Hybrids and Chimeras

Howard C. Berkowitz hcb at gettcomm.com
Thu Apr 10 14:19:11 UTC 2003

At 6:20 AM -0400 4/10/03, St. Clair, James wrote:
>Jack Bates wrote:
>*I have yet to see someone swear by their own life that the new
>*technologies will meet the uptimes of the legacy. The fact is, in the
>*telco world, they don't.

Couple of some observations from some recent data/voice/video 
integration work both on the carrier and enterprise side. I _refuse_ 
to call this "convergence"  -- routing protocols converge, telephones 

>Good point, but I think what Gordon *may be* saying is that part of the
>reason the above is true is the degree monopolies are struggling to keep
>their legacy systems. I would argue those folks who have paid (handsomely)
>for *pure* transitions to new technologies have seen benefits; it is the
>persistent hybrids of new and legacy that complicate service.

I'm finding it quite useful to distinguish between "classical" 
hybrids and, borrowing a genetics engineering term for an organism 
created with genes from >1 species, "chimeras".

Hybrid solutions are essentially peaceful coexistence, perhaps 
sharing some LAN or WAN bandwidth.  Chimeric solutions reccgnize 
strengths in some of the legacy technology, or perhaps that there are 
niche legacy technologies that simply aren't going to be ported, yet 
remain mission critical.  The chimeric solution goes for a "whole 
greater than the sum of its part" answer, doing things, for example, 
like using campus IP telephony to the main call processor, which then 
runs compatible legacy trunking to a circuit switch that handles 
special service telephones (e.g., airline, military). The circuit 
switch can be much smaller than a full legacy PBX or Centrex, yet 
gives a rational way to keep mission-critical niche services 
operating. It's a slightly different paradigm than hanging gateways 
on the legacy equipment such that it can talk to the IP telephony 

>*Even businesses that require time sensitive, guaranteed communications
>*don't trust the new technology whole heartedly.

The best evaluation question I've used is to ask whoever is proposing 
a solution:
       The PBX or IPT equivalent is on fire. How do you call the fire

>Hmm, I would disagree. More and more critical processes (such as RTU
>controls at utilities) are going to new technologies, with the ROI being
>less expense of special technicians and remote controls. Dell "bet the farm"
>on new technologies for e-commerce and helped turn PCs into a commodity.
>Just a thought...

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