Content posted in December 2010
Down For The Count; Happy Holidays To All
Commentary  |  12/23/2010  | 
We are going on hiatus between Christmas and the beginning of the new year, returning on Jan. 3. I'd like to thank everyone who visited the site, and particularly, those of you who took the time to comment on news stories and blogs. Whether you are agreeing with us, correcting us or challenging our positions, your comments are appreciated and considered. I'd like to thank our bloggers and news contributors who make Network Computing possible, as well as our production and IT department for runni
Moving To The Cloud Is Not Cut And Paste
Commentary  |  12/23/2010  | 
One of the issues I have been thinking about is the requirements necessary to move an application to a cloud service and, to some extent, move it with little impact to end users. Amazon's VM Import service is getting a lot of buzz lately, but the service itself is about as interesting as converting a Microsoft Word Document to PDF. Sure, it's useful, but it's only half the story. Virtual machine (VM) conversion certainly isn't a game changer for hybrid clouds. Just because you have a VM in your
Spares Beat Service Contracts Hands Down
Commentary  |  12/23/2010  | 
I'm sometimes amazed at how much of my clients' IT budgets go to pay for service and support contracts they don't really need. Too many IT guys can only sleep soundly under the security blanket provided by a 24-7 service contract with guaranteed four-hour response times, so they just have the vendor include gold-plated service on everything they buy. I've found that, in many cases, a few spares and next business-day service can save my clients a bundle.
NetApp Kills Off DataFort; Encryption A Feature, Not A Product
Commentary  |  12/22/2010  | 
Reports that NetApp is killing off the DataFort encryption product line it acquired with Decru in 2005 signals the last gasp of the once-promising storage encryption market. While we argued over Data Domain and whether deduplication was a product or a feature, the market decided that encryption alone does not a product make.
C'mon, Julius ... What Is The FCC Thinking?
Commentary  |  12/22/2010  | 
The Federal Communications Commission seems to have again exceeded its charter with the recent Net neutrality decision. Even though the FCC pulled the trigger, I suppose Congress is guilty of aiding and abetting the agency's latest foible by not intervening, yet. Charged with "regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable," the agency continues to favor one industry player over another and shows, yet again, why Congress needs to step in an
Correlsense Makes Finding A Needle In A Haystack Easy
Commentary  |  12/21/2010  | 
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Correlsense, a business transaction management company, along with one of its customers, GAINSCO Insurance. We discussed Correlsense's product, SharePath, which monitors and tracks all of an application's transactions in real time, and can rapidly deliver root-cause analysis and display where transactions are slowed or stalled. In fact, SharePath can pinpoint transaction bottlenecks spanning from the discrete user client to the IT infrastructure to th
Think Net Neutrality Will Kill Innovation And Jobs? Think Again
Commentary  |  12/20/2010  | 
I simply do not understand how Net neutrality detractors think that the proposed rules the FCC wants to put into place could hurt innovation. Even a cursory read of the rules shows that they are trying to set a level playing field, ensuring that those who control the last mile cannot arbitrarily limit or restrict access to Internet services. Open access does not stifle innovation. Open access to Internet services is the catalyst to innovation. Let's face it: Telcos and cable companies are the le
Cisco's FabricPath and IETF TRILL: Cisco Can't Have Standards Both Ways
Commentary  |  12/17/2010  | 
Standards are standards for a reason. Standards allow customers to interconnect products with a hope that they will all work together easily and simply. It's how the Internet was built, though not without some problems, and how all the networking vendors built their businesses. No vendor, not even Cisco or Hewlett-Packard, can go it alone in enterprise networking. Even the whisper that a vendor is not standards-compliant can ruffle feathers and get danders up, so vendors come up with ways to giv
What Comes After RAID? Erasure Codes
Commentary  |  12/16/2010  | 
As I mentioned a few blog entries ago, the basic math behind parity based RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives) solutions is starting to break down. While I think it's important for those of us that spend our days thinking about these things to raise the alarm, it's more important to think and write about the technologies that can take us past parity RAID. One major contender is Reed-Solomon erasure codes, which vendors are starting to use as an efficient alternative to parity or mirrorin
Amazon Dropping WikiLeaks Should Have No Impact On Your Cloud Plans
Commentary  |  12/16/2010  | 
Amazon kicking WikiLeaks from its Amazon Web Services does not mean in any way, shape or form that you and your company can't trust cloud services. Extreme examples like WikiLeaks are rarely applicable to the rest of the world and only show that extreme cases lead to extreme reactions. What WikiLeaks may show, by way of extreme example, is that end user license agreements (EULAs) and terms of service (ToS) need to be carefully reviewed prior to signing on the dotted line. Organizations can, and
Aerohive Makes Fat Wireless Phat
Commentary  |  12/15/2010  | 
When you do the marketing math, Aeorhive's case is easily made. Big WLAN vendors are having a field day making whopping throughput claims to hawk their latest 802.11n hardware, and the prevailing undercurrent through all IT media centers on the explosion of mobile and portable devices that are becoming mainstream computing devices. Take all those devices, using all of that bandwidth, and you have to wonder if sending it all to the network core is the best strategy. Aerohive says the wireless con
When Hashes Collide
Commentary  |  12/15/2010  | 
If there was any doubt in my mind that data deduplication is a mainstream technology, it was wiped out when I saw--in the business section of The New York Times last week--a full-page ad from Symantec touting its deduplication technology. Even so, I still occasionally run into people who consider deduplication to be a dangerous form of black magic that is likely to mangle their data and end their careers. This attitude represents an overestimation of the likelihood of a hash collision in dedupli
Dell And Others Still Shopping For Storage
Commentary  |  12/15/2010  | 
On Dec. 13, Dell announced it has "entered into a definitive agreement for Dell to acquire Compellent ... " Dell also said it expects the transaction to be accretive to Dell non-GAAP earnings in its fiscal year 2012. There is no doubt that I, along with others in the industry, have blogged and written quite a bit on this topic over recent days. There has been no bidding war, no firing of shots across the bow from one vendor to another, and no soaring stock price in this quickly executed company
The Win-Win-Win Scenario Of A Compellent And Dell Merger
Commentary  |  12/13/2010  | 
On Dec. 9, Compellent and Dell announced that they "are engaged in advanced discussions regarding a possible business combination involving the two companies." I blogged about Compellent here on Oct. 8 and one day before the joint Compellent-Dell announcement. Some voices in the industry, not associated with Network Computing, have raised thinly veiled arguments that question the sense, and value, of an acquisition of Compellent by Dell. In my opinion, Compellent will be a strong addition to bo
Uncle Sam Slow On Wireless Uptake
Commentary  |  12/10/2010  | 
To those of us installing, supporting and using wireless networks, it often seems like the whole world is going wireless in a big way. We see mobile applications changing lifestyles and culture, an endless pipeline of new wireless devices and even exotic new machine-to-machine applications enabled by pervasive signals.But, despite the wireless revolution at hand, there is one major sector that is not so quick to cut the cord. The U.S. government is a laggard when it comes to adopting and leverag
Dell And Compellent Sitting In a Tree
Commentary  |  12/9/2010  | 
Dell and Compellent are engaged in exclusive negotiations for Dell to acquire Compellent at $27.50 a share, or $876 million. Because the storage business has seen bidding wars for Data Domain and 3Par over the past few years, and Compellent has been not-so-quietly building a state-of-the-art modular array, my friends down on Wall Street have bid Compellent's stock up to $33 a share and are likely to be disappointed. Because I'm a geek, not a trader, I'm more concerned about how this will play ou
Compellent - Taking On The Enterprise Challenge
Commentary  |  12/8/2010  | 
On Nov. 22, Compellent announced the newest release of StorageCenter version 5.4, new Live Volume software, new Enterprise Manager multisite tool capabilities, and next-generation hardware that is faster, stores more data and connects to FCoE and 10GbE iSCSI. Back in October, I wrote that Compellent was rising to the enterprise challenge. With this announcement, it's clear to me that Compellent is taking on the enterprise challenge and may be swinging the acquisition pendulum in their direction.
IBM Systems And Tecnology Group Growth Strategies
Commentary  |  12/8/2010  | 
At its recent industry analyst event in Rye Brook, N.Y., IBM's Systems and Technology Group (STG) unveiled its five-year growth strategies for 2011 through 2015. As the guardian of the hardware and software that exploits that hardware to maximum benefit, STG is one of the recognized foundations of IBM, with a wide range of servers (including x86, Unix and mainframe systems) and storage products, as well as the IBM Research labs that support those efforts. Understanding what IBM STG is doing is i
Schwartz On Security: WikiLeaks Highlights Cost Of Security
Commentary  |  12/8/2010  | 
The lack of advanced safeguards on the State Department cables represents an astute non-investment, given their stale content.
Mathias On Mobility: 2011 The Same, But Better
Commentary  |  12/7/2010  | 
Continued deployment and growth of enterprise WLAN and 4G mean the end of wire to the desktop and a mobile future that is unequivocally broadband.
Why Not Mirror In The Volume Manager?
Commentary  |  12/7/2010  | 
As I talk to users and vendors about their data protection schemes, I've noticed that many organizations protect their mission-critical applications by synchronously mirroring data from a primary array to a secondary array. They then replicate from the secondary array off-site, or off-campus, asynchronously to a third target. As I think about this architecture, I've started wondering if companies might not be better off mirroring to the primary and secondary arrays directly from their servers, r
MobileIron 4 Tames Smartphone Sprawl And Enables Private Apps
Commentary  |  12/6/2010  | 
The media is abuzz with with predictions of just how big the bang can be that accompanies the explosion of smartphones and mobile broadband-enabled tablets going now in enterprises far and wide. While analysts look into their crystal balls, those who manage networks struggle with how to reconcile the popularity of mobile devices with corporate policy, and examine how they need to adjust their own approaches to balance device usefulness with organizational security. Enter MobileIron, the Tamer of
StorSimple Dedupes Application Data to the Cloud
Commentary  |  12/6/2010  | 
I must admit that I've been seduced by the siren song of public cloud storage. The thought of infinite scalability, on demand, without huge upfront capital expense sounds great to me. Cloud storage gateways like StorSimple's address the challenges of public cloud storage usage, object APIs and latency. Like some other cloud storage gateways, StorSimple's appliances present the cloud as iSCSI block storage, but its secret sauce is in the application plug-ins.
RAID: I'm Not Dead Yet
Commentary  |  12/2/2010  | 
The other day a message showed up in my inbox with the subject, "Is RAID Dead?". While I understand, and agree, that expectations and advances in technology have passed simple RAID 5 by, I'm getting tired of the "XYZ Technology is Dead" meme. At various times we've been told tape, the PC, and e-mail were all dead. If calling RAID dead is an overstatement, what is the state of RAID?

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