Network’s inventor names Israeli tech top network product

Dr. Robert Metcalfe, who co-created the Ethernet, chose RAD Data’s communication device as this year’s best networking device

RAD Data's MiNID device, together with its innovation award (Photo credit: Courtesy)
RAD Data's MiNID device, together with its innovation award (Photo credit: Courtesy)

When the creator of the computer network as we know it tells you that you have a good networking product – the best in the world, in fact – then you know you’ve done a good day’s work. That, in fact, was the message that the co-inventor of Ethernet technology, Dr. Robert Metcalfe, had for Israel’s RAD Data Communications, when, heading the panel of judges at this year’s NetEvents Technology Innovation Awards, he awarded RAD Data the award for “best in class infrastructure equipment and innovative solutions to Service Providers’ current challenges” for its MiNID communication device.

MiNID is a miniature network interface device (known as an SFP, small form-factor pluggable network transceiver) that connects to nearly any piece of equipment now in use by telecom service providers. The device is designed to be configured by the RAD Data partner providing the equipment, with the specifications for the customer already installed.

The idea, RAD Data CEO and President Dror Bin told the Times of Israel last year when the product was first introduced, is to enable managers of telephony networks to configure their systems in an instant, enabling them to quickly upgrade or connect to new services with no fuss or muss. Phone companies who want to sign up clients among local landline and cell service providers “can send out the MyNID in an overnight envelope, and the service provider just has to plug it in in order to enter its parameters in the network,” said Bin. With the device, service providers save dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of configuration work, with the attendant cash savings as well.

The Ethernet, of course, is the basis of modern networking, and even in the age of wifi, the vast majority of routers used to provide wireless service still rely on Ethernet cables to connect to the wider world. Metcalfe is the founder of networking company 3COM, which he founded in 1979, six years after first using the term “Ethernet” to describe a computer networking system he designed.

Metcalfe traces the “birthday” of the Ethernet to May 22, 1973, which makes Ethernet 40 years old this year, and to celebrate, NetEvents International held its annual Technology Innovation Awards at the the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California on May 22 of this year. Metcalfe himself was awarded, as coinventor of Ethernet (with fellow electrical engineer David Boggs), the award for “Greatest Contribution to the Networking Age.”

Bin expressed the company’s appreciation for the award. “What makes MiNID a winning telecom product is that service providers can now offer” premium services and “a low total cost of ownership,” said Bin. “MiNID breaks through the barriers of cost and complexity, making it possible to finally deliver Carrier Ethernet to everyone, everywhere.”

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