News Briefs

Cisco Systems Canada Co. announced the appointment of Terry Walsh to the position of president last month. Walsh was previously managing director for Cisco Systems Australia and New Zealand. He takes over from Pierre-Paul Allard, who moved up to vice-president, Worldwide Enterprise Marketing for Cisco in San Jose. Walsh has been with Cisco for eight years and will assume responsibility for all of Cisco’s Canadian operations, including sales, marketing, finance, distribution and services.

Standards sought

Juniper Networks Inc. is seeking industry-wide support for an initiative that would establish a unified set of standards for packet-based communications. At the Telecom World conference and exhibition in Geneva this month, Juniper announced its Infranet Initiative, calling on telecommunication service providers, vendors and standards bodies to agree to a single framework for accessing networks and interconnecting them between carriers. The goal, said Juniper founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Pradeep Sindhu, is to create a public network that combines the ubiquitous connectivity of the Internet with the assured performance and security of a private network. Juniper envisages an infranet as a set of interlinked IP VPNs that provide secure authenticated access and encrypted tunnels over an IP/MPLS (Multi-protocol Label Switching ) transport infrastructure. Such an infrastructure, according to Sindhu, would support grid computing. The initiative has already gained support from Lucent Technologies Inc. and Norwegian carrier Telenor ASA, Sindhu added.

Getting a handle on storage

IBM Corp. recently released a distributed file system technology that it said will provide storage management capabilities across storage area networks (SANs) with disk arrays and servers from multiple vendors. The TotalStorage SAN File System offering is based on IBM’s Storage Tank virtualization software, and it works by creating a file-sharing protocol that lets servers use a distributed storage network as if it were a local file system. For now, the SAN File System supports only IBM’s own Enterprise Storage Server disk arrays plus servers running its AIX operating system and Windows 2000. IBM is trying to convince other vendors to link their storage devices to the technology under a plan announced last spring.

Emulex buys Vixel

Fibre Channel host bus adapter vendor Emulex Corp. this month acquired Vixel Corp., a maker of Fibre Channel switches, for US$310 million. Vixel’s embedded switching products will be added to Emulex’s host bus adapter business. Vixel was one of the early switch manufacturers, but fell behind Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and McData Corp. Earlier this year there also was consolidation of the Fibre Channel switching industry when Broadcom Corp. acquired Gadzoox Networks Inc.