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Aruba Unwires N+I Network

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LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
3/28/2003

Aruba Networks Inc. is supplying a wireless LAN network for the Networld+Interop show in Las Vegas next month that will provide coverage across most of the conference center.

However, Aruba's network won't be open to the public attending the show, because the equipment from 802.11 switch contender is being used only to provide wireless access to the private network for staff and exhibitors.

In fact, it is something of an irony that a show focusing on 802.11's ability to provide ubiquitous high-speed wireless access will not actually make that access available to delegates.

Aruba, a wireless LAN startup, has provided around 30 access points and one of its switching boxes for the implementation. These will provide "pockets" of 802.11a (54-Mbit/s over 5GHz) and 802.11b (11-Mbit/s over 2.4Ghz) coverage on the show floor, in exhibitors' rooms and in meeting rooms, according to Geoff Horne, senior network engineer in charge of NetWorld+Interop's eNet.

"We have [wireless] presence just about everywhere," says Horne. But not, alas, for everyone.

Aruba's wireless LAN box (some call it a switch, some a smart media hub) connects up to "dumb" access points via Ethernet cabling and handles higher-level tasks such as access management, traffic monitoring, and security, all while sitting quietly in the wiring closet (see Aruba's Switch Pitch for more on Aruba's equipment).

Horne says there are three reasons why N+I went with the Aruba kit. All the access points can be managed from one central box. The Aruba system supports both the a and b standards. And the Aruba system is "adaptive." This means he can monitor traffic levels and increase or decrease the strength of WLAN radio signals in certain areas if required, as well as controlling user access rights.

"And it sits in a rack connected to my network, just like a normal switch," says Horne. Horne doesn't know exactly what the final configuration of the Aruba side of the eNet network will look like yet, because it is still being set up. "But with the current configuration we only need one switch."

N+I 2003 could turn out to be the event that really brings wireless LAN "switching" in all its forms to the attention of the wider networking community (see Vivato's Switch Bitch and Switch Tiff Heats Up for more on the fascinating debate about what really constitutes a wireless LAN switch).

Contenders in this emerging market like Aruba, Trapeze Networks Inc., and Vivato Inc. will all be spinning the wheel of WLAN fortune in Vegas in April.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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lucyluu
lucyluu
12/5/2012 | 12:21:06 AM
re: Aruba Unwires N+I Network
OH UNSTRUNG, PLEASE CUT AWAY THE HYPE FROM THIS INDUSTRY. AS A LONG-TIME NETWORKING ENGINEER, I HAVE SEEN REAL PRODUCTS SHIPPED AND REAL BS SHOVED... CAN WE GET BACK TO TALKING ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY AND NOT THE TRIPE

THE CONTINUING HYPE AROUND WIFI IS ABOUT TO HIT A DANGEROUS POINT. SEEMS THAT WE ARE BACK TO THE BUBBLE WHERE COMPANIES ARE ANNOUNCING ROLLOWING OUT ACCESS POINTS AT A TRADE SHOW. THAT LASTS ABOUT 2 WEEKS, RIGHT? NOT EXACTLY SPLITTING THE ATOM, ARE WE.

ITS ALWAYS GOOD FOR ENGINEERS TO READ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL. MR CALLISCH OF ALTEON/ALLEGRO/ARUBA (DOES HE OWNLY WORK FOR COMPANIES THAT START WITH 'A')SEEMS TO THRIVE ON SPREADING JUNK. REMEMBER SOME OF HIS PREVIOUS EXPLOITS

NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE NO MORE HYPE


With Halcyon Days Behind Them,
Former Dot-Com Millionaires
Trade the Good Life for a Real Life
By Mylene Mangalindan

07/15/2002
The Wall Street Journal
Page C1
(Copyright (c) 2002, Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)
San Jose, Calif. -- DAVID CALLISCH wistfully remembers "all those 0s."

By that, he means the seven zeros in the monthly statement that arrived from his stock broker back in 2000 -- showing Mr. Callisch 's investment worth $10,000,000 in just one stock, Alteon WebSystems Inc.

Alteon's shares had quadrupled the day of its initial public stock offering in September 1999, and Mr. Callisch , the communications director of the Internet switch-maker, figured he was set for life.

If only he had sold.

But when Nortel Networks Corp. agreed to buy Alteon in July 2000 in a stock swap, he decided to keep the shares of Nortel, then a highflying telecommunications company, which were trading for $73 at the time but had fallen to $66 when the deal closed. He held on as Nortel's stock fell -- and fell, and fell. By the time he gave up and dumped it at $7 a share, his portfolio had dwindled to about $400,000.

While that hardly qualifies him for food stamps, the 41-year-old laments, "Guys like me don't get that shot. I'll never get that shot again." He tells his 11-year-old son: "We missed the boat."
Mr. Callisch , the former Alteon employee, is one of those feeling the pain. When he joined the company in December 1997, Mr. Callisch told his wife, Carin, to give him four years and they would score big. At Alteon, he often worked from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., rarely getting home before his kids were in bed.

The bet seemed to pay off when Alteon went public. He and Carin popped a bottle of Champagne. He remembers making plans -- to retire, to go back to school, to spend time with his three sons. His relatives, his colleagues, his broker all told him to diversify his holdings. He didn't.

"I should have stopped, sold it all, taken some time off and figured out what to do," he says. Instead, even though he stayed at Nortel for only six months after it bought Alteon, he held onto his Nortel stock and waited for the right time to sell. It's humiliating, he says: "It's all because of ignorance and greed. You don't know when to sell. You think you deserve a certain share price, and you don't."

Mr. Callisch says his phantom wealth didn't significantly change his lifestyle, so he hasn't had to scale back. The family lives in a comfortable four-bedroom house here, and he isn't complaining. He is back to working long hours, at Allegro Networks, a pre-IPO networking start-up, but he knows there is little chance the eventual IPO will produce a dramatic payday.

Though he can still hope. When he sold his Nortel shares he bought Cisco shares, figuring they will go up with the market (so far, the shares are little changed from when he bought them). With the lease on his Saturn sedan almost up, he is planning to take out a loan to buy a new car. "I don't want to sell stock to get a car, because I would have to sell low," he explains.

And there's more, from his recent venture, Allegro networks (recently closed)

San Jose, Calif., Networking Equipment Firm to Hold 'Wake' at Trade Show.
By Jennifer Files, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.

05/15/2002
KRTBN Knight-Ridder Tribune Business News: San Jose Mercury News
Copyright (C) 2002 KRTBN Knight Ridder Tribune Business News


May 15-Telecommunications companies are going to great lengths these days to point out the upside to their industry's stubborn downturn.

"Times are tough, but we're the exception," they'll tell reporters and investors. Or, "Customers are bound to need our products, eventually - we just don't know when." And - always a classic - "The downturn has actually been good for us."

So when one San Jose networking equipment start-up stops straining to find the silver lining, it stands out.

"Telecom is dead," claims Allegro Networks, which will throw an industry "wake" early next month in Atlanta at SuperComm, the telecom business' biggest trade show. "The fad lasted 107 years but let's face it, people just don't want to communicate anymore," reads an invitation on Allegro's Web site that is signed by Chief Executive Officer Dave House.

Pointing out the industry's troubles might seem to be a risky marketing strategy. But Allegro hopes that its knowing humor and surprising gags - evident throughout the company's marketing - will attract attention that's otherwise rare for a tiny player in a down-in-the-dumps industry.

"We've got to look for points where we can get leverage," said communications director David Callisch . "We wanted to be intellectually edgy."

The company is well-connected though unproven, with nearly $90 million from investors including House - whose resume includes senior jobs at Intel, Bay Networks and Nortel Networks. Its 160 workers are developing a router designed to change the way corporate networks are run.

Allegro faces the same not-at-all-funny troubles as any networking start-up these days - reduced interest from customers, less money to spend and a longer wait for financial reward than during the boom times.

But it does have fewer qualms about using unconventional tactics to stand out.

While most networking companies pride themselves on being polite competitors, at least in public, one of Allegro's investor presentations depicts larger rivals Cisco Systems and Juniper as a pair of gorillas in caps with company logos.

And when Cisco, known for its long streak of acquisitions, bought a company called Allegro Systems, Callisch dashed out a press release titled, "Allegro Networks announces nothing." ("Allegro Networks, Inc., not to be confused with Allegro Systems, Allegro MicroSystems, Allegro Music, Allegro Resorts, Allegro Medical, Allegro Consultants or Allegra, the allergy medicine, today announced that it was not being acquired by Cisco Systems," the release said.

Are Allegro's ploys working?

It's hard to tell at this point. The 2-year-old company shipped its first test product to a customer only on Friday. Allegro can't boast that it has been the subject of more news articles than other rivals its size. And though some customers say they "get" Allegro's corporate persona, a sense of humor isn't likely to lead directly to a sale.

"At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is a purchase order from a major carrier," said CIBC World Markets networking analyst Steve Kamman.

But, adds Kamman, "We could all use a touch of humor at this point. That there's still a sense of irony out there is not a bad thing."

Allegro started to define its marketing style last year, when it revamped its corporate logo, which featured the words Allegro Networks with a swoosh through the letters. In the new logo, the word "Networks" appears upside down and backward - an attempt to convey that the company sees networking differently.

"You're either going to love it or you're going to hate it. But you'll remember it," said David Ginsburg, vice president of marketing.

When Callisch made a PowerPoint presentation to employees about Allegro's marketing goals, ending with the new logo, the expected applause didn't come. "Somebody called out from the back of the room, `Guys, this is it - he's serious,' " Callisch said.

Venture capitalists didn't break into cheers, either. "I said, `Hey, that's backwards - you might want to turn that around.' They didn't think that was very funny," said Andy Sessions, a partner at Thomas Weisel Venture Partners and a member of Allegro's board.

Some say the telecom wake is risky, too.

Calling the death of the industry "may not engender the greatest level of camaraderie from those they most want to open doors with," said Michael Busselen, technology practice chairman at Fleishman-Hillard, a large public relations firm.

"We would never do something like that," said Tyler Bleszinski, spokesman for LGC Wireless, a San Jose wireless equipment company. "You're taken a lot more seriously if you let the company and the story speak for itself. You never see Microsoft doing that kind of PR."

Indeed, such antics harken back to the early dot-com days. "For two or three years we had companies where anything went. Many of those companies are out of business," Sessions said. "Being unconventional is great, but...you also want to maintain an air of respectability so people take you seriously."

Sessions says he trusts Allegro to know the difference and won't step in as an investor and demand the company to do things his way.

House is something of a marketing guru himself. He gave the world the phrase "Intel Inside" as an executive with the chip maker, and as president of Bay Networks ran the first television ad by a communications equipment company.

But at Allegro, he does sometimes impose limits. House signed off on some humorous print ads, but said the company should wait to run them until it starts bringing in revenue.

During the SuperComm trade show, Allegro plans to rent a Chrysler PT Cruiser - "because it looks...like a hearse," Callisch says - to ferry customers to off-site confabs. But employees will not, as he had once suggested, wear clerical costumes at the wake.

"I said no, we're not going near religion," said House.
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