Commentary
Content posted in February 2012
Timeline For Facebook Pages Takes Getting Used To
Commentary  |  2/29/2012  | 
Businesses that use Facebook for marketing and to connect to customers may learn to love Timeline for Facebook Pages. But designers and developers of custom tabs will have to scramble to adjust over the next 30 days.
Apple iMessage: UC On The Cheap?
Commentary  |  2/27/2012  | 
By transparently merging SMS and IM, Apple is throwing the carriers a curve. But it could be a hit for IT.
Solid State Drives New Wave of Storage System Startups
Commentary  |  2/27/2012  | 
It was just last year that many of us in the storage chattering class were talking about how the market for mainline storage systems had consolidated after 3Par and Compellent were swallowed up by HP and Dell, respectively, leaving the market with just one or two smaller vendors to keep the big boys honest. That discussion failed to recognize that solid state storage had made the transition to the mainstream, and that there was a new wave of startups building storage systems optimized for flash.
Toward More Reliable Wireless With AirMagnet Enterprise 10
Commentary  |  2/26/2012  | 
If the phone isn't ringing, then your wireless users must not be feeling any pain, right? That can be a dangerous assumption in large, complicated wireless networks. Some issues may not be crystallized enough to raise your clients' ire, but the fact remains that performance is degraded. AirMagnet's latest Enterprise version wants to make hard-to-find problems more obvious even as the WLAN gets ever more complex.
PerspecSys: Removing a Key Security Barrier to Public Cloud Adoption
Commentary  |  2/23/2012  | 
Several months ago, an IT trade publication (which will remain nameless) published an article whose title stated that public cloud security remains "mission impossible." While the article was well-reasoned and backed off from the title's hyperbolic assertion, the damage had already been done. Actually, the title should have been something more like, "Public cloud security is mission possible, but proceed cautiously."
3 Top Trends In Storage Startups
Commentary  |  2/23/2012  | 
To make sense of the storage startup boom, take a close look at the gaps that these firms seek to fill.
Using MPLS In The Enterprise
Commentary  |  2/23/2012  | 
In the data center, the MPLS/VPN architecture offers an attractive alternative to increasing the size of Layer 2 domains. Some players in the industry are promoting protocols such as Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) to solve Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) scalability problems.
Cisco And Deloitte Wrong: Good Practices More Impactful Than Vendor Choice
Commentary  |  2/21/2012  | 
Cisco is fighting back against the notion that a multivendor network can simplify operations and reduce TCO. The networking giant commissioned a report by Deloitte that finds equipment operation costs will increase over the life of a network that uses equipment from disparate vendors. The fact is, one vendor versus multiple vendors is the wrong fight. Sound management practices and smart production selection will have a bigger impact on your IT costs than the number of vendors you use.
FAST Paper Casts Doubt on SSD Future
Commentary  |  2/21/2012  | 
At last month's FAST (File and Storage Technologies) conference, researchers from UCSD and Microsoft Research presented a paper, titled "The Bleak Future of NAND Flash Memory" that's put the rosy all-flash-all-the-time future predicted by some in doubt for the long term. The gist of the paper's argument is that the physics of flash, and the researchers' testing, indicate that as flash density increases, the life and performance of flash will degrade to the point that by 2024 flash will no longer
Aruba Networks Swings Big At BYOD And More With ClearPass
Commentary  |  2/21/2012  | 
Gone are the days of simply providing good signal in the WLAN environment. Guest requirements, the new reality of the BYOD--or bring your own device--model and increasing reliance on the wireless network as a critical resource combine to make life complicated for us in the business of enterprise wireless networking. Aruba Networks is ready to answer the back-end challenges of contemporary wireless with its new ClearPass framework, and the impressive array of features is not limited to use by Aru
The Many Styles Of Social Media Analytics
Commentary  |  2/17/2012  | 
Whether provided as self-service or with the backing of consultants, for marketing, CRM, or operations, social media analytics are snowballing in importance.
Solid State: From Silver Bullet To Silver Lining
Commentary  |  2/17/2012  | 
Solid state storage looks to become a standard part of an enterprise IT infrastructure, providing a boost to applications and general IT needs such as tiering and virtualization.
The Inevitability of Private Cloud
Commentary  |  2/15/2012  | 
Private cloud may be inevitable, but diving into cloud without a plan is a terrible idea. And even with a technology plan, there are also two massive cultural problems to overcome: the buy-big syndrome and the belief that servers are not software.
Our Love-Hate Relationship With Enterprise Social Networking
Commentary  |  2/14/2012  | 
In honor of Valentine's Day, we offer 10 things to love about social networking in the enterprise, and 10 things that are leaving businesses cold. (In some cases, they are one and the same.)
Emulex and Mellanox Drive Down 10 Gig Cost
Commentary  |  2/14/2012  | 
While we've grown to believe that technologies follow steady geometric price decreases with confidence-inspiring names like Moore's or Kryder's Laws, the truth is market forces aren't as predictable as the word "law" would imply. Those of us who follow the Ethernet market are used to an occasional vendor making a dramatic price move for its own reasons. Most recently, Emulex and Mellanox are making moves to make 10-Gbps Ethernet cheaper.
Centrify's New MDM Strategy Priced To Move
Commentary  |  2/14/2012  | 
The mobile device management space is relatively new, but is already showing signs of being a study in same-old, same-old. How much can you really do with Apple's API for iDevices, after all? Judging by the current players, you'd think that all MDM solutions require a stand-alone management server and yet another console to administer. Though many MDM vendors put different faces on the same basic functionality, Centrify promises a unique methodology, at a price you won't believe.
Cloud Storage Infrastructures Raise Many Issues
Commentary  |  2/13/2012  | 
Cost, performance, and the ability to scale are among the key issues when considering cloud storage infrastructure.
EMC VFCache: Project Lightning Strikes
Commentary  |  2/13/2012  | 
EMC's recent announcement of the culmination of the code-named Project Lightning resulted in the new VFCache solution, a server-based flash cache, which may be used as a complement or alternative to flash storage that appears as if it were a disk drive. This lightning strikes twice, though not in the same spot. The first is dramatically improved I/O performance for customers and the second is the challenge that VFCache brings to competitors trying to distinguish their own flash storage solutions
The New Storage Bottlenecks
Commentary  |  2/10/2012  | 
To eliminate performance bottlenecks, you have to look past the solid state disk and consider the system as a whole.
Is Server-Based Storage Tiering Right For You?
Commentary  |  2/8/2012  | 
Maybe we're making the whole job of improving network performance more complicated than it has to be.
3 Things To Remember Before Investing In Facebook
Commentary  |  2/7/2012  | 
Zuckerberg letter makes one thing perfectly clear: Investing in Facebook is about more than business--it's about funding a new worldview.
EMC's Lightning Strikes
Commentary  |  2/6/2012  | 
The storage cognoscenti have been all atwitter this morning as EMC announces the details of Project Lightning, the flash-based server cache solution it previewed last May at EMCworld. The first version of the renamed VFCache is now available, and it's clearly a version 1.0 product. Hopefully, EMC will get some of the road map items out the door, as well as the just announced Thunder, soon.
Nimbus Sets The Stage For Mainstream Enterprise SSD
Commentary  |  2/6/2012  | 
Solid-state array pioneer Nimbus Data's new E-Class array system is a sign that solid-state storage is moving from the high-performance fringe to the mainstream of the enterprise data center. Most first-generation, all-solid-state arrays, including Nimbus Data's own S-class, were best suited to targeted applications where high performance with single points of failure was acceptable. The new asset class, like most midrange disk arrays, has a dual-controller design to satisfy my enterprise reliab
DocuSign Does Android
Commentary  |  2/6/2012  | 
One of the great promises of the mobile device explosion is increased productivity. But productivity is in the eye of the beholder, and many mobile users still haven't caught on to the notion that you can sign documents digitally, with a legally binding signature, from a mobile device. Whether the goal is paperwork reduction or expedience, DocuSign combines the power of digital ink and a slick, cloud-enabled document-handling framework to put an end to the likes of scanning and faxing. And now,
Riverbed's Granite Virtualizes Branch Office Storage
Commentary  |  2/6/2012  | 
When Riverbed and others brought WAN acceleration to the market around the turn of the century, many of us hoped that with WAN acceleration we could pull the servers, and the headaches they cause, from branch offices. Unfortunately, many organizations found reasons to keep servers in the branches. Riverbed's new Granite appliance allows organizations to keep servers in their branch offices while eliminating many of the headaches through what Riverbed's calling Edge Virtual Server Infrastructure.
Dysfunction in DC--The Lightsquared Matter
Commentary  |  2/6/2012  | 
What happens when the federal agency that is charged with regulating communications in the US butts heads with other agencies who oversee the likes of national defense, transportation, and aviation over issues of potentially devastating radio interference? Why, you get the FCC's current very strange stance on Lightsquared, a wannabe mobile broadband wholesaler.
dinCloud: Making a Big Impact in the Cloud
Commentary  |  2/3/2012  | 
Have you reached the saturation point yet on the cloud? The endless cacophony of cloud messages seems to have transformed into white noise, where trying to distinguish and differentiate among competitive cloud offerings can leave one in either a state of decision-making paralysis or trusting that familiar vendors know what they're talking about without, perhaps, the full measure of due diligence that is appropriate. Enter dinCloud, which plans to break through the droning blather and show how it
Server-Based Storage Tiering Spells Bottleneck Relief
Commentary  |  2/1/2012  | 
Automated storage tiering and caching makes the most of hard drive and solid-state drive storage systems, but can create new bottlenecks. A server-based tier is one solution.
Why I Like Juniper's QFabric (And A Mea Culpa)
Commentary  |  2/1/2012  | 
While I was visiting Juniper in early December, I got a chance to sit down with the QFabric folks to discuss some of issues with QFabric and what I saw as a proprietary—with all the badness that word implies—product set in search of a reason. While QFabric is proprietary because of how the components are interconnected, I came away with the impression that the overall design and capacity looks extremely powerful. I think the upsides of the QFabric product set far outweigh the downsid


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