Tag Archive | "Video"

Congress Has Six Weeks to Avoid Debt Ceiling Crisis

On Monday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave Congress until the middle of October to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, or risk a possible debt default. This means that the rate of currently authorized spending will drive the U.S. debt above the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

What makes this a bit confusing is that it will occur two weeks after Congress must pass the FY 2014 budget, due September 30. Many Republicans said they will only pass a budget that takes away funding (defunds) Obamacare.

What Will Probably Happen

Congress won’t risk a repeat of the 2011 debt ceiling crisis. This was devastating to the economy, and no one won. Instead, it will pass a short-term continuing resolution to raise the debt ceiling by October 15, just like it has throughout history. House Speaker John Boehner can pass this debt ceiling override, even without 100% of Republicans agreeing.

However, this is only a temporary fix. The FY 2014 budget needs to be passed, or many government agencies will run out of money as of the end of September (the end of the Federal fiscal year). This is a bigger issue. Republicans will insist that nothing will be passed unless Obamacare is defunded. Therefore, the budget probably won’t be passed.

This isn’t as dire as it sounds. The FY 2013 budget has never been approved, either. Instead, Congress enacted a continuing spending resolution in October 2012 and March 2013.

That’s probably what will happen with the FY 2014 budget. This means that spending will continue at current levels, continuing the sequestration spending cuts.

How It Affects You

You will hear a lot of reports in the news that there could be another crisis brewing. This could disrupt the stock market, and your investments. Gold prices will probably rise, like they did in 2011.

However, in all likelihood, it will pass over by November. Your best bet is to focus on leading economic indicators, to see how the real economy is performing. For example, yesterday’s Durable Goods Orders report showed there could be a temporary soft spot.

Related Articles

  • Who Owns the U.S. Debt?
  • Watch the Video: What Is the National Debt?
  • The History of the U.S. Debt Clock


Source: About.com

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Gogo inflight internet

Quick Tip: How to Save Money on Wi-Fi Internet Access on an Airplane

Gogo inflight internetThe price of airline wireless service has been steadily rising, as Gogo recently stopped offering one-time passes on certain flights and instead is charging $10 an hour for Wi-Fi internet access. The good news for air travelers, though, is it definitely pays to prepare ahead.

Yesterday I bought Gogo’s inflight internet access. It cost $14.95 for full day access. I wasn’t thrilled to pay for Wi-Fi, since some airlines offer free Wi-Fi, but those fifteen bucks were a much better deal than what I would have paid if I bought the internet access on the plane: $10 an hour–and my flight is 5 hours long.

I’m typing this using the Gogo service now. It’s about as speedy as the kind you’d get at an Internet cafe or Wi-Fi hotspot–except, well, you’re 30,000 feet in the air. Video streaming, however, such as through Netflix isn’t supported, unfortunately, and YouTube videos also stutter.

The next time you’re getting on a plane and want to get online too, just remember to buy your Gogo access before your flight.

Related: Business Travel Advice: Working on the Road

Source: About.com

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cassette tape

Back in the Day – The Death of Magnetic Tape

cassette tapeToday’s dying media spotlight is magnetic tape. By definition magnetic tape “is a plastic ribbon coated on one side with an iron-oxide material that can be magnetized by electromagnetic pulses for storing data.”

Magnetic tapes came in open reel-to-reel as well as (housed in) cartridge formats and were used for audio or video recordings, and the storage of information in early computers. Tapes are played back and recorded on decks which wind the tape past a read/write device or “head”. Photo Credit: Freefotos

Why is Magnetic Tape a Dying Medium?
Finding something on magnetic tape involves moving the tape sequentially, and even with the fast forward button, tape does not provide the same random access that newer recording mediums do. Copying from one magnetic tape to another results in a loss of quality with each generation of copying.

  • Examples of Magnetic Tape Media
  • Early History of Magnetic Tape
  • Cassette Tape
  • 8 Track Tape
  • Video Tape
Source: About.com

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Myth 10

Top 10 Networking Myths

This Avaya CONNECTED Blog
is also available as an MP3 Audio File

Whether your building out a corporate network, or a brand new ESINet for Public Safety, you need to understand networking, and there are some common myths that will leave you with a poor deployment and huge amounts of capitol investment rusting away in the data center while you try to figure out how to save your career.

10)Cisco continues to be the undisputed leader in networking innovation

It is time to stop living in the 90′s, while I won’t spend time to argue that statement, it is time to look at technology and where the market is heading TODAY. I hate to answer a question with questions, but let me ask:

  • Q: Who was first in delivering Resilient Stacking technology?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who changed the resiliency model from Active/Standby to Active/Active?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who introduced Split-Plane technology first to market?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who introduced hardware based 20ms resiliency?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered end to end Ethernet Fabric technology AND drove its standardization with IEEE/IETF?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered the most scalable 2 Tier Data Center architecture with lower latency?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered Layer 2 and Layer 3 Virtual Services Networks with its Ethernet Fabric Technology?
  • A: AVAYA
  • Q: Who has delivered innovative, scalable, resilient and fast registration for Multicast applications?
  • A: AVAYA

Myth 10

Remember, Innovation does NOT EQUATE TO acquisition, so exactly who is the Innovator and who is the follower?

9) Juniper seems to be the logical alternative to Cisco

Due to the unfortunate situation with Nortel Enterprise, many customers and partners were given no choice but to consider alternative vendors. While it’s clear Avaya has heavily invested in Networking, is Juniper still a logical alternative to Cisco? To me at least, it seems their QFABRIC Data Center strategy was a failure, now it’s based on SDN promises?

It’s time for customers to look back at Avaya’s portfolio and the technological maturity it brings from the heritage of Wellfleet, Synoptics, Bay Networks and Nortel. The technology train never stopped, and they are in the lead for Campus and Fabric architecture…time to reconsider Avaya? Yes indeed as Avaya solves REAL IT CHALLENGES TODAY and is in a unique position for many quarters to come…

8) There’s no different between proprietary and standards-based Fabric solutions

While some may think proprietary Fabric Architecture is ok for the Data Center, aren’t we living in an open system architecture world where best of breed technology should be selected?
How will you extend or leverage your Ethernet Fabric if it is proprietary? The world knows better and there happens to be an IEEE and IETF standard out there, known as SPB (Shortest Path Bridging) or if you prefer IEEE 802.1aq or IETF RFC 6329.

Inter-operabiltiy with other vendors has already been proved and the recent flawless performance of the Core at InterNet 2013 in Las Vegas, demonstrates the maturity and stability of this technology. Avaya is leading, time to look at solving your IT challenges once and for all

7) We cannot eliminate Spanning Tree

Do people use a bus to try winning a Formula 1 race?

Do people fly airplanes with one of the two engines on standby?

None of this seems logical, does it?

So why is it customers tolerate building a network infrastructure utilizing a protocol that wasn’t built to deliver resiliency?

The market has clearly endorsed Active/Active as the defacto design model now, and it is time for customers to stop accepting sub-optimal solutions for their network and ensure failures won’t be business impacting. Avaya has 12+ years of maturity implementing Active/Active resiliency, and while other vendors are trying to catch up, Avaya keeps moving the dial further ahead, and maintains its position as the undisputed leader of Active/Active resiliency.

6) MPLS is the solution to all of our problems

Customers that wanted to deploy a multi-tenant and multi-services business solution, had no other choice but to eventually consider MPLS as the solution in order to provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 virtualization.

While that might be powerful and scalable, its level of complexity just made it extremely difficult for IT departments to retain the skill set required to build and maintain it.

What if there was, today, an alternative provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 Virtualization for both unicast and multicast based services? What if MPLS level scalability was achievable without its associated level of complexity?

What if that same solution gave you network behavior flexibility too, so you no longer have to guess how the network is behaving? What if Avaya was once again in the lead, helping you solve these challenges

5) Deploying services must involve weeks of planning and hours of implementation

Today it takes hours, weeks, months of preparation to deploy a new service across your Enterprise. Why? Simply because of the level of complexity associated with extending a service using existing legacy technology such as VLANs’ to extend such services. This translates into nodal configuration, which despite the qualification of your IT staff, requires proper planning and change management control. There is so much business risk associated with such a deployment, nobody will take a chance on doing it without proper testing and configuration validation.

What if you could, today, provision end to end services, but only have to touch the edge of your network?
Basically provision where the service is to be used, and where its being offered and VOILA, you are done. Let the network SERVICE your application needs.

4) Equipment maintenance and upgrade must be business-impacting

“Sorry Folks! Park’s Closed. The moose out front should have told ya’.”

Myth5.jpgIn the past most applications ran in a non-geo redundant or even in a single data center non-resilient deployment model. Now, you can easily deploy every application in an active/active model and woouldn’t it be even more powerful if you take advantage of various hypervisors virtualization solutions?
The combination of Virtualization, applications running in an Active/Active deployment model, as well as having a Data Center architecture that can extend Layer 2 domains where you need to, gives you the utmost flexibility and agility that your IT staff, and more importantly, your applications were looking for, and needed. Well, you don’t have to wait anymore, it’s here….

3) Multicast is becoming mandatory, but it’s complex, unreliable, and doesn’t scale

Everyone has been suffering through Multicast deployments over the last 15 to 20 years. The level of complexity and limited scalability, often gave no choice but to limit its utilization and size of deployment to known logical limits that did not meet the business needs.

What if you could finally scale multicast to new levels, while also addressing the design complexity?

What if you could no longer have to say “NO” when you are requested to deploy a multicast based application because your multicast network scalability is already saturated?

What if you didn’t have to build a separate infrastructure because the one you have is running at maximum capacity and scalability for multicast?

What if you didn’t have to force usage of unicast anymore? Or, what if you didn’t have application failures or business impacting situations due to the lethargic, slow recovery of multicast applications?

Well, there is a solution to your challenges, It’s called Native Multicast over SPB, and it comes to the rescue to deliver a never-before achieved level of scalability, while delivering 500 milliseconds recovery and 100ms or less registration, and delivering all this without the need for PIM!
That is innovation at its best, while still supporting inter-connectivity to PIM domains.

2) Avaya is a Voice company and doesn’t bring anything to Networking

While Avaya continues to be a leader in Unified Communications, Contact Center and Video conferencing, it is important to note its level of competiveness in the Networking area. Not only do they provide cost effective Ethernet connectivity with or without PoE, they also led the way by solving some complex IT challenges such as E911 location reporting, regardless of the mode of connectivity being used (wired and wireless).

While Avaya has a very strong Voice heritage, it also understands the networking requirement and has focused on delivering best in class innovative solutions which customers and partners need to pay special attention too.
Avaya is about innovative Real Time Collaborations, UC, CC, Video and highly reliable and scalable network.

From Data Center edge all the way to your Branch Edge, Avaya can help you solve these challenges TODAY using industry standard protocols and best practices. How many other competitors can say that? Let me help you out with that one. . . .

Pick a number between ZERO and NONE.

1) The future is all about SDN, so you have to wait….

SDN Is gaining momentum in the market, it is like a Tsunami hitting all the IT personnel trying to understand if this is the technology that will finally solve their IT challenges?

While SDN seems to focus on solving relevant IT problems, the question is more “What IT problems is the industry trying to solve, more importantly, what are YOUR business IT challenges”.

What if Avaya was able to solve these problems for you, TODAY with products, solutions, protocols, etc..that exist NOW in an open system architecture that does not require the wait for some new SDN Protocol to be supported by ALL vendors?

What if Avaya endorsed the SDN concept in addressing key IT business challenges?

What if Avaya offered Orchestration and simplification of Applications Provisioning today?

And more importantly….would you be interested in chatting with one of our Experts?

Avaya continues to innovate, but more importantly, Avaya can solve real IT challenges today by changing the way Networks are being built, without waiting for all sorts of promises to be delivered in the next few years. Giving Avaya an opportunity to show you what we can do TODAY, will be a worth while investment, and we promise not to disappoint you.

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Luma Camera logo

Instagram Snaps Up Luma

Mobile video startup Luma Camera has been purchased by Instagram, the company announced yesterday. It’s yet another sign that the rivalry between Facebook’s Instagram and Twitter’s Vine is heating up.

Luma Camera logo

Luma created a mobile app for capturing and sharing videos that used proprietary image-stabilization technology. The company said the app will continue to be supported through Dec. 31, but is no longer available for new downloads. TechCrunch, which first reported the sale, explains Luma’s technology in more detail.

Twitter’s Vine, meantime, announced in a tweet this week that its mobile video app has reached 40 million users and continues to grow, despite the formidable competition it got this summer when Instagram launched a competing short video feature for mobile phones.

Twitter launched Vine in January as an iPhone app which allows users to shoot videos of up to six seconds and automatically loops them to play over and over. Instagram’s videos, by contrast, can be up to 15 seconds long.


  • Instagram video tutorial
  • Vine video tutorial
Source: About.com

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Blog Post: MOS 2013 Expert Certification Requirement Changes

 With the launch of the new project-based exam experience for MOS 2013, candidates need to complete a short project during the allotted exam time. During development of the MOS 2013 Expert certification exams, it became clear the objectives would require more time than provided in the standard 50 minute testing period to complete. Further, during exam design phase, it became clear two different types of projects would be needed in Word or Excel to cover objectives in a realistic setting.

Considering all of these factors, we are here to announce the MOS 2013 Word and Excel Expert certifications will require passing two exams. Word Expert certification requires passing exams 77-425 and 77-426, while Excel Expert certification requires passing exams 77-427 and 77-428. These part one and two exams are 50 minutes in length each, and are both required to achieve the Expert certification. Details about each of these exams can be found on the MOS Expert overview page.


Related resources:

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Five for Friday: Top 5 technology commercials from the ’90s

Like most kids born in the early ’80s, I have a very special affinity for the ’90s. My dad bought the first personal computer on our block (an IBM 386), we had a 28.8K modem at home, and cell phones were as big as a brick.

My family was unflaggingly optimistic about technology in the ’90s, eager to try new digital products and formats, most of which died before gaining mass adoption.

For one glorious year–it must have been 2001–I carried around a Nokia 5110 with custom faceplate, a PalmPilot, anti-skipping Sony DiscMan, GameBoy Color, calculator watch and clear plastic pager. Today, that collection of ancient technology is contained in a single smartphone, which is capable of more than anything I could have imagined at the time (just 12 years ago!).

It’s pretty incredible to see how far technology, convergence and communication have come in less than 20 years. Today, we’re pulling together a list of our favorite ’90s technology commercials, all of which introduce, or hint at, communication tools we take for granted today.

#1: Send faxes from your cell phone

In the late ’90s, AT&T introduced PocketNet, a text-based web-browsing interface on mobile phones. In this ad, a man stuck in a snowstorm delights his son by showing him how he reads email and sends faxes from his phone.

#2: Early unified communications (with an (800) number)

The promise of unified communications today is to connect with people instantly on any device, anywhere in the world, easily and seamlessly. Back in the ’90s, that concept was considerably more basic… most people didn’t have cell phones, voice messages were stored on tape, and faxes trumped email.

What do you do if you want to stay connected 24/7? Buy an (800) number that rings your office, home number and cell phone at the same time. It was a rudimentary idea, but was the closest thing to unified communications we had at the time.

#3: Bell Atlantic predicts telecommuting

Telecommuting is so ubiquitous today that it’s easy to take it for granted. Sophisticated communication and collaboration tools make working anywhere incredibly easy.

Video conferencing puts us one click away from our coworkers, documents in the cloud are easy to work on, and email, instant messaging, mobile phones, voice conferencing and shared calendars make us just as efficient at home as we are at the office.

In 1995, telecommuting was so foreign that Bell Atlantic had to create a commercial introducing the idea to people.

#4: AT&T predicts dozens of technological breakthoughs

I love these AT&T ads from the 1993 and 1994, because they paint a picture of how technology would make our lives easier and help us connect with one another at some point in the near future. You can feel it–these breakthroughs are nearly here.

AT&T predicted the future with incredible accuracy (not surprising, as researchers inside the company had been working on many of these products for years). Here’s what they got right:

  • E-book rentals
  • GPS directions
  • The ability to send and receive faxes from your computer
  • Electronic tolls
  • Video conferencing
  • Video on demand
  • Video-based distance learning
  • Telemedicine
  • Remote security monitoring
  • Automated computer assistants, like Siri

Some of their predictions haven’t been built yet, or were built but failed to gain mass adoption. These include:

  • E-commerce at the ATM
  • DMV transactions at the ATM
  • Voice-activated door locks
  • Portable medical history on a card
  • Automatic product scanners
  • Phone calls on your wrist
  • Automatic audio translation from one language to another

2013 is shaping up to be the year for wearables, so a Dick Tracy-style mobile phone watch could be in our very near future. Researchers are racing to improve automatic audio translation technology, and will undoubtedly solve this challenge within our lifetime.

As for voice-activated door locks, we may have to leave that to Star Trek.

#5: Pacific Bell’s superhighway of information

In 1994, Pacific Bell put out its own list of predictions, mostly around networking, intelligent switches and improved communication. The 3D graphics may be cringe-worthy, but the ideas put forth were anything but: PacBell promised limitless connections over the Internet, at a time when most Americans had yet to sign up for their first email address, and Jerry Yang and David Filo had just launched Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.

OK, now it’s your turn. Share your favorite vintage tech commercials with us in the comments, and reminisce with us about the ’90s.

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Simplicity Tops Mid-Year Review of 7 Communication Trends for 2013

Panel of Experts
Reviewing Top 2013 Projections
Sees Simplicity and Customer Experience Driving Transformation

With the first half of the year complete, now is a good time to look back at our December 2012 projections for 2013 Top Communications Trends and see how they have evolved and which are really propelling growth in communications solutions. For each of the last four years a team of Avaya experts has been asked to identify telecom trends for the upcoming year.

As the experts look back on their projections, simplicity and the harnessing of technologies to create the best customer experience are dominating in 2013.

The seven trends called out at the beginning of the year were:

  1. Simplified complexity drives the agenda. Business leaders have widely welcomed the transition from proprietary to open systems as an avenue to reduced costs, streamlined technology environments and exciting new communications capabilities. But simplification hasn’t been such a simple matter for IT departments, which have the job of integrating advanced applications into existing systems.
  2. Video changes business and customer expectations. With each generation of users more exposed to and comfortable with video than the previous one, it is destined to be increasingly integral to daily life. This transition is presenting huge opportunities for businesses to interact with customers, partners and employees in rich new ways.
  3. Real-time analytics help fine-tune the customer experience. Even companies with relatively small contact centers can generate millions of events a day while larger centers can generate billions. Businesses are increasing their investments to tap into this big data.
  4. Businesses face the private-or-public cloud decision. A key question such organizations will consider as they evaluate the potential of the cloud is what type of cloud offering best meets their needs–a public cloud, where they share resources with other enterprises; a private cloud solution which resides within the corporate firewall; or a virtual private cloud, which is a dedicated portion of a public cloud.
  5. Communications support goes proactive. Businesses that invest in communications solutions and underlying support services are more interested in avoiding problems than having them solved. Yet for a variety of reasons, reactive problem solving has been the industry’s support model over time–until now.
  6. Managed services hit an inflection point. Businesses increasingly will forego the expense of in-house IT staff for support purposes, instead turning to managed services providers for those capabilities.
  7. Mobile muscles in. The next productivity boost will come through the integration of unified communications capabilities with mobility to enhance employee collaboration and customer support in new and innovative ways.

In taking a new look at the top seven with half the year behind us, the experts believe that the seven trends for 2013 remain on target, but there are some very interesting insights into how they see them evolving.

In the case of simplified complexity (#1), the experts agreed this trend is very hot and has become more tightly coupled with Cloud (#4) and Managed Services (#6) trends. With enterprise-owned and in-house managed solutions all the solution complexity is owned by the enterprise. By leveraging Managed Services and to a greater degree a Cloud-based offer, solution complexity is pushed off to the services vendor. This frees up the enterprise to focus on core competencies and greatly simplifies their IT infrastructure.

Also becoming more prevalent, in different forms on different continents, is the move towards video, as mentioned in trend #2. Our experts pointed to the rapid adoption of video by retailers to increase reach by using video-enabled kiosks and ATMs that extend the branch experience. In Europe video is now being used to minimize traditional contact center problems, such as language and culture barriers, that might have caused backlash. The language, inflection, and body language that can be conveyed by agents over a video connection have proven much more pleasing to customers than non-native language audio only interactions. Customers are also leveraging video in their personal life with applications, such as Skype and FaceTime. This increasing video familiarity paves the way for leveraging video to better serve customers, proving that a picture can tell a thousand words.

The growth of the real-time analytics trend (#3) is leading many companies to consider a methodical approach to evaluating their own data collected through day-to-day transactions. Once a company starts to see the benefits of effective data mining, they move from low hanging fruit projects to more in-depth initiatives. Contact center owners are moving from ensuring they deal with the sheer quantity of customer interactions to how they maximize the quality of the customer contact across multiple channels (social media, e-mail, video, etc). Detailed real-time analytics enables this move towards quality by diving deeper into the data and parsing details of the customer interaction to truly ensure the customer is happy on multiple levels.

As touched on previously, simplicity is figuring prominently as businesses face the private-or-public-cloud decision trend (#4). As one expert stated, the private or public cloud decision is less a question of choice “but how to implement a cloud solution in an environment (public, private, hybrid) that meets the needs of different parts of a customer’s business.” Smaller-sized companies that can easily move to a cloud model because of their less complicated system/applications are where we have seen the most acceleration. Large companies are still moving to cloud and managed services, but at a slower rate due to the complexity of their infrastructure (many systems integration to a wide array of applications, etc.) leading to greater issues in deciding what moves to a cloud vs. what must stay on site (technical or security issues) .

The trend of communications support going proactive (#5) is one that our company has leveraged to drive increased value to our customers. By embedding intelligent agents in our infrastructure we have been able to greatly enhance the speed and completeness of issue resolution for our customers. At the same time reducing the number of support requests we need to field.

The path to Cloud can have several steps. Each providing increased simplicity for a company. One step is to leverage Managed Services (#6). Driven by demand for better TCO, this trend is one of our most dominant and still going very strong as we venture into the second half of 2013.

Rounding out the top 7 trends of 2013 is mobile which has been on our list for several years and is starting to see maturity in some sub-segments. For several years, companies have been struggling with the delicate balance between rolling out BYOD vs. the security risks and costs that come with a more open mobile architecture. This trend is now maturing to the point that even the most conservative of banks are adopting BYOD policies and some industries such as retail or education have become primarily mobile.

One sub-segment of mobile that is still developing is the use of mobile status to inform effective customer experience management. Contact centers can benefit from knowing the status of the customer they are servicing by providing a different interaction or information based on where their mobile device indicates they are located (e.g. home vs. hospital). While this is a great feature, we are still early in evolution of service providers providing valuable user location. In this space, the team of experts sees a variety of sub-technology trends, including the geotagging of phone calls that leads to routing and prioritization in contact centers.

How do these trends align with how your year is unfolding and what 2014 might offer?

As in previous years, we greatly appreciate your feedback and engaging conversations with our clients, industry analysts and global IT leaders that help drive the next set of trends.

Where do you feel the industry is vs. the 7 Communication Trends for 2013, or other big trends projected for 2013?

Follow me on Twitter Pat_Patterson_V

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Facebook Aims to Eventually Get the Entire World Online with Internet.org

About 2.7 billion people around the world have access to the Internet, but Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook team have been quietly working away on a new plan that will aim to get at least another 5 billion people online.

Facebook has teamed up with six other tech giants including Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung to launch Internet.org, a new initiative promoting the development of more affordable Internet connectivity, data delivery and smartphone access in developing countries.

“The goal of Internet.org is to make Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not yet connected and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world has today,” said Zuckerberg.

You can go ahead and check out Internet.org right now to watch the launch video.

Photo © Getty Images

Connect With About Web Trends:
Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Newsletter
Source: About.com

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robot factory photopin.jpg

Data Center Automation: Why Are We Still Sending Humans to Do a Machine’s Job?

Robots are on the rise. One forecaster, the Freedonia Group, predicts that the use of robots in manufacturing globally will grow nearly 11 percent annually for the next three years. Robots are growing 15 percent in the U.S., says Freedonia, and 17 percent in China.

robot factory photopin.jpg

photo credit: avramc via photopin cc

What do robots have to do with the Data Center? Well, in the same way the manufacturing sector has transitioned from a manual, human-driven industry to one that is automated and controlled by intelligent machines, the Data Center is poised to go through a similar transformation (albeit without the mechanical arms).

(This is a guest post by Camille Campbell, a senior product marketing manager at Avaya Networking).

The Software-Defined Data Center is a new paradigm in application delivery in which compute, storage and networking components are virtualized and delivered as a service. Software will be able to intelligently combine, customize, and commission resources from the server, storage and networking pools to ensure that applications remain available and responsive. This takes us humans, with our slow, expensive and error-prone ways, out of the equation.  

(Read this Q&A with Avaya Networking’s Chief Architect Paul Unbehagen to learn more).

Deploying applications are not easy today. A series of independent provisioning tasks must occur across different silos. Virtual machines, server adapters, storage partitions and network appliances must all be provisioned and then interconnected to build an end-to-end service. This is typically done across different management systems requiring coordinated effort across multiple teams. No wonder it typically takes weeks or even longer – and why – according to a Gartner 2012 whitepaper – 40% of IT operational expenses (OPEX) go towards labor! 

 data center silo slide.jpg

Additionally, components within Data Centers have evolved at different rates. Some are virtualized. Some are not. Also, networks lag behind servers and storage in power and ease of use. Turning on network services still requires painstaking, error-prone provisioning processes.   

Avaya is addressing the evolution to the Software-Defined Data Center through a combination of its Fabric Connect technology (based on enhanced Shortest Path Bridging) and OpenStack cloud orchestration software. A project co-founded by NASA and Rackspace, OpenStack enables companies to build cloud-based networks by providing a control layer that sits above the compute, networking and storage devices in the data center. This enables IT managers to easily control those resources as a service through a set of APIs and a common dashboard. Turning on applications becomes simple and automated. Avaya Fabric Connect enhances the current OpenStack environment by eliminating the constraints of traditional Ethernet to bring more design flexibility, agility and scale to networks.


sdd data center slide.jpg

Provisioning Virtual LANs on a port is a great example of a task we should leave up to machines! And with Avaya Fabric Connect, provisioning VLANs through the core of your network is completely eliminated. Services are deployed at the edge only – and you can even automate that provisioning through intelligent systems like OpenStack (Avaya joined the OpenStack consortium in May). You also have much better scale (16 million services as opposed to 4,000) and the freedom to move VMs anywhere that you need them to go whether it’s across the data center or across the country. And even automate the network and storage provisioning to follow the VMs as they migrate across and between Data Centers.

Update: Here is a screenshot of the Management Suite we have built with OpenStack integration. This specific shot shows the creation of an Avaya Aura virtual machine running over an Avaya Fabric Connect virtualized Layer 2 service. As the Virtual Machine is created, we can automate the provisioning of the network service through Fabric Connect integration into the Neutron module of OpenStack.


What does automation mean for the network engineers performing these tasks today? Liberation from today’s drudgery and menial tasks! This gives them time to focus on moving the business forward. Rather than trying to troubleshoot an issue across three separate teams, or configuring Spanning Tree Groups device by device across the network, IT can engineer better applications or roll out new ones that enhance productivity or maximize efficiency. Plan for the future. The possibilities are endless. 

Granted, we won’t see the likes of WALL-E in our Data Centers anytime soon. However, there will be intelligent software systems – virtual robots – making the job of changing and turning up new services a whole lot easier and a whole lot faster. 

Learn more about Avaya’s Software Defined Data Center Framework:  

SDDC Whitepaper from ZK Research:  The Software-Defined Data Center as Key to IT-as-a-Service

Packet Pushers Podcast: Software Defined Data Center and Fabric Connect

Software Defined Data Center on avaya.com

Avaya Fabric Connect video 

camille campbell head shot.JPG

Camille Campbell is a Senior Product Marketing Manager within the Avaya Networking Business Unit, focusing on Network and Data Center Virtualization.  She has over 10 years of experience in different networking technologies and has held a variety of sales and marketing roles throughout her career.

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