3Com says it has established a laboratory devoted to testing the impact of such applications on networks in an effort to speed the adoption of multimedia applications in corporations.
Expecting increasing corporate adoption of multimedia applications such as desktop video conferencing, interactive workspaces, video streaming and networked telephony, 3Com will try to investigate questions including:
-- "What effect will these applications have on my network?"
-- "What will happen to my existing mission-critical applications?"
-- "How will my new applications run?"
-- "How do I phase deployment?"
-- "What part of the network infrastructure should I upgrade first?"
To this end the networking company will test applications from companies including Microsoft, Progressive Networks, VDOnet, PictureTel and Siemens AG.
"Networked multimedia applications offer enterprise organizations compelling ways to communicate that never were before possible," said Doug Spreng, executive vice president of 3Com's interface products group in a statement. "These solutions also present IS organizations with new challenges as most of today's enterprise networks were not designed with multimedia applications in mind."
Since most corporate IS departments don't have the resources to conduct in-depth testing, 3Com will be building pilot systems, performing tests and publishing the results, allowing businesses to adopt networked multimedia applications with fewer headaches.
3Com said its Multimedia Laboratory is a multimillion dollar, multivendor, multiprotocol facility. Company officials could not immediately be reached to provide further details.
However, in a press release 3Com said the laboratory can model any LAN and or WAN topology and is capable of testing multimedia traffic and its effects on traditional data and mission-critical applications.
Among the applications to be tested by 3Com are Microsoft's NetMeeting and NetShow, and VDOnet's VDOLive and VDOPhone systems, with a focus on characterising behavior of these applications in corporate data networks.
3Com also intends to publish and distribute recommendations as well as results of joint research and testing, and to define configurations of networks and applications for testing and conduct customer trials.
3Com in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at http://www.3com.com/.