N+I : Where Companies Go To Die.

Wandering the expo hall at the Mandalay conference center here in Las Vegas I cannot help thinking about the last Network World + Interop show I attended. I was speaking in Cosine Communications’ booth at N+I Atlanta, 2001.

Wandering the expo hall at the Mandalay conference center here in Las Vegas I cannot help thinking about the last Network World + Interop show I attended. I was speaking in Cosine Communications’ booth at N+I Atlanta, 2001. That was 9/11. The show was cut short as everyone attempted to hire buses or rent cars to get back home while the airlines were grounded. That was the first time I saw Nexsi, the all-in-one security platform. Nexsi was way ahead of its time. It died an untimely death when its investors got cold feet and pulled out after putting over $90 million into it.

So where was Cosine Communications this week? Cosine has a great platform and an amazing bunch of engineers (at least they did last time I went to their offices). But I get a little worried for their survival when I visit their web site and see a front page and an email address for customer support. Just like Nexsi, I guess I missed the demise of this company. It turns out Tut Systems is buying them up.

There are some really cool companies at N+I if you scrounge around in the back. One that should have generated more buzz by announcing the appointment of Howard Schmidt as its Chairman is an all-in-one home security device called ELI. Another one that really got me excited was BeatBox, a Pittsburgh based company that rebuilds web sessions on the wire. Not necessarily a security play but a great approach to tracking and optimizing ecommerce platforms.

So I wonder who will go missing in action at next year’s N+I?