Expert Analysis
Content posted in January 2013
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Logitech Keyboard and Camera for Cisco Jabber
News  |  1/31/2013  | 
Enterprises implementing UC (Unified Communications) using Cisco Jabber will get some value out of the Logitech UC Solution for Cisco 725-C, but not it's not a complete client-end solution. The package bundles a slick keyboard designed for Jabber, a high-end webcam and, oddly, a mouse. Adding speakers and a headset would have made it more valuable. (This story has been updated to include Logitech's reaction.)
VMware's SDN Dilemma: VXLAN or Nicira?
Commentary  |  1/31/2013  | 
VMware has invested in two overlay network approaches: the VXLAN standard originally conceived by Cisco and STT, drafted by SDN startup Nicira. VMware acquired Nicira for more than a billion dollars. Which will VMware choose? Here’s my take.
Dell Unveils SAP HANA, Server Bundles
News  |  1/31/2013  | 
Dell continues its enterprise focus, offering SAP HANA integration and System Manager 7, the latest management software for its Active System converged infrastructure line.
The VMware Write Cache Challenge, Solved
Commentary  |  1/31/2013  | 
Server-side write caching can help improve storage network performance. Here's what you need to know.
SSD/Hard Disk Hybrids Bridge Storage Divide
Commentary  |  1/30/2013  | 
Solid-state is creeping into every nook of the storage ecosystem. The next frontier could be the rebirth of hybrids. Case in point is a startup that combines SSDs and traditional disks to maximize both performance and capacity.
F5 Challenges Cisco, Check Point with New Firewall
News  |  1/30/2013  | 
News roundup: F5 launches firewall software for its Big-IP platform; Spirent and Fluke release new appliances for testing and management; Extreme adds AVB support to Summit switches; Meetrix and Polycom team up to support IBM Sametime in the cloud.
Cisco Launches Combo Switch/WLAN Controller
Commentary  |  1/29/2013  | 
Cisco has announced new hardware and software to integrate wired and wireless networks under its Unified Access initiative, including the Catalyst 3850 switch that includes a built-in WLAN controller. New versions of ISE and Prime Infrastructure are also available.
Seagate Flashes $40 Million for Virident PCIe Cards
Commentary  |  1/29/2013  | 
Seagate announced a $40 million investment in Virident, which makes flash-based PCIe cards for servers. The move underlines the broad expansion of flash storage into multiple sectors of the enterprise market.
VMware Earnings, Examined
News  |  1/28/2013  | 
Reorganization looms as VMware pursues its vision of the software-defined data center.
How to Set Up Cisco Nexus Fabric Extender
News  |  1/28/2013  | 
Cisco Nexus Fabric Extenders (FEXs) provide ToR connectivity for Nexus 5000 and 7000 series switches. This 9-step plan shows you how to bring a FEX online, and includes configuration tips and code examples.
Digital Hoarding: Do We Have a Problem?
News  |  1/25/2013  | 
Approximately 2.8 zettabytes of data were created and stored in 2012, and that number is expected to increase 50-fold by the end of the decade. When does data storage turn into data hoarding, and what are the consequences?
9 Bandwidth Hogs: Reality Vs. Myth
Slideshows  |  1/25/2013  | 
Which user activities are actually eating up your bandwidth and clogging the network, and which can you ignore?
News Roundup: Absolute Software Launches ITSM Product
News  |  1/25/2013  | 
Absolute Software releases ITIL package for enterprises; CloudByte’s ElastiStor beta creates and manages storage pools for private clouds; Prelert soups up Splunk analysis; Keynote offers free mobile website performance testing.
Intel, Fusion-io Embrace Open Compute
News  |  1/24/2013  | 
Intel announced innovations in optical interconnects at the Open Compute summit, while Fusion-io embraced Open Compute’s spirit by providing the design of its new ioScale flash card to the open source community.
Facebook, Google Encroach On Enterprise UC
Commentary  |  1/24/2013  | 
Facebook and Google are rolling out services that rival enterprise unified communications platforms. Vendors should beware.
Internet Use Increases Worldwide, Connections Get Faster
News  |  1/24/2013  | 
Akamai said more than 683 million unique IP addresses from 243 countries or regions logged onto its network in Q3 2012, a 2.7% increase over the second quarter.
Barracuda Security Equipment Contains Hardcoded Backdoors
News  |  1/24/2013  | 
Multiple appliances sold by Barracuda contain undocumented usernames and passwords, as well as SSH access functionality, which an attacker could use to gain shell-level access to devices.
3 Ways The Cloud Can Complement Virtualization
Commentary  |  1/24/2013  | 
Virtual infrastructures -- what vendors like to call internal clouds -- can benefit from the public cloud in ways beyond data backup.
5 Ways Social Media Makes B2B Sense
News  |  1/24/2013  | 
There are several ways you can -- and should -- use social to develop your business-to-business customer relationships.
Wi-Fi Turns Into Retail Spy
Commentary  |  1/23/2013  | 
A new partnership between WLAN vendor Aerohive and retail analytics company Euclid turns in-store access points into customer tracking systems.
News Roundup: VMware Pumps Cash Into Puppet, More
News  |  1/23/2013  | 
VMware infuses Puppet Labs with cash; Infoblox introduces three network security products; NetMotion updates Locality for cellular network management; NetScout unveils new network monitoring switch series.
Security Flaws Leave Networked Printers Open To Attack
News  |  1/23/2013  | 
Attackers can exploit HP JetDirect software, used by numerous printer manufacturers, to disable printers, evade physical security checks or recover printed documents.
Cisco's Private Cloud: Pain And Profit
News  |  1/23/2013  | 
Cisco's four-year effort to reduce costs and increase agility through a private cloud deployment pays off.
New OpenFlow Controller, Virtual Switch Debut from NEC
Commentary  |  1/22/2013  | 
As SDN technology evolves, NEC has launched a new version of its OpenFlow controller that supports IPv6 and OpenStack. NEC has also released a virtual switch to support OpenFlow in Hyper-V environments.
Swipp Sweetens Analytics With Social Sentiment Tagging
News  |  1/22/2013  | 
Social networking app registers degrees of likes or dislikes, boosts the analytic value of customer feedback.
Why Your Data Center Costs Will Drop
Commentary  |  1/22/2013  | 
Here's how to take advantage of the latest technologies to boost server efficiency as well as performance.
Violin's $200 Million Acquisition? Don't Buy It
Commentary  |  1/22/2013  | 
Violin Memory has acquired GridIron Systems, a maker of SAN cache appliances. Speculators put the acquisition at $200 to $300 million, but the numbers don’t add up.
SoftRAM in 95 - Memory Optimizer in 2013
Commentary  |  1/21/2013  | 
A new Windows 8 program claims to "optimize memory," implying a performance boost, but what it actually does - flushing the disk cache - is likely to degrade performance significantly. It evokes the memory of the greatest Windows utility scam of all time.
News Roundup: UC, Storage and Security
News  |  1/18/2013  | 
Cisco extends Jabber to virtual desktops; Core updates security testing software; Drobo enhances its storage series; Sourcefire launches incident response services; Fortinet expands its security appliance and switch lines.
Flash Storage: Ready For Writes
Commentary  |  1/18/2013  | 
Advanced over-provisioning and write modification technology have made flash storage solutions ready for both sides of the I/O stream.
Software-Defined Storage: A Buzzword Worth Examining
Commentary  |  1/18/2013  | 
Software-defined storage is software beyond the usual communication tools or firmware used to run a storage device. Avoid trendy treatments of this new buzz phrase and keep your eye on how it will benefit your business.
Storage Head-Scratchers
Commentary  |  1/18/2013  | 
Not every idea that comes out of the storage industry is a good one. Here are three developments in storage encryption, patents and holographic storage that have got me scratching my head.
Is Facebook Making You Fat?
News  |  1/18/2013  | 
Research connects social media-induced self-esteem boosts to self-control. Consider these implications for business.
11ac Does Not Equal 5G
Commentary  |  1/17/2013  | 
A major wireless vendor wants to tag the forthcoming 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard as 5G, even though the G designation is traditionally associated with cellular networks. What gives?
Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
News  |  1/17/2013  | 
Proposed legislation seeks to end felony charges related to 'unauthorized access,' but legal experts say bigger fixes are needed.
Fusion-io Pushes Data Centers Toward Flash Storage
News  |  1/16/2013  | 
Fusion-io believes ioScale will help large Web companies shift to all-flash data centers.
Storage Gets Exciting -- Really
News  |  1/16/2013  | 
We saw a big uptick in the use of Ethernet, SSDs and virtualization last year. Expect that trend to continue in 2013.
5 Things Facebook Graph Search Means For Business
News  |  1/16/2013  | 
Graph Search creates new social business opportunities, but not without some elbow grease. Here's what you must do to take advantage.
Juniper's SDN Strategy Looks Beyond OpenFlow
News  |  1/15/2013  | 
Juniper gets SDN religion, but as the company outlined its tenets, it's clear Juniper doesn't hew to the OpenFlow orthodoxy.
United Oil Cuts the Wires
News  |  1/15/2013  | 
United Oil Co., which operates 127 gas stations in Southern California, is abandoning DSL service in favor of 4G to connect its retail locations to headquarters.
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