Emelianoff's appointment to lead Alcatel-Lucent's enterprise group coincided with that group's sale of Genesys, its contact center business. There were rumblings that Alcatel-Lucent was looking to sell the Ethernet switching business as well, and Emelianoff did concede that the company was investigating "strategic options" for the entire unit for nine months.
But with the sale of Genesys and retention of the switching business, Alcatel-Lucent's enterprise networking business is ready to get down to business.
The trend among carriers to deliver cloud-based services presents an opportunity for Ethernet switch sales into those markets, Emelianoff says. Carriers are building large data centers as their cloud delivery infrastructures, and with cloud-based services like unified communications being delivered to corporations, Alcatel-Lucent is looking to be an integral part of that activity.
"We're accelerating our initiatives around the cloud," Emelianoff says.
Part and parcel of that is offering a compelling data center fabric switching portfolio, both for cloud service providers and for enterprises building private clouds. Emelianoff says Alcatel-Lucent has had some "very interesting traction" in the data center with its OmniSwitch 10000 core switch and OmniSwitch 6900 top-of-rack device, and the Application Fluent Network and pod and mesh architecture approach.
"I was actually surprised by it, knowing that we were not a player," Emelianoff said of the interest and demand for Alcatel-Lucent's data center product and approach. "I wasn't expecting the approach we have with pod and mesh to pick up that fast."
Alcatel-Lucent introduced its pod and mesh concept a year ago. Pods are smaller fabric switching configurations of two to six 6900 switches that can be connected together through an Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch 10000 in the core to form a mesh of pods, or a cloud-type environment.
The company said its pod and mesh design, with 40G links, could support 14,400 server ports and 169Tbps of switching capacity, with latency of 5 microseconds.
Emelianoff says the pod and mesh approach has generated a lot of interest.