After nearly five years as an editor in this little corner of the technology world, it’s time for me to hang up my networking hat and move over to IT World Canada sister publication Computerworld Canada.

Looking back, it soon becomes clear that it’s been a wild ride for network managers, with many ups and downs, challenges and advancements, new technologies and new realities. Some major trends tend to stand out amongst them all, however.

The first, and possibly most disturbing for network managers, is the relative erosion of the competitive landscape in this country, and in many other parts of the world to boot. When I first sat in this chair in July 2000, the enterprise networking equipment market was teeming with life and a Darwinian struggle fought between a fairly large pool of fish.

Each year since then, Cisco Systems’ percentage of the market has steadily grown, with a consequential falling off of formerly healthy competitors such as 3Com Corp. and Avaya. What must be disconcerting to the average Canadian network manager is the seemingly blas