Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks

The Top Picks have been made.

And, more importantly, it's Monday morning already, and another lager-fueled argument amongst our editorial staff won't get us any closer to deadline.

So, it is with happy hearts and pounding heads that we present the first-ever batch of Light Reading's Top Picks.

What are the Top Picks?
The Top Picks are the communications technologies, services, and products that our editors think have the best chance of shaking up the industry.

In consultation with Heavy Reading, Pyramid Research, dozens of sources, and several well-informed readers, Light Reading's editors endeavored to make a variety of picks from all over the world to show what services in products they see as embodying the trends that will shape the industry in the next 12 to 18 months.

Without further delay, our Picks are revealed, by category, on the following pages:

For an explanation of why each product or service was chosen, please refer back to the discussion boards in each category. Light Reading's editors will be explaining their choices and keeping the discussions going all week.

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading Next Page: Business Service and Consumer Services

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volkot 12/5/2012 | 3:53:43 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks


Take "switching and routing" story for example.

Indeed, Arista deserves some credit for their superdense datacenter switches.

On the other hand, all major network vendors pre-announced 100GE cards now, yet no single vendor ships them. Why bother about ALU? Their promises are no better than, say, Cisco's 100GE story or Juniper's 100G launch. Only time will tell who ships first.

But that's peanuts compared to Huawei case.

Get real, LR guys. Huawei only ships 20Gbps cards (LPUF-20) in their NE series today. Quite miserable for 2009, right?  Now these guys claim they are launching a 400G/slot device and LR believes them like no one did vaporware launches before.

It helps to remember a golden rule - no network product is worth it's hype until it can be purchased, installed and someone agrees to adopt it into a running network. We will surely get a 400G/slot router from Huawei - perhaps by the next Chinese olympic games.

[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 3:53:42 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks

do not under estimate the Chinese vendors...

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 3:53:41 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks

Volkot -- I hear you.  But the awards were split by geographic region, making competition more stiff in some regions than in others.

volkot 12/5/2012 | 3:53:40 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks

Let's be fair, Phil

What seem to be the subject of "LR Top Picks" is not the technology or even "the capability to back the claims". If the technology does not exist (yet), how would you know if the company can back it up? 

The main subject for LR Top Picks seem to be the positive impression of select marketing gloss on LR staff. And this is not entirely meaningless - as we all know too well, perception is reality and good marketing people can earn their salary many times over.

So let's just be honest and spell it out - "Product Announcement Picks 2009" would be the right name for this contest.  The impact of a product launch is purely subjective - but it generates media hype and customer interest, which is why it matters. So it's really an award for the marketing efforts, and should be honestly positioned as such.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:53:40 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks Good points, all. These Top Picks really are about vision over hard dollars, so long as the company making the claims has the capability to back them up.

It's an exciting contrast, I think, with Leading Lights, which awards excellence and uses market acceptance and customer wins as a BIG indicator.
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:53:39 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks I appreciate your skepticism, but while these awards aren't based on market acceptance, I'd hardly call companies like Oki Electric marketing powerhouses. Sorry, your argument doesn't hold up across the board.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:53:29 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks I'm not frustrated at all. The Top Picks were advertised as the most cutting-edge, subjective awards program we've ever done. They lived up to their billing as far as your comments indicate. While I still have your attention: What does your research indicate we should have chosen in place of Huawei?
volkot 12/5/2012 | 3:53:29 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks

Sorry for frustrating you, Phil.

The question really holds - you have zero evidence to back (some) of the quoted vendors claims and even less to justify their ability to deliver the promises in a reasonable timeframe.

Huawei is just an example here; it just highlights that "Top Picks" awards are highly subjective and are mostly based on human impressions rather than facts.

Interestingly enough, you missed my argument that such an award would carry more weight if focused on media and analyst response to product launches - which is really what we are talking about here.

But, of course, if you think that perception is always equal to reality, I have nothing else to say )

volkot 12/5/2012 | 3:53:25 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks

I would stay away from recommendations because I still don't know what the LR's original intention was.

My research merely indicates that Huawei has failed to ship OC768 cards for over two years on their NE-series routers; so I would conclude any forward-looking praises on NE-series architecture to be extremely premature. From the hardware perspective, Huawei boxes are still quite unremarkable and mostly live off the merchant silicon.

At the same time, a bid for the core routing from ZTE went virtually unnoticed.

While being purely a product launch with no meaningful deployments, ZTE ZXR is an early indication that competiition in the routing sector is building up. Potentially, this can be far more important than the usual Huawei "stopgap" marketecture.

unobserver 12/5/2012 | 3:50:55 PM
re: Light Reading Reveals Its 2009 Top Picks

Matisse networks is out of business, apparently showing the burst dwdm ethernet is not that attractive, will intune, which is running on the same path, be able to make sense with the technology?

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