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November - 2007 - issue > Company Profile

The new application network

Joseph Robin Mathews
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Joseph Robin Mathews
Imagine a world where you walk into an airport, drop your bags, and head straight for your flight. Your check-in, security scan, flight and seat validation were performed automatically from the moment you entered the airport till you took your seat in the aircraft. This seamless tracking will be delivered by a new application intelligent sensor and real-time services network to be known as the OMNITROL Network.

A new world of sensor networks
When Raj Saksena and Ash Vasudevan founded Omnitrol Networks in 2004, they had a clear vision of a coming sea change that was about to transform the networking landscape in ways not seen since the first packet-switched networks were deployed to connect computer systems together. With his executive background leading key advanced services and network initiatives for AT&T, Bell Laboratories, NYNEX, Nortel, and Empowertel Networks, Saksena had seen the evolution of Advanced Intelligent Network (AIN) services to the Unified VoIP and Multimedia Networks. He couldn’t help but imagine what the network of the future would look like as enterprises were adopting new smarter wireless devices and sensors.

Saksena saw that this new paradigm was not going to be solved by complex middleware or expensive back-end solutions. It was truly a convergence of sensors and real-time application intelligence at the edge, on the shop-floor. Security would become critical, so the new sensor network needed to be designed with a messaging and transactional service layer that was completely secure for all types of devices, wireless and wired. The extended sensor network would be using contact-less technologies such as RFID, Wi-Fi, Real-Time Location Services (RTLS), and Ultra-Wide Band. Saksena saw that a tremendous surge was about to take place in both business process innovation and in preparing the IT infrastructure to support this new network. “I saw a huge pain point coming in the form of device, data, and application integration that traditional software architectures were not going to be able to address and that was going to bring the deployment of contact-less technologies to a screaming halt. The intelligence had to be moved to the edge, where these devices were being used,” said Saksena.

Omnitrol Networks has conceived, designed, and produced the OMNITROL, the industry’s first all-in-one, industrial-grade, application network that is delivering real-time business intelligence through sensor technologies at the edge of the network. The OMNITROL Network was designed to complement the existing IT infrastructure through the convergence of sensors, application servers, and networking to deliver real-time operational visibility. “The product was not an intelligent switch, or smart router, or even an application server. It was all of the above and we called it the OMNITROL,” said Saksena. The word stems from the convergence of ‘Always-On’ and ‘Process Control’, or empowering users to be ‘Always In Control’. Forrester Research coined the term ‘Extended Internet’ or X-Internet to refer to this new real-time sensor network, but for Saksena it was going to be the OMNITROL Network.

Application network intelligence delivers the real-time enterprise

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