Sun Turns Up the Heat at NXTcomm08 in Las Vegas

NXTcomm 08 wound down today in Las Vegas.  It's the biggest annual trade show held in the U.S. targeted at the global telecommunications market.  And because the telecom industry is one of Sun's largest customer bases, it's a big show for us too.

Truth be told, THE Sun was probably the biggest news out of NXTcomm this year.  The 100+ degree temperatures during the week caused more than a few conventioneers to ditch the suit and tie for a cooler business casual look. (read: polos and cargo shorts).  Despite the heat, Sun's communications and media practice team had a busy week at the show. Among the highlights:

Scott McNealy Takes the Stage at NXTcomm08

Sun Chairman Scott McNealy took to the main stage at NXTcomm on Wednesday morning to deliver his keynote address.  McNealy touched upon the arrival of convergence in the telecom space and the importance of sharing in this new environment. His main charge for network operators was that they should strive harder to package and offer services and content directly to customers, rather than offering them network access and connectivity alone.  "Become a destination site, or the destination site will become you," McNealy told the audience.

During a private lunch with press and industry analysts later that afternoon, McNealy expounded upon that point and shared some more advice for operators seeking to win the battle against the dominant Internet destination sites for subscriber eyeballs. "They [operators] don't have to out-YouTube YouTube.  They just have to out last them," he said.

Not surprisingly, the potential for open source software to be a "game-changer" in the communications market was another topic McNealy focused on. As the industry becomes more software-driven, he said, more players in the space need to take advantage of the technical and cost advantages of free, open source software.

Speaking of free, open source software... 

Sun Announces MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition 6.3

Sun took the opportunity at NXTcomm to announce the latest version of its open source database platform for carrier grade telecommunications environments,  MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition 6.3. MySQL Cluster is a a high availability "shared nothing" database and is at the heart of subscriber data management systems for leading network equipment providers including Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, Siemens Networks and Nortel. It's enabled companies to save millions over closed source legacy database systems.  And to steal a phrase McNealy repeated many times over during his NXTcomm keynote, "Did we mention it's free?"

Sun Goes Green at NXTcomm

Finally, Sun was making its presence felt on the NXTcomm exhibition floor in the show's Green Pavilion - a special section of the exhibition hall dedicated to eco-friendly products for the telecom industry.  Sun showed off a number of technologies, solutions and services that enable customers to increase efficiencies throughout their businesses - while producing results that are beneficial environmentally as well as economically. Perhaps the biggest attraction (literally and figuratively) was the Sun Modular Datacenter, which was wheeled into the Las Vegas Convention Center on a semi-truck and available for walk-through tours during NXTcomm's exhibition hours.

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