Silva Virtualization is a term that gets plenty of press and even more refinement in terms of its definition. It is valid, however, to cite virtualization, in its many forms, as a driver of IT imperatives. In terms of Cisco's recent announcement of its Cisco Motion offering, I'm not referring to the virtualization of operating systems or enterprise to run on consolidated hardware, or the use of AJAX to bring rich applications to your desktop via a browser and eschewing a hard drive footprint, in Cisco's case I'm talking about what could be called "de-virtualization."

Cisco Motion, through its Mobility Services Engine (MSE) takes many of the interoperability benefits previously achieved thorough the use of mobile middleware software such as Sybase's iAnywhere solution, and places these capabilities in an appliance server that resides in the network closet. Mobility? In hardware? In short, yes. There is a lot under the hood that makes this announcement by Cisco more than just another appliance.

Imagine the ability to account for information on device whereabouts, capabilities and readiness published from all devices interacting with the network — wired and wireless — regardless of network egress point. This is possible as the MSE makes use of a protocol, an overlay of sorts, the Cisco Network Mobility Services Protocol (NMSP) to unite applications making them "wireless aware" across a number of devices, protocols and networks.

Why is this news? In short, the ability to add in a hardware appliance to bring interoperability across wireless protocols — one of the key benefits of the MSE — is a boon to IT managers and developers alike. IT will likely approve of the solution as it works as a keystone piece of hardware to "mobility enable" a number of devices, software and services without major disruption to the network and application developers will gravitate toward the solution as an easy means to gain access to the network, without one-off integration of each and ever mobility initiative that gets put into place.

Does this announcement impact your firm's mobility plans?

By Chris Silva

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