Bullet point brief: Bluecat Networks CEO Michael Hyatt

Bluecat Networks Inc., a Toronto-based IP address management vendor, recently announced it will use Domain Name System Security Extensions in its products.

The company, which sells to government agencies, universities, corporations and carriers, is also shipping virtual machine versions of its Proteus and Adonis gear, which are designed to make it easier to manage Internet Protocol addresses.

The company was founded by brothers Michael and Richard Hyatt. Richard is the chief technology officer. Michael, the chief executive officer, recently briefed Network World Canada on DNSSEC, IPv6, the economy and what went wrong with Nortel.

Why IP address management is becoming more complicated

“There’s been an explosion in the number of IP addresses you have and that needs to be managed. Traditionally companies have used spreadsheets and they’re moving on to devices like Bluecat’s IP address management servers that are managing that professionally for them. When you turn on voice over IP, typically you triple the allocation of IP addresses you have because each phone has two. When you bring in mobility, when you bring in virtualization, when you bring in IPv6, the complexity goes up and you’re left with the problem of management.”

Why Domain Name System Security Extensions is important

“DNS is the largest distributed database in the world. When you type in Google.com you – there’s an implicit trust it will take you there. There was a very bad attack, the Kaminsky attack. The U.S. government put out a mandate in the federal government to ensure that all government institutions move towards DNSSEC. Basically what’s happening is they are signing the roots and they are making it so they will use public and private key technology to ensure that where (you want to go) is where you’re going, so that it’s almost impossible to defraud that or cache poison that.”

Why companies should care about Internet Protocol version 6

“It’s not just that we are running out of IP addresses. IPv6 has a lot of other qualities, like the quality service with voice over IP is better. There’s a lot of things you can do with security. You don’t have to break and encapsulate the packets like you have to do with IPv4. You’re going to find it comes in quite quickly to the network and we think networks will run a balance of IPv4 and IPv6 at the same time. Our technology allows you to balance both in the same product for a while and we think people will do that in the next decade. We don’t think there’s going to be a sudden cutover.”

How Bluecat is doing during the recession

“What the dramatic and deep and very sudden recession taught us is that you have to change your game plan and move. People are scrutinizing things. It’s more difficult for any company to sell anything. The good news is the spending taps have opened again. Bluecat is very fortunate because we offer the plumbing of the Internet. Whenever you talk about DNS and DHCP, you’re talking about the hot water, the plumbing of the house. No IP address means no network, so you can’t kind of turn that off. We’ve fared very very well. We just finished our fiscal year up 40 per cent over the previous fiscal year.

How the recession will affect network managers

“We think the upcoming boom will be continuous infrastructure spending. If you take a look at where companies are spending money, it doesn’t matter if it’s health care, education or manufacturing, what you’re going to notice is a dramatic and continuous spend in the infrastructure and buildout of networks. And you’re going to notice that it’s all about management and it’s all about intelligence into the network and it’s about automation into the network. What you’re going to see, recession or no recession, is a push towards automation in networks and companies who can offer that. I think you’re going to continuously see more pressure put on the IT people in the network so the things that they buy need to be able to become more robotic and add the intelligence of people to really help them out and get things done. There’s no IT department whose footprint is getting smaller next year, or is getting less complex. The companies that make it in the next couple of years will be the companies who offer intelligence into the network.”

He does not criticize Mike Zafirovksi, the current CEO of Nortel Networks Corp. So how did Nortel Networks Corp., which rose to be a $27 billion company in 2000, end up in bankruptcy protection and looking for buyers for its assets?

“I think Nortel is a sad affair. Nortel is a great example of success breeding failure. What I mean by that is they always acted like they were a $124 stock even when they were a $1 stock. They failed to make the hard choices and hard changes when the times really asked them to do that. If you took a snapshot of Nortel at its peak, fighting against Cisco, you had Nortel who was either No. 3 or No. 4 in the market in 24 business units. Their major competitor, Cisco, was No. 1 in the top four of their five top markets. Nortel was just spread way too thin, they weren’t really winning any major spaces and in one way they were acting a bit like a government institution. They failed to make the hard decisions and the hard cuts later on. Their success bred their failure.

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