Commentary
Content posted in November 2011
Ruckus Shakes Up Auto RF Management With New Paradigm
Commentary  |  11/30/2011  | 
For those who worry about things like which channel large groups of wireless access points are on, there hasn't been a lot to get excited about during the last couple of years. For most "smart WLAN systems," you put your faith in a murky channel selection algorithm, respect that the 2.4-GHz band has only three non-overlapping channels, and hope that the vendor built the right intelligence into the product set. That changes with ChannelFly, the new channel selection method from Ruckus that challe
Your Next Storage System
Commentary  |  11/29/2011  | 
IT managers should be making plans to update their storage infrastructure in 2012. Consider these tips to sort through all the new features, capabilities, and options.
NexGen: The Next David to Battle Midrange SAN Goliaths
Commentary  |  11/29/2011  | 
Small vendors, especially startups, often tend to follow baseball great Willie Keeler's advice of "hit 'em where they ain't" by targeting a market niche that has potential, but where larger vendors either don't play or have a very small footprint. NexGen, with its NexGen n5 Storage System, does just that but with a more direct twist. And that makes it very interesting.
Clouds Cannot Be Contained In A Box
Commentary  |  11/28/2011  | 
A big part of the value proposition of cloud is to ensure that you have continuous access to your data, and that you've moved beyond the physical limitations of a single box or a single data center or a single geography. While the move to the cloud can allow greater leverage of compute servers and storage, it also provides the ability to move away from aging, monolithic storage and servers, and gives cloud customers access to their data irrespective of any technical issues that may be going on a
How Siri Could Make Collaboration Mobile
Commentary  |  11/28/2011  | 
Breaking the form factor vs. interface logjam would be revolutionary. All we need is an open API.
Fat Apps Are Where It's At
Commentary  |  11/23/2011  | 
Virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, is seeing something of a revival lately due to the increased penetration of mobile tablets. Why lug a laptop around that has a short battery life and takes forever to load when you can use a lighter, more responsive tablet? If you can get your desktop on your tablet, all the better, right? No. Not at all. More over, server-based desktop applications, such as those served from the likes of Citrix XenApp and VMware ThinApp, or just the UI components. We need
Smartphone Bloatware Is Bad For Everyone
Commentary  |  11/23/2011  | 
It was time to switch out my beloved Motorola Droid for something new. I did my research, placed my order, and was delighted after getting home from work one day to find that FedEx had done its thing. As I dug into learning and configuring my new device, I found myself experiencing another sentiment shared by fellow smartphoners--the angst of discovering that your device is loaded with garbage programs that you can’t remove. Ah, yes, bloatware.
Examine The True Cost Of Storage Performance
Commentary  |  11/23/2011  | 
Boosting performance in a data center involves more than just adding more hard disks. Here are key factors to consider.
Cisco's LAN Stronghold: Good As It Ever Was
Commentary  |  11/22/2011  | 
In the networking industry there's Cisco and then there's everyone else. But in LAN switching it's even more so.
Next DIY Stuxnet Attack Should Worry Utilities
Commentary  |  11/22/2011  | 
The recent water system hack in Illinois points to the dangers of insecure, Internet-connected industrial control systems. Environments like this can't ignore known security weaknesses anymore.
The Tape Format Rot Fear Factor
Commentary  |  11/22/2011  | 
As I speak with users at the backup seminars I teach around the country, I often hear them say that they avoid using tape for long-term data retention, expressing their concern with something like, "They come out with a new format every few years, and then you can't read your tapes." While it is technically true that, eventually you'll have to migrate data from old tapes to new media, and you should probably be able to go longer between migrations with tape than with disk archives.
How To Recover Your Data In Minutes
Commentary  |  11/21/2011  | 
One option to speed data recovery: Use a system that can spawn virtual machines and recover the failed host plus its data.
Aerohive's $99 Branch Office Offering Is Not A Black Friday Sale
Commentary  |  11/21/2011  | 
For the price of an external hard drive or a printer, you can get a complete branch office network from Aerohive Networks. We're talking wired and wireless networking here. Granted, the branch that can be serviced for under a hundred bucks is a small one, but the story is still quite interesting as part of a larger trend. Cloud-managed networking continues to get less expensive and more feature-rich, and the used-to-be-wireless-only guys are laying claim to more of the wired network in cool new
Can Dell Do For Networking What It Did For Storage?
Commentary  |  11/18/2011  | 
Dell is focused and while it isn't considered by many to be a solutions provider--many consider Dell to be a box pusher--it plans on changing perception. As Fritz Nelson points out in discussing Dell's earnings, the company did a remarkable job of acquiring storage companies that fit with its overall vision, investing in the product lines, doubling or tripling the head count in some cases, and setting off on an integration path that continues today. However, Dell has a difficult road ahead if it
Restore The VMTN Subscription
Commentary  |  11/18/2011  | 
I was pleased to see that blogger Mike Laverick, of RTFM-ed.co.uk, has inspired a grass-roots movement to convince VMware management to restart the VMTN subscription. Like Microsoft’s TechNet, Action Pack and MSDN subscriptions, VMTN subscriptions would get non-production licenses into the hands of geeks with home labs, independent developers and the like. VMware should restart VMTN tout de suite, not as a gesture to the power of social media, but because it will be good for business in th
EMC's Unified Storage Division Is Focusing on Customer Requirements
Commentary  |  11/17/2011  | 
Storage plays a vital role in such glamorous and revolutionary IT trends as virtualization, cloud and big data. While these are fun to watch and comment on, one should not forget the importance of product evolution. Day by day, customer requirements change. Storage products have to evolve to meet these specific needs, as well as be able to deal with the larger trends. EMC's Unified Storage Division illustrates how one vendor is keeping its eye on the customer requirements ball while also partici
Storage System Maxed Out? Try Virtualization
Commentary  |  11/17/2011  | 
Storage virtualization can let you use multiple storage systems and manage them as if they were one.
New And Notable On Network Computing
Commentary  |  11/16/2011  | 
It's been a busy year for our IT staff. We've moved to a new platform that is more stable and faster. We have a new commenting system in place, and we are adding more kinds of content. Network Computing Pro, once a subscription service, is now free (registration required). And we'll have more changes in the coming months. All of these changes have been part of a long process, but one that lets us bring you more and better news, views and actionable information. Now I'd like to hear from you. Wha
It's Time To Get Your 10 Gig On
Commentary  |  11/16/2011  | 
A spate of new products is putting high-performance 10-Gbps Ethernet within reach of almost every organization that wants it.
ISACA Survey Looks At Online Shopping At Work, Shows Worrisome Side Of Mobility And BYOD
Commentary  |  11/16/2011  | 
I'm generally not big on survey results when it comes to drawing hard conclusions about IT matters, but occasionally the right data set hooks you. Given that we're fast approaching the thick of the online holiday shopping season, ISACA's recent "Shopping on The Job" survey tickled my curiosity. Even though I don't see many smoking guns in the results, I do find it interesting to be privy to how more than 1,200 U.S. consumers in an increasingly mobile world see their own use of company time and r
Dell Is Focused
Commentary  |  11/15/2011  | 
Last week, some colleagues and I had a chance to spend the day at Dell's headquarters in Austin, Texas. It was seven hours of meetings, getting a dump on Dell's various lines of business, and was capped off with a meeting with the man himself, Michael Dell. It was an informative day, meeting with folks who run the storage, server, networking, and channel divisions of the company. I came away with one overriding thought: Here's a company that is focused.
The Idle Cycle Conundrum
Commentary  |  11/15/2011  | 
One of the advantages of a private cloud architecture is the flexible pooling of resources that allows rapid change to match business demands. These resource pools adapt to the changing demands of existing services and allow for new services to be deployed rapidly. For these pools to maintain adequate performance, they must be designed to handle peak periods, and this will also result in periods with idle cycles.
Microsoft, Google Struggle With New Face Of Collaboration
Commentary  |  11/14/2011  | 
Microsoft's Office 365 is not the future and neither is Google's Gdocs. But it just might be Facebook or Chatter.
Red Lambda: Security Revolution Or Just Evolution?
Commentary  |  11/13/2011  | 
Security statistics are depressing. The bad guys seem to be overwhelming the good guys, even when the good guys are well-known security vendors. So when an emerging company, such as Red Lambda, claims to have software that significantly improves the odds for the good guys, you need to pay close attention.
Spreecast Puts Broadcast Twist On Video Chat
Commentary  |  11/10/2011  | 
The Spreecast service combines the intimacy of video chat with a broadcast service that can include thousands of viewers.
Ethernet Fabric As Core--A Modest Proposal
Commentary  |  11/10/2011  | 
As a reformed network geek who has turned to the dark side to follow the storage market, I've been especially intrigued by the evolution of data center Ethernet as fundamentally different not only from the 10-Mbps shared media Ethernet of old but, more significantly, from the direction of campus Ethernet. As we bring DCB, TRIIL-like Layer 2 multipathing and the like into the data center network, I would like to propose that many of us can eliminate the expensive modular switch that's typically s
AirMagnet Sees One Man's Feature As Another's Security Issue
Commentary  |  11/10/2011  | 
Apple’s Lion OS touts AirDrop as one of its competitive differentiators, allowing multiple users to share files over the WLAN. The problem is that the files may be corporate-sensitive, and the users taking part in the sharing may be on wireless machines not authorized for access. So AirMagnet dares to visit the murky junction where what you can do with your Mac crosses paths with what you shouldn’t do at work, and exposes it for those charged with network security. I have to wonder h
The Data Rich Are Different--They Use Tape
Commentary  |  11/8/2011  | 
I recently had the pleasure of attending a press and analyst day with the good folks from Spectra Logic, where the state of the market for tape storage finally sunk in. While most corporate users have evolved their backup processes to reduce, or eliminate, their reliance on tape, users with lots of data still find tape to be the best solution. F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The rich are different," and that's true for those who are rich in data, as well.
Videoconferencing On Demand: Maybe Vidyo, Not Cisco
Commentary  |  11/8/2011  | 
By virtualizing its video router, Vidyo adds the powerful dimension of scalability to its conferencing system. But it'll take some bigger players to make the technology pervasive.
What Is The True Cost Of Storage?
Commentary  |  11/8/2011  | 
Physical hardware cost is just the start when you're determining the true cost of a storage system. Let's talk application performance.
Live Migration Vs. Scale Out Storage
Commentary  |  11/4/2011  | 
Live volume migration and scale out storage both improve performance. Which technique is best for your data center?
Will Expense Tracking Speed Cloud Adoption?
Commentary  |  11/4/2011  | 
When it comes to cloud adoption, the elephant in the room (apart from security) is the fear that a service could scale up so quickly that it blows out a cloud budget. While there are many cloud management platforms available to address this issue, they tend to be designed for organizations that have fully adopted cloud services. They aren't so great for companies taking initial, tentative steps toward online services. Cloudability's open beta announcement about its freemium cloud spend managemen
IBM's IOD 2011: A Cornucopia of Solutions
Commentary  |  11/4/2011  | 
IBM titled its Information on Demand (IOD) 2011 conference in Las Vegas "The Premier Forum for Information and Analytics." IOD featured innovation and a cornucopia of products and services that act a litmus test and checkpoint as to where the IT industry is and where it is going.
Hard Disk Shortage Driving Up Prices
Commentary  |  11/3/2011  | 
Ever since Uncle Al Shugart presented the world with the ST-506, we could count on the fact that tomorrow's disk drives would be cheaper, on a dollar-per-gigabyte basis, than the ones we can buy today. I've regularly advised clients to plan to buy disk capacity later, as it will be cheaper and the disk drives will probably hold more. However, for at least the next few months, we're going to be facing a shortage of disk drives, and prices are already headed upward.
It's Time To End The Wireless Client Insanity
Commentary  |  11/2/2011  | 
What would our wireless networks be without clients? Things can be quirky enough with power-save settings, local RF conditions, and general machine health and resources when it comes to wireless performance, but add to the mix the general confusion that the wireless client adapter industry has created, and you can hardly fault your users for not understanding the nuances of different wireless adapters in a given network.
Live Migration Brings Flexibility To Storage
Commentary  |  11/1/2011  | 
Alternative to replacement or wholesale migration lets you easily add capacity or performance as needed.
Data Deduplication And SSDs: Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together
Commentary  |  11/1/2011  | 
It should come as no surprise to even the most casual observer that data deduplication and SSDs have been the most significant technologies in storage during the past few years. Until recently, however, they have been applied to very different problems. The solid state storage story has been about performance, but data deduplication, while it has begun to sneak into primary storage, was about efficiency and was mostly relegated to secondary storage systems.


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