Security fears delaying IP networks

All-IP networks will be commonplace eventually, but fears surrounding viruses are apparently holding up adoption in many firms

The chief executive of networking firm Avaya, Don Peterson, said on Wednesday that worries over viruses and network downtime are stopping CIOs going for purely IP networks — and that's why the company uses Linux.

According to Peterson, call centres in particular have fielded security as a reason to avoid switching to an IP network: "They don't want two devices with virus exposure on their desk."

"[Security] is something CIOs think about along with their IP telephony decision — many of our customers say it's why they don't deploy IP influence," he added. "It is why we have chosen to deliver our IP telephony solution on Linux rather than on Windows."

The theory that Linux is inherently no more secure than Windows, just less of a target due to its smaller installed base cuts no ice with Peterson.

"A lot of people tell you Linux is no more safe than Windows, it's just got less people shooting at it... I don't know whether that's true," Peterson said. "If that's the only protection I can get, at least in the short term, I'll take it."

Despite the woes over disaster recovery, the market for IP is still booming — analyst house The Radcati Group predict that 44 percent of corporate telephone lines will be using VoIP by 2008.

However, Peterson believes it will be some time before old-school TDM disappears completely.

"I don't expect TDM to zero out for a long time. The installed base of TDM technology will remain significant for a decade and will be a big number for longer than that," he said.