Authors: Doron Aronson
I was over in Cisco’s building 32 the other day and was about to meet with the collaboration team when I saw something that looked a lot like Facebook running on a Cius and an iPhone. As I went over to explore, I met Raghurama Bhat and Ashish Chirputkar, the two ‘humble’ engineers who created Cisco Quad, our enterprise...
Authors: Julia White
I am thrilled to announce the Exchange ActiveSync Logo Program that helps IT Professionals manage mobile devices more effectively. Many of you rely on Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) to provide security and policy control to smartphones and slates that access your Exchange Server. Today, the Microsoft Exchange team is announcing a...
Authors: Dean Howarth
Authors: Leslie Ferry
A modern day Thomas Edison. The Jack Welch of the telecommunications industry. If you have not yet heard of Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, his biography does not make for light reading (http://bit.ly/gAFnmn). Well known for his revolutionary role with AT&T as President of Bell Laboratories, CIO and CTO until 2006, Business ...
Today, I am please to the highlight a recently released white paper from Avaya that focuses on efficiency within our solutions, both in operations and through a new dynamic power management system, called the Avaya Energy Saver. This power management tool and dashboard allow IT managers to drill down to specific ports within the network, thereby adjusting the IT power load appropriately to right-size the network as demand dictates. These managers can also monitor and manage the health of the network, with real-time and dynamic data flowing to the power management software. This paper, titled Avaya Energy Saver: High efficiency workspace, outlines some impressive results, with modeled projections of at least 40 % savings, and up to 60 %, depending on the switch.
Avaya Energy Saver
Basically, this power management tool powers down the network equipment during off-peak periods of traffic. Think of it as a dimmer switch for the network. But it is much more than a simple switch; think the application really is a set of intelligent controls which allow customers to tune energy savings appropriate to their business needs.
The reality is that most networks run at far from peak demand for most of their operational life, for example during the night when people are sleeping or hanging out with their family/friends. This variability in network demand is juxtaposed with the necessity of an always on-always ready network for today’s global business environment.
What to do? This is where Energy Saver comes in. What happens with Avaya Energy Saver is that the ports of the system, such as VoIP telephones, wireless access points, PoE card readers and IP video surveillance cameras, are powered down dramatically. It is pretty simple from there as this powering down reduces the energy draw of the device and hence the network. Then, once traffic increases, the system dynamically powers up, with no loss of power or functionality, such an emergency response or any or myriad of critical business functions.
Avaya’s solution is a bit different than other offerings on the energy savings front, as it keeps the network on, but in much lower operating power/capacity. We understand that the network is essential to customers’ operations, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and hence this approach. The savings that Avaya has modeled and realized during testing is significant, at least 40 %, and this savings builds on top of the IP hardware itself. Avaya LAN Switches, call servers, gateways, unified messaging servers and gigabit IP phones have been independently tested and it has been proven that Avaya solutions are much more energy-efficient than comparable equipment
Check out the white paper
I encourage you to give it a full read, here is an excerpt;
Avaya is pleased to now extend our broad-based energy-saving value proposition to its energy management systems. Avaya not only provides energy-efficient equipment and solutions, but also tools for our customers to monitor and manage the energy consumption of their Avaya network via the Avaya Energy Saver. Avaya Energy Saver is a part of the Avaya Unified Communications Management (UCM) solution that enables centralized quality of service, IP filter and Avaya Energy Saver policy-based provisioning for Avaya equipment. At its core, Avaya Energy Saver introduces new energy service architecture for customers to monitor, report and enforce Energy Saver and PoE policies.
Recent headlines about a vendor recording bits of content from WiFi networks brought to light a longstanding business practice – WiFi sniffers. Discovery and sharing of WiFi location data isn’t new. In fact, access to it has been standardized. Google, for example, has offered geolocation information in its Gears browser extensions since October, 2008. And driving around to find the location of WiFi hubs is already common enough to have earned a cool name - wardriving.
Many internet applications today are more effective if they know where you’re sitting. If you use an unfamiliar search term, search engines will use your location to see if that context can clarify what you want. Or, more visibly, if you’re searching for a restaurant, you can find those nearby first. Businesses can use location data to improve customer service such as with this this IBM/Avaya Mashup example where location is used to help decide which local support engineer to engage.
But how does 'the internet' know where you're sitting? The most straightforward way is through self-admin. More and more apps ask for your location info and ask if you want your location published. My favorite scary example was PleaseRobMe.com (now closed) that published all twitter messages whenever people entered phrases such as "leaving home" and also include their location. (Uncomfortable? You might want to check your twitter settings to make sure you uncheck "add a location to your tweets").
If you're browsing from a cellphone, it's not hard to imagine how location data can be discovered. But how does it work on a desktop browser?
First of all for any skeptics, here's a test to prove that location data is available just via the web. If you're using either Chrome or Firefox 3.5 or greater, go to http://maps.google.com, click on the "o" symbol that appears above the stick figure on the upper left, you'll get a pop up asking you to "share location" data, and when you allow it, you'll see local map with your approximate location identified by a blue dot.
But how does this work? In summary, if you have a wire coming out of the back of your PC, you probably have an IP address that your browser knows about, and there are many web sources that simply map IP addresses to general geolocation data. If, on the other hand, you're on a wireless network, there are centralized data services that can infer your location if given information such as what cell towers and/or WiFi servers your PC can detect.
Where is this location database coming from? (You can find a great tutorial on the W3C geolocation API from Skyhook, a company that specializes in location positioning, by clicking here, and some of what follows is from that presentation.)
The Spec: W3C published the Geolocation API - a method that allows a local device to query location databases. The first public draft of a geolocation spec was published in December 2008 and a "last call" draft was published in July 2009. The current working draft was released in Feb, 2010.
Location Databases: There are lots of sources for location data for wired as well as wireless connections. If you have an IP address, many databases (e.g., maxmind or ipinfodb) offer a lookup giving geolocation. But since IP Addresses are addresses in only a network sense, it's an approximation. "We obtain the known location from sites that ask the web visitor to provide their geographic location." (The Maxmind site shows accuracy in the US of about 85% based on IP Address.) But wireless systems don’t necessarily have an IP address and won’t show up in those databases. Not to worry, there are other services(e.g., Skyhook) that can infer your location based on bits of data your browser feeds it such as detected cell towers or WiFi networks. These databases are built in part by having employees drive the streets of cities around the world detecting WiFi nodes and mapping it to GPS. (“Skyhook has deployed drivers to survey every single street, highway, and alley in tens of thousands of cities and towns worldwide, scanning for Wi-Fi access points and cell towers plotting their precise geographic locations.”)
Which landlocked browsers use the spec? For desktop PCs, Mozilla's Firefox began supporting this in version 3.5 as of June 2009. Thanks to standardization, it's now also in Chrome, Opera, and last month's release of Safari. And a download of GoogleGears (a browser extension) will allow IE7 and other browsers to use it.
The first thing to take away from this is to make sure your wifi network is password protected so that any wardriving vendors or other more malicious types can't see any network content. And it's also a reminder to check into location settings within your browser or other applications
If you're convinced that your privacy is appropriately protected, location data can be quite useful. You'll find applications more personalized and local. And emergency services (e.g., Avaya Notification services described here) can become vastly more effective. So many benefits come from leveraging location data, it's only going to become more and more prevalent.
Authors: Avaya Insights
Happy Independence Day everyone! I sincerely hope you're listening to this or reading this while at a family barbecue or event, but if you're one of the many readers I have from public safety, and you happen to be at work today, thanks for doing what you, and the holidays you quite often give up to provide a level of safety...
Authors: Avaya Insights
If you've been following NG 911 in the news lately, either from an enterprise perspective or from the public safety side, you'll know that earlier this month the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) announced their support for Next Generation 911, and the NENA i3 standard 08 - 003.
What does that actually mean to the...