Content posted in October 2011
2 Reasons Videoconferencing Remains A Niche
Commentary  |  10/31/2011  | 
By now, video calls and conferences should be as common as texting. So why aren't we all saying, "Can you see me now?"
Improve Write Performance With SSD
Commentary  |  10/28/2011  | 
Writes are one of the most resource-consuming things that a storage system has to do. During product selection, carefully consider how a technology deals with write I/O.
Facebook's Open Compute Summit Pushes Open Hardware For The High End
Commentary  |  10/28/2011  | 
At the Open Compute Summit this week in New York, Frank Frankovsky, Facebook’s director of hardware design and supply chain, opened the proceedings by saying, "Open source is not just something that you can use to describe software, but also to describe the hardware space." That is the goal for the Open Compute Project, which aims to spur the development of cheaper servers and more efficient data centers.
Cloud Success Factor: Rethink Application Development
Commentary  |  10/28/2011  | 
In terms of performance and business agility, private cloud is the foreign import compared to your family sedan data center of today. And when you migrate to that cloud, if you bring along your old ways of thinking and siloed application development mindset, you’ll miss out on the benefits the platform provides. You need to ensure your services and applications are developed in a way that harnesses the full potential of the architecture.
Why Simpler Social Media Works For Network Marketers
Commentary  |  10/27/2011  | 
Juice Plus+ reps demonstrate that sophisticated Web 2.0 strategies aren't best for all businesses. Sometimes a bare-bones approach to the Web makes sense.
Meru Network Embraces BYOD, Offers Beefy New Hardware
Commentary  |  10/26/2011  | 
Lately, the solutions I've analyzed through the lens of BYOD have usually had something to do with smartphone and application management. But Wi-Fi vendors are also well aware of the procedural and technical complexities spawned by clients that show up with all sorts of gadgets that need to simply work on the WLAN. Meru Networks has recently introduced a new feature set for its WLAN product line that helps with BYOD and other aspects of today's changing wireless landscape.
Practical Analysis: In Data Deduplication, Dell Surprises, EMC Lags
Commentary  |  10/26/2011  | 
IT pros we surveyed rank Dell/Compellent high on value but ding EMC/Data Domain on value, flexibility, and features.
Hypervisors Are Not the Droids You Seek
Commentary  |  10/26/2011  | 
Long ago, in a data center far, far away, we as an industry moved away from big iron and onto commodity hardware. That move brought with it many advantages, but it also brought higher hardware and operating system software failure rates. This change in application stability forced us to change our deployment model and build the siloed application environment: one application, one operating system, one server.
How To Make SharePoint More Social
Commentary  |  10/25/2011  | 
Can third parties like Neudesic and NewsGator drag Microsoft's entrenched collaboration system into the era of Facebook and Twitter?
SSD Options: Tier Vs. Cache
Commentary  |  10/25/2011  | 
Solid state storage can be used as a cache or an automated tier. Both approaches will make sure that the most active data is on the fastest tier, but you need to know the differences.
Do Calendar Developers Travel?
Commentary  |  10/25/2011  | 
As a consultant, speaker and all-too-frequent conference attendee, I, like many of you, spend a good part of my life on the road, which frequently means I'm making appointments for meetings in cities and time zones across the country. Unfortunately, none of the tools I've tried really understands the life of a road warrior.
Can ShoreTel Be Everyone's Mobility Solution?
Commentary  |  10/24/2011  | 
There are a growing number of stories to be told about management frameworks in the corporate mobile device space. Some are about one-trick ponies tied to limited device types or PBXes, while others describe solutions that are so flush with functionality that you have to study them for a while to fully appreciate what they offer. ShoreTel Mobility is one of those impressive stories that may take some review to fully appreciate.
Choosing The Right Private Cloud Storage
Commentary  |  10/21/2011  | 
One of the key decisions in architecting an infrastructure for private cloud is selecting a storage platform for the deployment. Storage is a key component of the infrastructure and will play a major role in the overall performance of the private cloud. The storage decision carries additional weight due to its larger investment and typically longer refresh cycle.
Storage Administrators Of 2015: Must-Have Skills
Commentary  |  10/20/2011  | 
What's your three-year career plan? Make sure you have the knowledge that will be required to handle storage systems of the future.
Vendors Turn Flash To Cache, Saving Cash
Commentary  |  10/20/2011  | 
Ever since EMC announced that it was putting SSDs--or, as it calls them, Enterprise Flash Drives--into its disk arrays, we as an industry have been straining our little brains to figure out the best way to use flash memory to improve our storage. We've used flash as a storage tier inside disk arrays, as a cache in those arrays and as dedicated storage systems. More recently, we've started seeing a variety of server- or system-side caching solutions. Is server-side caching the answer?
IBM Continues To Drive Storage Efficiency
Commentary  |  10/17/2011  | 
In its fall storage announcement, IBM continued to emphasize the efficiency of its storage products. Efficiency is always a good thing, as it has been defined by the late revered management guru Peter Drucker as "doing things right," and everybody wants to do things right. But saying that you want to do things right is easier than doing it. Continual improvement is the prime ingredient, and that is well-demonstrated in the latest IBM storage announcements.
Is Your Network "Cloud Ready"?
Commentary  |  10/17/2011  | 
I am as tired of the whole "cloud" blitz as you are. But I can assure you that someone will ask you if your network is cloud-ready at some point this year. It is easy to just say "yes," but is that the truth? What does being cloud-ready mean? That depends. Do you plan on being the cloud, using the cloud or both? Let's leave being the cloud alone for now and talk about using the cloud. Is your network ready to use the cloud? Here are some steps you need to take before you say yes.
Big Data Means Big File Sharing
Commentary  |  10/14/2011  | 
Need to move a few 60-MB CAD files cross-country? To the cloud, by way of Aspera's new virtual appliance.
The Case Against Orchestration
Commentary  |  10/14/2011  | 
I outlined the case for orchestration. Now I want to answer "Why now? What's different?" After all, management platforms have failed to deliver automation and orchestration for the last 20 years, at least. Why would today's software be any more likely to actually work? Can we try for operational nirvana once again?
Can Integrated Storage Systems Survive?
Commentary  |  10/14/2011  | 
Storage hardware vendors need to build reliable gear that compliments the services and feature sets being added to hypervisors.
Fretting Over 802.11ac
Commentary  |  10/14/2011  | 
Call me a downer, call me a cynic, but I consider myself a realist. The not-yet-draft version of IEEE 802.11ac is building up steam just off the wireless stage, and I'm here to tell my fellow wireless network administrators that now is the time to start worrying.
Google Voice Saves The Day
Commentary  |  10/12/2011  | 
This week I'm on the road at SNW in Orlando and then to speak at Dell's Tech Summit internal event leading into Dell World in Austin. During all the chaos of interplanetary travel, I rely heavily on Google Voice and its ability to track me down like a dog. When I discovered yesterday that my cell phone had gone among the missing, Google Voice once again came through for me.
Do You Need A Storage Performance Manager?
Commentary  |  10/12/2011  | 
It may be time to create a position that that crosses the functional boundaries of applications, servers, hypervisors, and storage to take a holistic view of performance.
Why Sprint's WiMAX Dump Was Inevitable
Commentary  |  10/11/2011  | 
LTE's on an unstoppable roll, and the carrier needed to get on board before it was too late.
WLANs Evolve With vWLAN 2.1
Commentary  |  10/11/2011  | 
The evolution of the WLAN industry has been a curious, somewhat flip-floppy study in design philosophy. Stand-alone, intelligent access points got the party started more than a decade ago, and somewhere along the line lost favor to controller-based super systems. Now the big, expensive controller has become a target for frequent criticism as a growing number of vendors present innovative alternatives to funneling all WLAN traffic back to a central processing point. Bluesocket is among the latest
Supermicro Deserves Some Respect
Commentary  |  10/10/2011  | 
I’ve long thought that Supermicro was the Rodney Dangerfield of server vendors. After years of delivering solid, if not especially exciting, servers, the company still don’t get no respect from most customers, who'd rather buy their servers from HP, IBM or Dell. Supermicro may be worth a second look, as their products have evolved from generic, one- and two-processor tower and rack-mount servers, and may be just the cost-effective solution to one or more of your server problems.
SANRAD Dives Into The SSD Cache Pool
Commentary  |  10/6/2011  | 
iSCSI pioneer SANRAD’s foray into solid-state disk (SSD) caching should help the company redefine itself from just another iSCSI bridge provider to a player in the much bigger storage virtualization and acceleration market. SANRAD's new V-Switch XL adds application-optimized SSD caching to its hardware iSCSI virtualization appliance.
QLogic Adds 5 Years To Fibre Channel
Commentary  |  10/6/2011  | 
On Sept. 28, QLogic extended its Adaptive Convergence Strategy by announcing a new portfolio of products, including FlexSuite adapters, Universal Access Point switches and iSR Intelligent Storage Routers. The strategy and new products represent some important advancements in converged networking.
PC Applications In The Post-PC Era
Commentary  |  10/5/2011  | 
How do we reconcile a pile of legacy Windows apps with the era of mobility?
Mixed Vendor Storage Virtualization: Why It Makes Sense
Commentary  |  10/5/2011  | 
Why the time is right for users to abandon turnkey storage solutions for best-of-breed options.
Build for IT Nirvana
Commentary  |  10/5/2011  | 
In many data centers large and small there is a history of making short-term decisions that affect long-term design. These may be based on putting out immediate fires, such as rolling out a new application, expanding an old one or replacing failed hardware. They may also be made by short-sighted or near-sighted policies, or, more commonly, old policies that aren't questioned in light of new technology. These types of decisions can range from costly to crippling for data center operations.
Radvision Does Big-Time Small-Device Video Conferencing
Commentary  |  10/4/2011  | 
Ah, the BYOD craze. Users demand to use their own mobile devices for work, network admins fret over how to properly manage these odd little gems, and industry players continue to roll out some pretty amazing mobile capabilities--like Radvision's new SCOPIA Mobile video conferencing application, which extends enterprise-quality conferencing to consumer-grade smart devices.
Predictive Analysis: Not Just For Stockbrokers
Commentary  |  10/4/2011  | 
Virtualization-aware tools from Netuitive and, soon, IBM SPSS will help IT head off problems before they start.
Data Breach Response Plans: Yours Ready?
Commentary  |  10/4/2011  | 
The smart money treats data breaches as a 'when' not an 'if,' proposition. Don't wait until the last minute to do this homework.
The Fear And Loathing Of /64s On Point-To-Point Links
Commentary  |  10/4/2011  | 
I discussed in a previous article the necessity of abandoning IPv4 thinking when creating IPv6 address designs, and how our deeply ingrained need to conserve addresses can muddle our thinking. Nowhere does this conservative aversion to address waste snarl at us as menacingly as when we consider – completely compliant with the recommendations of ARIN and other RIRs – assigning /64 subnets to point-to-point links.
Will Tuesday Bring iPhone5-ageddon To Your Network?
Commentary  |  10/3/2011  | 
Maybe, maybe not. But it still behooves IT to plan so that traffic bursts don't dent collaboration.
How The BlueArc Acquisition Tightens HDS' Storage Strategy
Commentary  |  10/3/2011  | 
On the one hand, the recent acquisition by HDS of BlueArc simply affirmed the symbiotic relationship that the two companies have. But in another sense, it represents tighter integration, such as for product development plans and resources allocated to their implementation, as a key piece of HDS' greater storage strategy. And understanding that strategy will hopefully shed some light on where the storage industry is going as a whole.

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