Without question, times are tough everywhere these days. I nor our team take any of these struggles (or the employees and customers they affect) lightly. The latest news? Networking vendor Nortel announced they were in trouble. It's amazing to see how the networking landscape has changed over the past 5 or 6 years. Some vendors seen as leaders not long ago have nearly disappeared. Back in the day, I'm sure some could argue why the Alteon gear was worth the investment. (at the time, I disagreed and still do. However, I'm biased towards F5, of course)

The uncertainty around financial viability cuts right to ongoing product support for and future development of some products currently deployed in mission critical locations. While we all stand by and watch established companies (candidly - some that looked rock solid) start to crumble, what's a network architect or saavy IT manager to do? 

Here's a pretty decent option:  F5 announced a buyback program for Nortel customers to hopefully put minds at ease. (get more specific details here)

Now, I'm not going to try to sugarcoat this one; F5 would like to become the preferred vendor in existing Nortel shops. But, I sincerely believe that when anyone looks at where BIG-IP is today, it becomes pretty obvious that it offers a ton of functionality those of you running Nortel should consider. There are plenty of resources out there for you to research starting here.

So, while this is tough news that affects many, there are options. Ultimately, this is a pretty sweet opportunity to take gear that is dated, get some value for it, and possibly unleash some powerful new iRule capabilities into your application delivery network that could make your life much easier.