Since it first opened its doors in 2010, Light Reading's Hall of Fame, which recognizes those individuals (both the famous and the infamous) who have made a notable contribution to the global communications sector, has ushered in a host of major industry names, including Steve Jobs, Bob Metcalfe, John Chambers, Brian Roberts, Martin Cooper, Irwin Jacobs, Niklas Zennström and John Cioffi. (See Light Reading Hall of Fame 2015.)
But who will get the honor this year?
The Light Reading team has created a shortlist of candidates and, in this Prime Reading feature, has provided some background on why they're in the running. We think you'll find the variety of candidates provides food for thought -- and heated debate!
So, let's take a look at the individuals in contention to join Light Reading's Hall of Fame.
Jay Adelson, Co-Founder, Equinix
Jay Adelson had a vision way back in 1998: Existing data centers would be insufficient to support the rapid growth of the Internet. So Adelson and a colleague co-founded Equinix, offering hardened, commercialized data centers for business. The company has since gone on to pioneer interconnections, becoming increasingly relevant in the cloud era, offering colocation and interconnection services for enterprises, cloud providers, content companies, integrators and more than 1,100 network service providers in more than 145 data centers worldwide. Adelson went on to become a serial entrepreneur, co-founding Revision3, Digg and SimpleGeo. He's currently a Partner at Center Electric, an investment firm specializing in the Internet of Things.
For more on Adelson, see:
- Equinix founder Jay Adelson talks early days of the Internet
- How Internet of Things could drive Michigan's economy
- Former Digg CEO Jay Adelson and the confessions of a startup addict
César Alierta, Former Chairman & CEO, Telefónica, Executive Chairman, Fundación Telefónica
When he stepped down in April, Alierta had been in charge of the Spanish telecom incumbent for nearly 16 years, presiding over the operator's international expansion, rollout of Internet offerings and recent retrenchment to focus on a handful of core markets. Telefónica is today one of the most heavily indebted operators in Europe, and its market capitalization has fallen to less than one half its value of €100 billion (US$114 billion, at today's exchange rates) in 2007. But Alierta has seen and survived it all -- from the first launches of 3G to the digital transformation that is still ongoing. For sheer staying power and wealth of experience, few other telecom executives today can match up.
For more on Alierta, see:
- Telefónica Chairman Alierta to Quit in April
- Because They're Worth It?
- Telefónica Boosted by German, UK M&A
Basil Alwan, President, IP/Optical Networks, Nokia
Basil Alwan is one of the best-known names in IP networking, having built up router startup TiMetra, selling it to Alcatel in 2003 for $150 million and then building market share against formidable rivals such as Cisco and Juniper from within Alcatel. He also built up Alcatel-Lucent and now Nokia, where he was one of the few AlcaLu execs to join the Finnish vendor's top table. Alwan is not only an IP technology leader but is also renowned as a great leader in general, commanding total loyalty from his team.
For more on Alwan, see:
- AlcaLu Execs Lose Out as Nokia Unveils New Top Team
- TiMetra at Heart of AlcaLu's Shift
- Interview: Basil Alwan & Lindsay Newell, AlcaLu IP Division
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, Polymath, Physicist, Biologist, Biophysicist, Botanist & Archaeologist
The building blocks for the 21st century's most advanced 5G mobile communications were first set in place in colonial India before the 20th century even began. Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was working with millimeter waves in 1895 even before Marconi made the scene. Bose was, however, uninterested in patenting his work. A true dilettante, he went on to investigate plants and metal fatigue.
For more on Bose, see:
Ken Brill, Founder, Uptime Institute (now part of the 451 Group)
At a time when data centers were almost all small, bespoke enterprise IT systems, Brill was among the first people to define data centers as a technological category that would grow into a distinct business. He would eventually define a new tier of data center (Tier 4) that established rigorous goals for performance, power output, redundancy and reliability; that definition provided the core of subsequent ANSI standards. He didn't just propose the standards, he was instrumental in helping to achieve them. In 2001, he founded Upsite Technologies, a company that supplied racks and associated products, and in 2007 he received a patent for a system that assured uninterrupted power to data center servers should the main power source fail, helping data centers achieve unprecedented uptimes, losing only minutes a year. He was among the most influential people to warn that Moore's Law might come to an end, with dire consequences for data centers. Brill was sometimes called the father of the data center. He died in 2013.
For more on Brill, see:
- The Economic Meltdown of Moore's Law and the Green Data Center, Ken Brill, 2007
- Obituary, ComputerWorld
- Redundant electrical power source, distribution and consumption system patent
- On data center energy usage (video)
John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer & Group President, AT&T Technology & Operations
John Donovan is known as the public face and driving force behind AT&T's aggressive move to transform its networks and operations. Donovan heads the organization that is promising to virtualize 75% of AT&T's network functions by 2020, and is aggressively embracing open source, new methods of working and innovative new companies in the process.
For more on Donovan, see:
- AT&T Shares ECOMP Vision, Might Share Software
- CEO Chat With AT&T's John Donovan
- AT&T: SDN Is Slashing Provisioning Cycle Times by up to 95%
- Donovan: AT&T Beating Moore's Law