All I can say is, "Wow!"
It's actually very exciting to be writing this blog the night before this new Web site goes Live! (from New York even, well, I'm in Florida,
in NY, but I digress. . .)
I've been working as a writer in the telecommunications industry for 16 years now and my career only gets more interesting as the years pass. I've learned about networks, both wireless and wireline. I've written about systems, software, outside plant, CPE, long-forgotten technologies (can you say ISDN, SMDS and RAM Mobile Data?) and those that have stood the test of time.
Now, it's time for me to go deep. To get inside the boxes, the chips and the minds of the people who think all this stuff up and then make it happen. I fully realize that technological spelunking is not for the faint of heart, as I prepare to descend into the depths of network system design and learn things that will surely enthrall me and give me goosebumps.
Yeah, that's right...goosebumps. I knew I was a dyed-in-the-wool-geek when I cried at TRIP '92, the event celebrating the connection of the first 20 switches made by three different vendors using the first standard ISDN software. There were lots of tears shed along the road to that day by people trying to get switch vendors to understand
the need for a standard. History reveals that it took them too long to make their point. Nevertheless, their struggle left a legacy. Today, people do realize the need to cooperate.
With this history in mind, I wish to tip my hat to the 13 vendors and seven carriers working with the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) to make a tremendous interoperablity demo a reality at the upcoming, and last ever, Supercomm tradeshow.
According to EE Times' writer John Walko's story on the event, vendors are already "on-site" at carrier lab locations in Asia, Europe and North America. The event will culminate in a live, global, real-time network test at the show.
The demo is focused on integration of a distributed optical control plane with Ethernet over SONET/SDH adaptation using GFP-F, VCAT and LCAS. The demo/test is the first to explore the technical issues of multi-layer signaling and routing in a network of multiple vendors' optical networking equipment.
Even if the demo falls short of OIF's goals, which I'm sure it won't, the group certainly has made what Jim Jones of Alcatel and the current OIF Technical Committee Chair describes as a "monumental accomplishment" by getting 20 leading vendors and carriers to collaborate on this effort on a global scale.
I'll be at Supercomm, and I can't wait to check this out. In the meantime, I offer my heartfelt congrats to all of you who helped make this demo a reality.