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Router, switch sales predicted to boom

Brighter days are ahead in the telecom equipment sector starting next year, according to one market research firm.

After dipping this year compared to last, the market for routers and switches is expected to grow significantly between 2002 and 2006, according to separate studies by the firms. According to Probe Research Inc., the worldwide market for edge routers will grow 187 per cent between 2002 and 2006, from US$2.7 billion to $7.8 billion, while that for multiservice edge switches will grow 112 per cent, from $3 billion to $6.4 billion.

However, Probe anticipates a 13 per cent and 16.7 per cent drop in revenue for edge routers and multiservice switches, respectively, from 2001 to 2002.

Credit unions unload banking apps

In a bid to cut its IT costs in half, a network of B.C. credit unions recently signed a seven-year, $16 million outsourcing contract with CGI Group Inc.

The outsourcer will manage the core banking system, customer relationship management, loans originations and electronic transaction switching from its Mississauga, Ont. office Only the internal communications network will remain part of the Alliance’s in-house operation.

“We’re all relatively small organizations individually so the costs were too high to look at in-house solutions,” said Michael Wagner, the chief executive officer of the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, a member of the Okanagan IT Alliance.

IBM muses about Informix technology

IBM Corp. is looking to utilize Informix Corp. technology in its DB2 database to enable real-time analysis of streaming data such as ticker-tape data, company officials said recently.

IBM is also pondering how to use the Informix Time Series Real Time Loader and Numerical Analysis Generator datablade in DB2 to help boosts DB2’s real-time data analysis capabilities. The Real Time Loader reads data from a ticker tape and inserts it into memory. DB2 can perform these functions currently, by combining IBM’s DataJoiner software with the Informix software. The plan is to enable this type of analysis without requiring the linkage, according to IBM.

NCR gouging customers: Gartner

Gartner Inc. is cautioning NCR Corp.’s Teradata customers against what it is calling “illogical pricing practices.” The warning relates to a new generation of NCR’s massively parallel WorldMark servers that were introduced in May.

According to Gartner, the new two-processor nodes that are used in the latest WorldMark 5300 servers provide only 75 per cent of the performance available with the four-processor nodes used in the previous WorldMark 5255 servers. But NCR is insisting on selling the new nodes at the same price as the older nodes, Gartner said.

Vickie Farrell, a vice president in NCR’s Teradata warehouse group, challenged Gartner’s position. “The list price on the box is totally irrelevant. We don’t sell off-the-shelf hardware,” she said.

Job cuts no cause for concern: Telus

Despite recently cutting 6,000 jobs, Telus Corp. says its big business clients won’t notice a difference in attention to service.

“The whole thing is structured around productivity and customer contact centres,” said Doug Strachan, Telus spokesman in Vancouver. “We’re not going to impact any customers, let alone our enterprise customers.”

But since the cuts include 1,000 management positions, Telus’ big business clients might get a case of the jitters, said Brownlee Thomas, a Montreal-based telecom industry analyst with Giga Information Group Inc. As an enterprise client, “I wouldn’t worry yet,” she said. “But I am going to want a call from my account manager.”

HP cuts ties with middleware

Hewlett-Packard Co. recently confirmed that it is discontinuing several middleware products and will instead address that market segment though partnerships with other vendors, including Microsoft Corp. and BEA Systems Inc.

HP’s Netaction Application Server, Netaction Web Services Platform and Web Services Registry are being eliminated, HP said. Transition program details will be announced by Sept. 15, according to HP. The company has also stopped developing eSpeak, HP officials confirmed, a technology for connecting networked devices that was once considered ahead of its time .

Instead, HP will focus its software development efforts around its OpenView network management portfolio, its Opencall communications suite and its Utility Data Center software for automating data centre operations, the company said.

Common Unix, Linux GUI at risk

Two security holes in a GUI common on Unix and Linux systems could allow attackers to launch a denial of service attack or overwrite files on affected systems, according to a security bulletin released by CERT/CC (the Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center).

The flaws exist in the ToolTalk component of CDE (Common Desktop Environment), a tool used to add a graphical interface to systems running Unix and Linux that traditionally use command line interfaces. Products vulnerable to the flaws include Caldera International Inc.’s Open Unix and UnixWare; Hewlett-Packard’s Tru64 and select versions HP-UX; IBM AIX 4.3.3 and 5.1.0; and select versions of Sun Solaris Users should check with their vendor to obtain fixes.

Oracle chief says ‘madness’ now over

Oracle Corp. chairman and CEO Larry Ellison says the software marketplace is returning to normal after a period of “market madness” in 1999 and 2000. ” We had market madness and now we’re returning to reality and I don’t think that’s gloom and doom,” Ellison said, during a recent analyst briefing. Although another executive referred to a current period of “under-spending,” Oracle maintains it is taking away Informix customers from IBM Corp., which recently acquired the database company. Ellison also disputed the notion that Oracle has lost all its good managers lately. Oracle’s managers leave to become CEO of other companies, such as Gary Bloom leaving to become CEO of Veritas Software Corp., said Ellison. “I think it’s proof that we’ve got pretty good talent over here,” Ellison said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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