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Readers Guide

According to past media reports, India is faced with a shortage of bandwidth, and will lose millions of dollars in business opportunities if it doesn't address its bandwidth requirements. That may be true for international/Internet connectivity, but for point-to-point LAN/WAN links, bandwidth is available on tap. Do enterprises really need broadband connectivity for WANs? Are the so-called 'bandwidth hungry' applications here yet? That's what we set out to determine in this month's cover story.

We also bring you a comprehensive table of broadband services that are available in the country. Then we explain various connectivity options and suggest suitable application areas/environments for these.

Elsewhere in this issue you can also read two well researched case studies one on redundant connectivity and the other on data integration.

By deploying multiple connectivity options, MIRC Electronics (the company that manufactures Onida TVs), now enjoys always-on, uninterrupted connectivity at all locations. The company need not fear about losing valuable transaction or operational data due to communications breakdowns a problem that's so persistent in our country.

In the other case study we learn how Chennai-based Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (OCPL) has combined its WANs, LANs and optical MANs. OCPL then took the 'big bang' approach and implemented all modules of SAP R/3 version 4.6C at all locations, in just six months. The new solution simplifies data integration and reduces intra location communications costs.

These are fine examples of how Indian organizations are using smart networking techniques and new technology to improve efficiency and cut costs.

Perhaps you can follow these examples.

Internet Telephony has been legalized at last and during April 2002 several ISPs launched their VoIP services. But what kind of market potential exists for Net Telephony, and will consumers line up at booths to make cheap IP calls? Read our report in the Market Watch section for an analysis.

Firewalls can protect your network against unauthorized access and intruders. In the Buying Tips section we tell you all you need to know about firewalls, and then list firewall solutions available from various vendors.

Information Technology changes at a rapid pace and it's important for IT managers to keep pace with new developments. In our Primer section we show you how Virtual LANs can let you share resources and bandwidth among LAN users.

Our reporters have always been chasing authoritative figures in the industry for interviews. They haven't got exclusives with Bill Gates (Microsoft) or Scott McNealy (Sun Microsystems) yet, but they're getting there! We recently interviewed Anal K. Jain, Managing Director, India & SAARC, Network Appliance Systems (India) and Chandan Mendiratta, Principal Consultant, Cisco Systems (India). Jain talks about the storage scenario in India and about emerging trends and technologies. Chandan tells us how IPv6 will improve Internet scalability, security, and quality.

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