Commentary
Content posted in November 2010
Mellanox and QLogic Play Duopoly
Commentary  |  11/30/2010  | 
On Monday, Mellanox said it will buy Voltaire for $8.75 per share, or about $218 million. Excluding Voltaire's cash, Mellanox is getting the company for about $176 million. The $200 million per year InfiniBand networking market is now a duopoly comprising Mellanox and QLogic, the two suppliers that design their own adapter and switch chips.
The Level 3/Comcast Fight Is About Money, Not Net Neutrality
Commentary  |  11/30/2010  | 
Level 3 is positioning its peering dispute with Comcast as a net neutrality issue, when in fact it's a business conflict. By claiming that a clash over money is actually a defense of users being able to access Internet resources, Level 3 may hurt the net neutrality effort because it confuses the issue. As a supporter of net neutrality, I think this is the wrong approach by Level 3.
Network Computing's 2011 Gift Guide
Commentary  |  11/30/2010  | 
Whether you braved the crowds on Black Friday or joined the horde on Cyber Monday, it's the time of year when the shopping lists come out for our favorite IT guys and gals. IT folks' taste in gifts tends to range from the useful to the silly. Sometimes, getting that special gift is difficult. We hope this guide will inspire you to find that perfect gift for your favorite geek.
Of Cars, Classrooms, and Bad Ideas
Commentary  |  11/29/2010  | 
The benefits brought by wireless technologies are varied and many, but there are issues of concern for different groups of people at every step of the way. Usually the advantages gained by wireless systems of varying types outweigh the concerns, but those concerns don't simply go away because the majority is happy with their new-found connectivity. Each generation of technology helps to shape the world around us, and it's a natural step to want to use more technology to fight off the undesirabl
Of Storage Systems, Software, Upgrades And TCO
Commentary  |  11/29/2010  | 
As I've discussed previously in The Storage World Goes Xeon, the advance of mainline server technology has caught up with the storage market. Many, if not most, of the storage products introduced in the past year or 18 months are based on basically the same Xeon or Opteron processors and motherboards as the servers that connect to them. The question then becomes: When it's time for an upgrade, is the system the server or the software?
NetApp's Practical Path To A Future Data Center Infrastructure
Commentary  |  11/24/2010  | 
Although storage announcements occur all year long, fall appears to be a good time for vendors to mount storage "fashion shows" in order to highlight new solutions and initiatives, and NetApp is no exception to that trend. The company's recent announcement of new products and capabilities gives it a lot of good talking points to share with IT organizations planning for 2011 IT purchases.
Meraki Challenges The WLAN Market to Do More With (And For) Less
Commentary  |  11/23/2010  | 
Meraki has been the leader in cloud-based wireless networking for years. With a mission statement of providing the "easiest to manage enterprise WLAN", the cloud Wi-Fi management system challenges the controller based systems of Aruba and Cisco, and shares some characteristics with the likes of Aerohive and Bluesocket. With their latest access point offerings, Meraki goes beyond hosting their clients' central system control functions by shrinking both the size of their primary access point offer
Novell Is Dead; Cause Of Death Is Lack Of Focus
Commentary  |  11/22/2010  | 
In yet another chapter of how the once mighty have fallen once dominant network operating system vendor Novell announced today that it's being acquired by long time mainframe connectivity vendor Attachmate. Twenty years ago we would have viewed this as a marriage made in heaven, or at least Maui, as Attachmate's 3270 and 5250 connectivity tools were key to connecting NetWare networks to the IT department's "Real Computers". Today the response seems to be AttachWHO?
Wi-Fi Direct Is Here; Hang On For The Ride
Commentary  |  11/18/2010  | 
Way back when, the original IEEE 802.11 standard provided for peer-to-peer wireless communication along with the more mainstream access point-based Wi-Fi that has become pervasive. Anyone who has taken a basic wireless networking class has learned about the Independent Basic Service Set (IBSS) which is the technical name for ad-hoc client connectivity. Before the advent of high capacity thumb drives, peer-to-peer wireless might have been used to get files from your machine to the person next to
Brocade And Cisco Maintain SAN Lock-In Status Quo With FCoE
Commentary  |  11/18/2010  | 
If you are a storage administrator, you are used to vendor lock-in driven by your storage vendor and you choose SAN equipment based on a qualified equipment list. You might even defend the lock-in as being preferable. If you are a network administrator looking at FCoE, you are going to chafe under these restrictions because you'll find your product choices restricted to whatever products the SAN vendor, Brocade or Cisco, has qualified with. If you go off the qualified equipment list, you won't g
Big Data: Store Everything And Watch Storage Grow
Commentary  |  11/17/2010  | 
One of the big stories from the Teradata Partners conference that just finished up in San Diego was the huge advantage that retailers gain by the tracking the buying actions of their customers online and the enormous impact that's going to have on your storage assets in the years ahead. Business managers can't predict what questions they want to ask about their customers and can't say which collected data is useful or not. The answer is to store it all.
Brocade, Cisco, End-to-End FCoE And Who's On First
Commentary  |  11/17/2010  | 
I took some heat, in a good natured way, about my article Brocade First To Market With Native End-to-End FCoE . Brad Hedlund, Brian Gracely, and Stu Miniman contend that Cisco is first with end-to-end FCoE. In my original story, the headline "Brocade First To Market With Native End-to-End FCoE" was inaccurate. After talking to Brocade and Cisco in depth, the more accurate title is "Brocade First To Market With End-to-End Ethernet FCoE." I was sort of right and sort of wrong. Let me explain.
Amazon's EC2 Gains Key ISO Security Certification
Commentary  |  11/16/2010  | 
According to an ISO 27001 audit, EC2 has a security information management system, but the certification only guarantees that certain types of controls are in place, not exactly what those controls are.
IBM Pushes The Migration Of Oracle To DB2
Commentary  |  11/15/2010  | 
IBM's recently concluded Information on Demand 2010 event in Las Vegas covered a tremendous amount of ground on numerous topics. One of the most intriguing was the dedicated push that IBM is making to have Oracle database customers migrate to its own DB2 solutions. Given that migration from one database to another has been described by many analysts as "heart surgery," how can IBM possibly expect customers to willingly embrace so difficult and potentially risky a procedure? In the immortal words
EMC, Isilon And The Rise Of NAS
Commentary  |  11/15/2010  | 
I was a bit shocked this morning to get the news that EMC was buying scale out NAS vendor Isilon from the New York Post. The rumors had been flying that EMC was interested in Isilon for weeks but the Post, I wouldn't even wrap fish in the Post. That aside this acquisition bodes well for scale out NAS and in general for the pendulum to swing from block to file protocols for mainstream applications like VMware hosting.
Extreme Makeover: FalconStor Edition
Commentary  |  11/12/2010  | 
Founded in 2000, FalconStor is one of the companies that pioneered the current generation of advanced data protection software such as Virtual Tape Library (VTL), Continuous Data Protection (CDP) and Storage Virtualization. In 2007, after seven years of steady growth in shareholder value, the price for a share of FALC hit an all-time high of $13.90, and FalconStor's market cap almost reached $600 million. By November of 2008, FALC slid to an all-time low of $2.15--but the company continued to bu
Riverbed Gets Cloudy
Commentary  |  11/12/2010  | 
While cloud applications and WAN (Wide Area Network if I have to spell it out) acceleration seem like they would go together like Chicken and Waffles running a WAN acceleration appliance, even a virtual one, on your favorite cloud provider's platform would mean you had to keep a VM up, running and ticking off per hour charges all the time. If your cloud application was sending data to a storage provider like Iron Mountain or Nirvanix you wouldn't even have that option. Now Riverbed's Cloud Stee
On-Switch Scripting Should Be On Your Radar
Commentary  |  11/11/2010  | 
Time to go brush up on your automata theory if you want to be an effective data center manager. Event-based automation is creeping in everywhere; before you know it, your data center will be pretty self-sufficient, perhaps, dare I say it, self-healing, at the software level. At least that's the theory. For the first time, equipment vendors are adding automation features such as scripting to switches and routers. These little automata scripts can, collectively, save you time and reduce errors.
Motorola WiNGS It's Way To A New Wireless Architecture
Commentary  |  11/11/2010  | 
Controller-based wireless networks might be the norm today, but Motorola is challenging the conventional wisdom of big wireless control boxes. With wireless devices spreading like weeds and the rise of 802.11n, Motorola's interesting new WiNG 5 framework just may be a sign of things to come in the WLAN market.
CommVault's Simpana 9: Making Information Governance Actionable
Commentary  |  11/11/2010  | 
IT organizations are becoming more and more aware of the need for information governance but if their concerns only result in collaborative planning efforts there is no mechanism to actually put the plans into execution. However, there are solutions designed to help overcome this hurdle. The information management side of CommVault's Simpana 9 turns the planning exercise into actions that can achieve measurable results in such areas as eDiscovery and compliance.
Now That We Can Dedupe Everywhere; Where to Dedupe?
Commentary  |  11/10/2010  | 
Data deduplication first appeared on specialized appliances designed to be used as the target of an existing backup application like NetBackup or Networker. My friend W. Curtis Preston recently posted a chart comparing the performance of the current generation of these appliances to his Mr. Backup Blog. While this helps answer some questions you may have about deduplicating appliances it begs another. In an era where I can dedupe data at just about any stage in the backup process where is the be
Nirvanix Success Attracts Funding And New Executive Leadership
Commentary  |  11/10/2010  | 
Today Nirvanix announced that it has secured additional funding of $10 million dollars and has appointed Scott Genereux as President, and Chief Executive Officer. These developments are designed to fortify the company's competitive position and expand the market penetration of its Storage Delivery Network (SDN) on a massive global scale. Genereux's successful track record of building business value propositions around storage solutions bodes well for Nirvanix as the company starts to penetrate n
NetApp Takes On EMC With Future Ready Infrastructure
Commentary  |  11/9/2010  | 
Today NetApp announced new high-end and mid-range storage systems, support for 2.5 inch disk drives and Solid State Disks (SSD), Data ONTAP 8.0.1, unified connectivity for FCoE, CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI, along with the OnCommand Management Suite, and FlexPod for VMware which is a pre-sized and validated data center infrastructure solution. NetApp is clearly targeting the burgeoning Virtual Machine opportunity and is building the path to a future-ready infrastructure. In my opinion, today's announcem
Iron Mountain's Underground -- Past, Present, and Future
Commentary  |  11/9/2010  | 
If your enterprise (either private or public) really needs to make sure that physical documents, objects and electronic information are safely preserved and protected economically for as long as you wanted (even thousands of years), where would you put it? You may know of a better place, but my choice would be the Underground, Iron Mountain's facility in western Pennsylvania.
Modular LOM Coming To a Server Near You
Commentary  |  11/6/2010  | 
In the server market, where the use of industry standard components makes it difficult to design products that stand-out, new networking technologies offer the promise of differentiation. Higher performance 10GbE, convergence and virtualization are examples of important networking technologies that are still in the early stages of market adoption. Built on the DCB industry standard foundation, new 10 gigabit converged network adapters and switches are pouring into the market from traditional Eth
Opposing Net Neutrality Means Opposing Innovation
Commentary  |  11/5/2010  | 
Since the elections, the tech media has been buzzing about the loss of support for net neutrality which the FCC set forth in this proposal. I am a proponent of Net Neutrality because I think the proposed rules make sense. Take my word for it or go read the proposal yourself. Let me be crystal clear. If you are against Network Neutrality, you are fighting for your on-line experience to be tailored by your carrier's business arrangements. You are fighting for crippled access to services YOU wa
Meru Releases A Big Little Access Point- But Where Does It Fit?
Commentary  |  11/4/2010  | 
The same wireless network market powerhouses that provide top-end systems must be seeing something that I don't. The market has always been a bit striated, with distinct layers for consumer-class and enterprise-grade hardware, and not a lot in between. But something new to the mix is definitely afoot, and in a growing market that I can only call "discount enterprise WLAN", Meru looks to be top-dog with its new AP1000i access point which has many of the features in their more expensive 3x3 AP 300
186,000 Miles Per Second. Not Just a Good Idea, It's The Law
Commentary  |  11/4/2010  | 
I was somewhat chagrined last week when I saw that my friends at SliconAngle ran a blog post endorsing another blogger's brilliant idea that all we had to do to reduce intercontinental WAN latency was to adjust the speed of light. To give them some credit for high school physics, they weren't referring to changing one of the principle constants of the universe (although they did invoke Star Trek's all-powerful Q). Instead, they were implying that faster fiber optic cable was around the corner.
Schwartz On Security: Remove Dangerous Sites From Internet
Commentary  |  11/3/2010  | 
Should domain name registrars and businesses with compromised, malware-spewing websites be dropped from the Internet?
Dear SF Giants CIO: I'm Sorry
Commentary  |  11/3/2010  | 
The San Francisco Giants won it all. We revisit some of the World Series champ's key technology decisions, which, as we all know, were the main drivers behind the team's success.
InMage Brings CDP and Replication to vSphere
Commentary  |  11/2/2010  | 
Server virtualization has been a blessing and a curse to those of us that worry about data protection and disaster recovery. Virtual servers make equipping the DR (disaster recovery) site easier and a lot less expensive, but traditional backup and replication solutions have been somewhat inadequate for the virtual server environment. InMage's vContinuum brings real-time Continuous Data Protection (CDP) and asynchronous replication to vSphere environments and does it at a very attractive price.
It Takes More Than Wi-Fi Compatibility These Days
Commentary  |  11/1/2010  | 
Given the maturity of the 802.11 family of wireless standards, you'd think that device manufacturers would have it all worked out by now. It seems reasonable that any Wi-Fi capable device should be able to function on the "typical" wireless network, as long as standards-based client and infrastructure hardware is used. But the devil is always in the details, and for us in the Big WLAN Realm, we continue to battle the frustrations that come when manufacturers do things their own way while impleme


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