Expert Analysis
Content posted in February 2011
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Unified Communications Faces Interoperability Challenges
News  |  2/28/2011  | 
More companies are deploying unified communications, according to a panel at Enterprise Connect, and they're seeing improved productivity and collaboration as a result.
Siemens Introduces OpenScape Cloud Services
News  |  2/28/2011  | 
The cloud communications services for SMBs and enterprises that don't want to manage the technology were unveiled at Enterprise Connect.
Enterprise Connect: Verizon Announces Cloud Unified Collaboration
News  |  2/28/2011  | 
The telco's Unified Communications & Collaboration-as-a-Service will be able to switch calls between mobile phones and IP desk phones.
What The Pink Elephant Told Me About ITIL
Commentary  |  2/28/2011  | 
Having spent the last week at perhaps the world's largest Information Technology Services Management (ITSM) conference, my eyes were opened a little wider to some pretty amazing transformations afoot across the IT landscape. I did come home feeling a bit uneasy about the future of my day job as an IT professional. I also came away with both an appreciation for the ITSM consulting and training company Pink Elephant and an equal part confusion about some of the mixed messages I heard at this most
IBM Tops Server Sales In Q4
News  |  2/28/2011  | 
IBM led all server manufacturers in sales in the fourth quarter of calendar 2010, according to data released Thursday by market watcher Gartner. The data includes total revenue from mainframe, blade, industry standard and other types of servers.
BridgeSTOR Releases Free Data Reduction Analyzer
Commentary  |  2/28/2011  | 
When talking to people who don't have a strong technical background, I find that their reactions prove that Arthur C. Clarke was right when he said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." To them, any technology that lets them store 10TBytes of data on a 1TByte drive is magic. Then I start to explain to them that I can't really predict how much their data will dedupe because it depends on the data and that "your mileage may vary," and they start wondering if it's
IT Pro Ranking: Apple And HP Top Tablets
News  |  2/25/2011  | 
Apple, HP and Dell show when it comes to PC alternatives, IT is trying to serve two masters. These three vendors topped the list of preferred vendors in a recent evaluation of alternative client devices, including tablets and netbooks. In fact, only 2 percentage points separated top-ranked HP and third-place Apple in our survey of 493 IT professionals. That's a pretty close game.
Storage Capacity Still Drives Accessibility
Commentary  |  2/25/2011  | 
Over its 20 year history, innovation in the field of enterprise storage has seemed to focus on two often conflicting goals: ever-expanding capacity and the need to access all of that storage. Nearly every development seems to come down to one of these two areas. In this time of cloud storage and big data, it is illuminating to consider the challenges in light of capacity and accessibility.
Major New DNS Vulnerability Discovered
News  |  2/25/2011  | 
The Internet Systems Consortium has issued a warning that certain versions of BIND are vulnerable to a denial of service attack. BIND is the most widely used domain name system protocol implementation. The latest version of BIND, 9.7.3, is not affected, but versions 9.7.1 through 9.7.2-P3 are vulnerable. Attackers could exploit the vulnerability to create a denial of service attack because of the way that BIND handles incremental zone transfers (IXFR), which is a technique for transferring data
Panda Security Offers Guidance To SMBs For Combating Concerns About Authenticity, Privacy And Security With Social Media
News  |  2/25/2011  | 
Panda Security, The Cloud Security Company, is providing guidance to small-to-medium sized businesses on ways to safely and securely integrate social media strategies into their businesses. After conducting its 1st Annual Social Media Risk Index for SMBs last September, Panda Security discovered that 78 percent use social networking sites to support research and competitive intelligence, improve customer service, drive public relations and marketing initiatives and directly generate revenue. How
ZL Technologies: A Unified Approach To Active Archiving
Commentary  |  2/25/2011  | 
Even though the "cloud" occupies much of the dialogue about transformative processes in IT, the place of archiving in that transformation is still poorly understood by many IT organizations and needs to attract more attention. Therefore, we should welcome any light that can be shed on the subject, and ZL Technologies' unified archiving approach is particularly luminous. Let's examine what the company is doing, but first, we should discuss the need for active archiving in general.
Juniper Gets To '1' With New QFabric Family
Commentary  |  2/24/2011  | 
Juniper finally got to 1 in its 3-2-1 strategy launched last year. The trend, to flatten the network, has been coming for a while. What's held back the flattening are little things, like being able to aggregate enough access ports over a high capacity and low latency interconnects, broadcast control, traffic management and, frankly, a strong driver to re-architect the network. But that hasn't stopped Brocade, Cisco and Juniper from coming out with some innovative data center network offerings.
Juniper Introduces New Architecture For Data Center Networking
News  |  2/24/2011  | 
Juniper Networks is introducing a totally new design for data center networking that it calls QFabric, which collapses the typical three layers of networking equipment into one for faster performance, lower latency, better scalability, reduced power consumption and lower cost. The company will begin selling the QFabric Node switch this quarter at a list price of $34,000, the first of three products that together deliver the new QFabric architecture.
Cisco Escalates Video-Everywhere Push
News  |  2/24/2011  | 
The situation is simple: More video data requires bigger and faster networks, and as the leading network vendor, Cisco has a vested interest in facilitating this video growth. Over 50 percent of all Internet traffic today is video, and by 2014 the volume will be 90 percent, says the company. While the scope of video communications (including Internet video calling, video instant messaging, video monitoring and Webcam traffic) is currently relatively small, it is expected to experience substantia
Can Cloud Snapshots Replace Backup?
Commentary  |  2/24/2011  | 
I'm satisfied that snapshots and replication in conventional storage systems can serve the same function as more traditional backup schemes. While snapshots make satisfying the most common restore requests easy the limitations of most storage system's snapshot mechanism leave most organizations using snapshots as a supplement to, not a replacement for, backup copies. Does the cloud change the snapshot as backup calculus? Some cloud storage vendors say it does.
Blue Coat Study Shows Malware Now Targets 'Trusted Sites'
News  |  2/24/2011  | 
An annual report on Web security from software provider Blue Coat that was released on Wednesday says that cyber criminals are launching more focused attacks and are targeting trusted sites to distribute malware, viruses and other threats. The author of the 2010 Blue Coat Annual Web Security Report also says that some Web-delivered applications that are used by businesses are at risk of malware if an attacker thinks there are valuable assets to be stolen by getting onto the corporate network.
Meraki Adds To Cloud Networking Lineup
News  |  2/23/2011  | 
A high-speed access point, integrated network access control, and a plug-and-play VPN device are intended to bolster security, especially for SMBs and companies with remote and mobile workers.
Flexera Introduces Software Suite To Smooth Transition To Windows 7
News  |  2/23/2011  | 
Applications usage management vendor Flexera Software is introducing a suite of software applications that it says can simplify the process of migrating businesses to Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system from Windows XP. AdminStudio Suite 10, available Tuesday, automates the transition project with a six-step process that includes inventorying apps, assessing compatibility, fixing compatibility issues and deploying the new OS.
Industry's First Turnkey Product Logistics Offering For WAN Security And Optimization Resellers, Reducing VAR Costs And Eliminating Margin Leakage
News  |  2/23/2011  | 
Freedom Networks, the global leader in Optimized Bandwidth Aggregation Solutions, today announced the launching of its ExpressBITS (build-integrate-test-ship) program for resellers of its Express Line of Appliances. This unique, comprehensive program dramatically reduces costs and complexity for network VARs deploying private and public cloud-customer solutions. With today's release, WAN security and optimization value-added resellers and distributors can offer a single 1U Express Appliance, re
Avaya Extends Virtualization Beyond The Data Center
News  |  2/23/2011  | 
Avaya is extending its Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture (VENA), which debuted last November, beyond the data center to the campus network, adding its virtualization capabilities to the company's Ethernet Routing Switch (ERS) 8800 and 8600 products. By bringing network virtualization and IEEE Shortest Path Bridging (802.1aq) to the campus, current 8800 and 8600 customers can install, provision and manage real-time applications and services in minutes rather than days, says Avaya, whose ult
Enterprise Connect: Business Communications Take Center Stage
News  |  2/22/2011  | 
VoiceCon is reborn as Enterprise Connect, the most important event of the year for CIOs and IT managers involved in business communications. Here's a look at what's in store at the conference.
Virtual PBX Adds VoIP To Hosted Service
News  |  2/22/2011  | 
Provider's platform for SMBs includes VoIP lines rather than simply overlaying existing systems, though it can still deliver Virtual PBX Complete without adding phone service.
Primary Storage Dedupe For Backup?
Commentary  |  2/22/2011  | 
Now that data deduplication for primary storage is going mainstream, I'm starting to get questions from students at backup school about using storage systems designed to deduplicate files stored on them as backup targets. While the idea of using the same technology for your primary and backup data sounds attractive, some of the folks I've spoken to who have tried substituting a ZFS box for a DataDomain appliance have seen disappointing results.
Vidyo Video Conferencing Platform Now Available For Cloud Providers
News  |  2/22/2011  | 
Video conferencing provider Vidyo is now offering a version of its platform that can be used by telecommunications and other companies to deliver video conferencing technology as a cloud service. On Tuesday, Vidyo introduced VidyoRouter Cloud Edition, which uses the company's patented version of the H.264 scalable video coding (SVC) compression standard. The technology delivers high-definition video over the Internet and conventional IP networks to a variety of endpoint devices, from HD TVs to s
Vidyo Intros Scalable Enterprise Videoconferencing
News  |  2/22/2011  | 
By deploying software-based routers in multiple regions, the VidyoConference Cloud Edition can deliver telepresence to tens of thousands of mobile device users.
Acer Takes On Server/Storage Powerhouses
News  |  2/22/2011  | 
With 2009 revenues of $17.9 billion, Acer is best known as a major player in the global PC market, but, in what the company calls a long-term commitment, its U.S. subsidiary is entering the commodity server and storage markets with a full lineup of products to be sold exclusively by resellers and the distribution channel. Acer America is targeting small to midsize businesses and high-performance computing applications with rack, blade and multinode solutions based on Intel Xeon and AMD Opteron p
Promise Boosts SMB Storage Device Line
News  |  2/18/2011  | 
Promise Technology on Thursday unveiled a new lineup of network attached storage (NAS) devices built specifically for the small business market. The four-bay NS4700 and six-bay NS6700 represent a step up for the company's SmartStor line, according to product manager Billy Harrison. Promise is targeting businesses with about 50 to 200 employees. Harrison adds that storage designed for consumer, prosumer and SOHO needs--all segments that Promise already serves--simply don't cut it when put the tes
IPv6 And DNS On The Interopnet
Commentary  |  2/18/2011  | 
The early planning work on Interop is moving along. Glenn Evans, who is managing the Interopnet and characterizes the position (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) as "benevolent dictator," and the rest of the NOC team have the daunting task of building and maintaining a production network for attendees and exhibitors, as well as providing the infrastructure to demo new technologies. At this early stage, work is being done to figure out what to offer to the show attendees and exhibitors. "If In
IBM's Watson: A Watershed Event For Information Technology--And For Society
Commentary  |  2/17/2011  | 
On the surface, Watson, IBM's "Jeopardy"-playing computer system, is impressive in its ability to answer complex, ambiguous questions expressed in natural language. In fact, Watson will likely be a centerpiece for IBM's centennial celebration in June. But Watson is more than just an impressive computing system. In fact, in the future, after Watson's technology is used and deployed in multiple ways, we expect this week's Jeopardy matches will be seen as a historic event in information technology
Bitrix Site Manager Helps Online Businesses Successfully Manage Peak Traffic And Prevent DDoS Attacks
News  |  2/17/2011  | 
Bitrix, a technology trendsetter in business communications, introduces its TrafficJuggler load balancing technology, which effectively addresses customers' needs for online business continuity. It delivers industry-leading performance capable of handling traffic spikes caused by extreme visitor activity or by targeted DDoS attacks.
Security Pros Straining To Lock Down Emerging Tech
News  |  2/17/2011  | 
Cloud computing, mobile devices, and social media are increasing training and management challenges, finds Frost & Sullivan survey.
Data Security Firm nuBridges Offers Tokenization In The Cloud
News  |  2/17/2011  | 
A company that offers data security with a process called tokenization is about to offer the technology in the cloud. Atlanta-based nuBridges unveiled its tokenization-as-a-service (TaaS) offering, available sometime in March, at the RSA Conference 2011 going on this week in San Francisco. Tokenization is the process of creating tokens that represent data secured in another database. IT professionals can use the tokens to analyze the data in various programs without exposing the actual data.
Snapshots And Backups Part Deux
Commentary  |  2/17/2011  | 
In What Is A Backup?, I compared conventional backups to local snapshots, concluding that restoring data faster using backups is easier when you know where it was last. With conventional backups, an administrator, after cursing under his breath and wishing he could just say no to the CFO, could search the catalog database for *smith*.xls in Finance and locate the file. Since local snapshots don't include catalogs, it's harder to restore the data that disappeared sometime last summer. But there
AlienVault Unified SIEM Bundles Security Tools For MSPs And Enterprises
News  |  2/17/2011  | 
AlienVault Unified SIEM 3.0 is an integrated package of tools presented as an attractive way for managed service providers to extend their security capabilities, including a full enterprise security information and event management offering. The latest version of Unified SIEM, announced at the RSA Conference, provides tight integration of the company's Open Source SIEM (OSSIM) with a fistful of security tools available for deployment, making it well-suited for MSPs.
Critical Watch Releases IPS Optimization Module
News  |  2/16/2011  | 
Critical Watch, a leading provider of vulnerability management and compliance solutions announced today the release of its new IPS Optimization Module. The solution compares discovered vulnerabilities to IPS configuration settings and enables users of FusionVM to dynamically configure their IPS based on their unique vulnerability landscape.
The First IPv6 WAN Optimizer: Speed At What Price?
Commentary  |  2/16/2011  | 
Last week, Blue Coat upgraded its MACH5 to become the industry's first IPv6-compatible WAN optimizer. WAN optimizers have long supported tunneled IPv6 over IPv4, but the MACH5 is the first WAN optimization appliance to accelerate native IPv6--and then some. The MACH5 is actually a very sophisticated IPv6 application layer gateway (ALG), providing IPv6 connectivity, security and optimization in a single device. Yet it's precisely its sophistication that raises questions around device scalability
IBM Focuses On Endpoint Security
News  |  2/16/2011  | 
After purchasing BigFix last July, IBM has announced that it is integrating the functionality of BigFix into Tivoli Endpoint Manager, which will let users manage the security and compliance of servers, desktops, roaming laptops and point-of-sale devices such as ATMs and self-service kiosks. The company also said that it would be working with Juniper Networks to help develop joint security services for mobile devices, such as those running Apple's iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows ope
IPv6: Four Steps to Take Now
News  |  2/16/2011  | 
If you don't act to add IPv6 to your network, you're not only limiting the growth of your business, you may be turning away thousands of customers.
HP's Critical Facilities Implementation Service Helps Plan Data Center Development
News  |  2/16/2011  | 
HP introduced a new service Tuesday that helps enterprises plan, design and build new data center capacity. The HP Critical Facilities Implementation (CFI) service is designed to simplify the design and project management of data center construction by providing everything from a single vendor.
Security Spending Grabs Greater Share Of IT Budgets
News  |  2/15/2011  | 
Businesses spent 8.2% of their IT budgets on security in 2007; last year it was 14%, according to a Forrester Research report.
Cisco Introduces 'Context Aware' Security Architecture, Leveraging Client Telemetry
News  |  2/15/2011  | 
Cisco Systems has unveiled its distributed SecureX architecture, which enables "context aware" security enforcement regardless of infrastructure environment. A key element is inclusion of client information through Cisco's TrustSec technologies, which enable the transport and reading of context about user, device identity and role, to create and enforce granular policy. The announcement is being made at the RSA Conference.
First Full-Duplex TAP To Provide PoE As An Optional Primary Power Source
News  |  2/15/2011  | 
Gigamon, the leading global provider of data access solutions, today announced from the RSA Conference the new G-TAP A Series. The G-TAP-ATX device is the first in a series of "Always On" network TAPs leveraging an advanced architecture to remove the TAP as a point of failure within the network.
So, What Is A Backup?
Commentary  |  2/15/2011  | 
Last week EMC blogger Chuck Hollis started a bit of a firestorm when he questioned the marketing position some vendors are taking that local snapshots make traditional backups unnecessary. As we could expect, a series of EMC haters, employees of other vendors and industry analysts jumped in to add fuel to the fire. I think Hollis did ask a valid question: As technologies advance, what is a backup?
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