krone.
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It’s Time for
over ETHERNET With the emergence of infrastructure unification, FIBRE CHANNEL over ETHERNET (FCoE) has reached a point where organizations must consider it seriously Satheeshiyer
ust as when data centers began to deploy data deduplication, you should consider deploying FCoE where it will deliver the most return on investment. In deduplication, that meant using the technology as a target for backup data where successive full backup jobs created incredibly high storage efficiencies. This would be like potentially storing 50TB worth of backup data on 5TB of physical storage and delivering a high return on investment. Where FCoE could potentially deliver the highest return on its investment is in reducing the cabling count going into physical hosts in a virtual server infrastructure, as well as decreasing management complexity. The typical virtual host will have a minimum of two quad-port Ethernet cards and two dual-port Fibre Channel SAN cards. That is approximately 12 cables per host; which, in a fully built-out rack, could be up to 100 cables just for server connectivity. It becomes very challenging (and expensive) to identify which cables go to which servers and from which storage arrays, etc. Alternatively, with FCoE in that same configuration, we will be able to
Where FCoE could potentially deliver the highest return on its investment
Key advantages of FCoE
is in reducing
l FCoE has higher throughput, wasted bandwidth has never been a problem. The internet itself is testimony to this. l FCoE has lower latency, and the network does not need to route IP packets, but forward Ethernet frames which is inherently quicker and less latent. l FCoE uses less CPU than IP encapsulations, as the segmentation of data and encapsulation of data into Ethernet frames requires less CPU than the creation of a TCP packet AND an Ethernet packet.
the cabling count going into physical hosts in a virtual server infrastructure, as well as decreasing management complexity. The typical
reduce that cable count to two cables per server and potentially 10 to 20 for the entire rack. A single cable pair, for redundancy, would carry all the storage traffic. With the 10GbE bandwidth available in FCoE, we can eliminate the need for quad-port Ethernet cards altogether. And of course, FCoE already has the storage protocol built in. For these reasons when you are ready to start deploying FCoE, potentially the best way to start deploying it is a rack at a time, as virtualized server infrastructures are started or expanded. Ideally, it’s recommended that as a new rack is built out, you implement the new virtualized hosts with two converged network adapters (CNA) in each server for redundancy. Then, use FCoE-quality cables from those servers to a Top-of-Rack (TOR) switch. From that TOR switch, make the connections out to the main IP, as well as the Fibre Channel, storage infrastructure. The result is: there are only two cables per server running down the rack and the cable cluster is limited to the TOR switch itself. Potentially, as this rack is built out, there may be a server that, for some reason, can’t go into the combined
infrastructure. This is a reason why it’s important that your infrastructure providers remain fully committed to both traditional IP and FC technologies. Planning for FCoE allows to you begin to build an FCoE infrastructure that, over the next year or so, will progressively get less expensive on a per-rack basis as market adoption increases. By being better prepared for FCoE now, your data center will be better positioned for a more aggressive rollout, as prices come down and capabilities increase, than those data centers that wait and don’t even think about FCoE for the next few years.
virtual host will have a minimum of two quad-port Ethernet cards and two dualport Fibre Channel SAN cards.
Business benefits l Lowers the cost and complexity of interconnect media by providing a single shared infrastructure; l Provides a seamless migration path by allowing networks to be migrated to a converged network without doing a rip and replace disruptive migration; l Preserves investments in media while setting a strategic foundation for a converged network by acquiring new servers with FCoE initiators; l Simplifies management by providing centralized network management. Planning for FCoE allows to you begin to build an FCoE infrastructure that, over the next year or so, will progressively get less expensive on a per-rack basis as market adoption increases. By being better prepared for FCoE now, your data center will be better positioned for a more aggressive rollout, as prices come down and capabilities increase, than those data centers that wait and don’t even think about FCoE for the next few years. n Satheeshiyer is Executive – Presales, International Business, Sanat Technologies.
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Blueprint to a
VIRTUALISED BUSINESS The shift to a VIRTUALISED enterprise calls for a holistic and WELL-PLANNED APPROACH by the IT department in consultation with vendors and networking partners Sumit Mukhija
s k a ny o l d - e c o n o my businessperson, and they will unanimously agree that deals are made and broken on nuances of expression, body language, and personal rapport and interaction. In these days of the global enterprise too, there is significant benefit in enabling a workforce with the tools and technologies that empower more visual interaction between employees and customers, and within teams.
enjoy the full technological benefits present in other offices. Virtualisation of these resources is now being seen as the answer to these concerns. With virtualisation, an organisation would not need to replicate investment and installations at various sites, but can simply virtually recreate or provide secure online access to these resources to employees on the corporate network, from their desks, from a mobile device, or even from a public or shared computer.
Virtualising the Business
The growing ecosystem of mobile devices, collaboration technologies, and nearly limitless bandwidth provides such a strong and seamless web of connectivity that geographically dispersed offices and people of the connected enterprise feel and behave like one cohesive entity. The challenge here, however, is that the applications, resources and the technology backbone that powers this level of collaboration needs to be replicated across offices and sites to create a truly connected global enterprise, and requires investments of a great magnitude, which would definitely affect the bottom line. While enterprises are able to justify this level of investments in some sites, other sites with a smaller number of staff may be unable to
This shift to a virtualised enterprise is not an overnight shift, and calls for a holistic and well-planned approach by the IT department, in consultation with IT vendors and networking partners. A logical and phased approach to this implementation would multiply the benefits of virtualisation to employees across the network, and bring considerable business benefits to the enterprise with a connected and collaborative workforce. The path to true virtualisation of the enterprise has three distinct phases â€“ Infrastructure Consolidation, Resource Provisioning, and Flexible Service Automation. n Infrastructure Consolidation: In this step, the process is back-end, as existing computing and storage resources
tion, an organisation would not need to replicate investment and installations at various sites, but can simply
guest expression are moved onto newer and fewer devices capable of performing multiple functions. Servers, storage equipment, networking gear and other data center resources are also consolidated into a smaller number of physical locations. n Resource Provisioning: In this phase, applications are rolled out based on logically-partitioned computing, network, and storage resources, which have been assigned parameters based on current and projected usage patterns. A robust network infrastructure is a prerequisite to the success of this phase, and the IT department also needs to have clear guidelines and a roadmap as to which applications and technologies need to be assigned percentages of compute and storage. n Flexible Service Automation: The virtualised enterprise is now ready for business, and while users enjoy the benefits from day one, back-end responsibilities for the IT department continue to be the automation of security responses, and self-healing systems. Improved reliability becomes possible in the virtualised network with lower human intervention, once the foundational guidelines have been established. The total cost of ownership too is reduced, as there are lower chances of human error. Automating these processes allows for a policy-based, adaptive infrastructure that improves business agility for the virtualised business.
The Human Factor
or provide secure
For this vision to be realised, there is the need for a business to embrace new technologies and networks. While this can be achieved easily, the true challenge lies in the acceptance of a new technology within the organization. At an individual level, exposure to a wide network may be intimidating at first, and people might be reluctant to share ideas and best practices across the network, for fear of being not being given credit. However, the benefits of virtualisation would be evident very soon and would enable newer ways of working together, creating the need for new interworking dynamics between colleagues and teams, eventually creating a stronger, more agile, resilient organization that can respond quickly to a changing business environment. n Sumit Mukhija is National Sales Manager - Data Centre, Cisco India & SAARC.
online access to resources to employees on the corporate network. A logical and phased approach to implementation would multiply the benefits of virtualisation.
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NETWORKS Network infrastructure needs to be flexible and adaptive to changing requirements of businesses Craig Maynard
ot all businesses are created equal. Each and every organization has specific business requirements that are unique not only to the vertical market they address but within each vertical. IT infrastructure is deployed to help support these business requirements and to enable the corporate vision to be executed, in other words: IT infrastructure should be an enabler to fulfill business goals. More and more we are seeing IT vendors coming to market with a “complete solution in a box” to address the requirements for ALL customers. This is done by vertically integrating specific solutions for virtualization, network connectivity, servers, and storage to build a solution which on the surface does appear to be clean and simple, however upon closer inspection, that may not be the case. If we talk about networking infrastructure, then each piece of equipment is designed to address different specific requirements. Therefore, each customer will choose the specific hardware that best addresses their requirements rather than choosing an approximate fit.
Network design This requirement of choice extends beyond the physical hardware and into the design and architecture of an environment. For some customers a top of rack (TOR) design for access layer connectivity with uplinks back to an aggregation layer may make sense. For other customers a TOR solution
may introduce an excessive number of domains, points of management and increased cost that could be mitigated via an end of row or middle of row design with collapsed access and aggregation layers. It all comes down to each specific environment along with individual performance and scalability requirements. What IT managers want is the flexibility to implement the best solution for a given business need, preferably on an open platform and with multivendor choice to capitalize on the latest technology that leverages on the collective innovation of all the partners.
As organizations start to run more business processes on less equipment, the network needs to be able to provide different
The Green effect
Quality of Service
Becoming greener is one of those trends that is becoming appealing to more and more organizations. Being green is no longer just about being a good global citizen, there are more and more financial incentives and penalties being implemented by governments around the world to ensure organization become more energy efficient. Computer room physical and environmental parameters also factor into this equation with considerations such as power budgets within a rack and power distribution board capacities. If you exceed the power budget for a rack, then you need to look at adding an additional rack, not because you need the rack space, but because you simply can’t get enough power to the existing rack. What happens however if you are leasing computer room space is that the cost of renting an additional rack has a direct impact
(QoS) characteristics to different traffic flows, provide individual management domains within a single piece of infrastructure, while providing isolation for logical processes to maintain application specific service level (SLAs) agreements.
on an organization’s bottom line. This problem escalates further there is no more space within the computer room to add a new rack. Likewise, if the power that can be provided via your power distribution board is exceeded, then the cost of upgrading can often be prohibitive. Being able to provide higher density infrastructure in a smaller footprint, utilizing less power while generating less heat, which in turn requires less cooling can provide a solid value proposition. Higher density and performance provides significant benefits over and above pure bandwidth. This trend has also resulted in higher levels of intelligence within these high density enclosures. As organizations start to run more business processes on less equipment, the network needs to be able to provide different Quality of Service (QoS) characteristics to different traffic flows, provide individual management domains within a single piece of infrastructure, while providing isolation for logical processes to maintain application specific service level (SLAs) agreements. The network infrastructure needs to be flexible and adaptive to changing requirements. Another key consideration when deploying extraordinary networks is investment protection. High-end infrastructure investments require a rapid return on investment and provide value for a longer period of time. When making these purchasing decisions understanding where the business is heading and how the emerging technology trends can support those goals is of paramount importance. Will the infrastructure purchased today grow to meeting the emerging requirements of tomorrow? Is it backwards compatible with legacy infrastructure in the current environment and will it integrate with future technology as it comes to market? Partners need to align with vendors that understand these dynamics and are able to provide significant choice, along with complete network offerings from the storage network to the Ethernet/IP network. Because what organizations are looking for is a scalable architecture with tomorrow’s requirements in mind - and solutions that are tightly integrated with other vendors’ technologies to enable operational simplicity. n Craig Maynard is Technical Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific, Brocade.
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The Cloud Ready
DATA CENTRE Network
It is possible for IT organisations to build data centre networks that offer greater economies of scale, improved application service levels, simpler management and lower costs SANJAY JOTSHI
loud computing represents a new way to deliver and consume services on a shared network and IT infrastructure. Previously, IT hardware and software were acquired and physically provisioned on site. With cloud computing, the value of these same software and hardware products are delivered on-demand in the form of services over the network. It can be daunting to interconnect a growing number of virtual and physical devices while trying to simplify the network to manage these resources at scale. Management complexity increases exponentially as more devices are added. This often necessitates physical segmentation, which runs counterintuitive to building large, shared resource pools that maximise economies of scale. O ve r c o m i n g t h e s e o b s t a c l e s requires a fundamental shift in the way enterprise IT organisations build-out their legacy data centre networks. Success in building a scalable, cloud-ready data centre network requires following three critical steps: (1) simplify, (2) share and (3) secure.
SIMPLIFY: Simplification starts with reducing the number of autonomous devices. In the future, a single logical switch will be able to scale securely and reliably across the data centre to connect all servers, storage and appliances. Until then, interim measures can be taken to consolidate network layers, increase scale and performance without adding complexity: 1. Leverage device density to reduce the number of physical devices. 2. Employ technologies that enable multiple physical devices to act as one logical device. 3. Reduce layers of switching to two or less. 4. Ensure reliable routing connections into and out of the data centre. 5. Maintain a common OS and single point to monitor and manage the network with open APIs.
SHARE: With a simpler, scalable network to support large resource pools, the next step enables the dynamic sharing of resources for greater agility. This necessitates: 1. virtualisation of servers, storage and appliances
guest expression 2. virtualisation of the network itself. Virtualisation minimises the need for physical segmentation, allows capacity and bandwidth to be shared efficiently and flexibly for multitenancy and high QoS. VLANs, zones, MPLS and VPLS offer effective ways to virtualise the network within and between enterprise data centres.
The lessons learned from cloud computing can vastly improve the scale, agility, and application service levels of enterprise data centres as well as reduce costs. Achieving these results requires close examination of the network itself, which is the foundation of the cloudready data centre.
SECURE: Another challenge involves maintaining trusted environments and scaling security for pooled resources. To complement the simplification and sharing of the cloud-ready data centre, the security services also should be consolidated and virtualised. It is vital to secure data and services at rest and in transit using these and other security measures: 1. Secure flows into the data centre. Authenticate and encrypt connections to network endpoints (SSL) and enterprise devices (IPSec) while reducing device proliferation. It is also essential to prevent denial-of-ser vice attacks and deploy firewalls to guard the edge and perimeter. 2. Secure f lows within the data centre. Segment the network with VLANs, zones, virtual routers and VPNs, and use firewalls to protect application-to-application traffic â€“ between servers, between virtual machines and between pods. Also employ application aware and identity-based security policies. 3. Set network-wide policies from a central location to ensure security compliance. Centralised reporting engines provide historical and real-time visibility into applications and data, and enable IT to perform scheduled vulnerability assessments. By preparing for cloud computing, it is possible for IT organisations to build data centre networks that offer greater economies of scale, improved application service levels, simpler management and lower costs. Simplifying, sharing and securing the network are critical to cloud-ready data centres. As Mooreâ€™s Law ensures that technological advances continue to make cloudready data centre networks a reality, IT organisations can take decisive steps today that drive businesses closer to the promise of tomorrow. n Sanjay Jotshi is Director, Enterprise and Channels, India and SAARC, Juniper Networks.
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Why increasing the bandwidth is not always the answer to improving user experience – quite often, it’s WAN optimisation VIVEK SINGH
hen users complain of poor application performance, organisations often look to upgrade the bandwidth of WAN links. But instead of solving the problem, CIOs often discover that upgrading bandwidth to remote sites has little or no effect on application performance. This is because the problem is often the result of latency and application protocol inefficiencies across the WAN, rather than constrained bandwidth.
Bottlenecks affecting performance WAN connections typically have lower bandwidth and higher latency than LAN links, but how do those constraints actually affect application performance? There are four distinct bottlenecks, one relating to bandwidth and three relating to latency. The bandwidth bottleneck is straightforward, no application can send more data than the available bandwidth. The three latency bottlenecks are more subtle and tend to be evident only when there is no bandwidth bottleneck. Due to latency bottlenecks, applications
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may not be able to take advantage of available bandwidth even when the bandwidth appears to be plentiful. The first latency bottleneck is caused by the end-to-end acknowledgement behavior of TCP. TCP has a window of packets that can be in flight from one end to the other (i.e. between client and server). After the window is full, the sender cannot send additional packets until the destination acknowledges receipt of at least some of what has already been sent. If the maximum window is too small, the throughput of the link will be limited by the rate at which each full window can be sent to the other side and acknowledged. The second latency bottleneck is caused by the slow-start and congestion-control behaviors of TCP. The first latency bottleneck is a limit based on the maximum window possible. This second latency bottleneck is caused by TCP not even running at that (probably inadequate) maximum window size all the time. Instead, TCP gradually ramps up its window size when transmission appears to be successful and sharply cuts back its window size when transmission appears to be unsuccess-
With multiprotocol, multiconfiguration and multiapplication WAN optimisation, businesses can take full advantage of their networks, infrastructure and applications. Enterprises can improve application performance across the network typically by five to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times, and can simultaneously reduce bandwidth utilisation by 65 to 95%.
ful. In networks with both high bandwidth and high latency, this behavior leads to extended periods in which available bandwidth goes unused. However, this bottleneck is primarily an issue for users trying to fill long fat networks (LFNs) The third latency bottleneck is caused by application protocols that are running on top of TCP. Recall that with the first latency bottleneck, the availability of bandwidth didn’t matter if TCP was limited by the size of a window of data and the need to acknowledge that data. Analogously, the availability of bandwidth and the avoidance of the first and second latency bottlenecks (at the TCP layer) doesn’t matter if the application is limited by the size of application messages and the need to acknowledge or respond to that data at the application layer. Application protocols that were originally designed for a wide-area environment – such as HTTP and FTP – generally don’t encounter this third latency bottleneck. However, application protocols originally designed for use on LANs – such as Microsoft Windows file sharing via CIFS -- are often severely affected by the third latency bottleneck.
Reducing bottlenecks WAN optimisation solutions can utilise a variety of approaches to reduce bottlenecks over the WAN. These can include data reduction; caching of data, files and email; block replication; TCP optimisation; quality of service (QoS); network compression; and SSL acceleration. However each of these approaches only offers improvement for a narrow set of protocols. For example caching will overcome application latency but not TCP latency. Enterprises should therefore consider a WAN optimisation solution that combines a number of approaches to target multiple bottlenecks simultaneously. Investment in a WAN optimisation solution can help realise substantial cost savings in other ways, including: n Consolidating infrastructure into the data centre n Optimising disaster recovery n Enabling greater collaboration, and n Reducing RPO. n Vivek Singh is Regional Director, India and SAARC, Riverbed Technology.
Published on Jan 21, 2010