Content posted in May 2011
Single Point Of Failure: The Internet
Commentary  |  5/31/2011  | 
No matter how well you architect for redundancy and availability, there will certainly be single points of failure (SPOF) that you can't account for. The SPOF, in all of its forms, can make application mobility via VDI, cloud services, and netbooks like Google's Chromebook less attractive computing options when compared to fat clients, fat servers, and boring but reliable storage. While services can fail, let's not forget that the most frequent SPOF we deal with is the access networks at the Int
How Microsoft And Google Could Change Smartphones
Commentary  |  5/24/2011  | 
Voice calls are dumb; maybe Microsoft bought Skype to make them smarter.
How To Tune Apps For Solid State Storage
Commentary  |  5/24/2011  | 
Just because you put a race car engine inside your storage system does not mean that your application will instantly go faster.
PowerCloud Promises Easy, Full-Featured Wi-Fi Hotspots
Commentary  |  5/23/2011  | 
It's always a trip to pull into a small-town diner, walk in the door and see the sign. It might be printed in simple font or, better yet, hand-scrawled. Whether it says "We Have Wi-Fi," "Wi-Fi Here" or whatever, our expectation that wireless will simply be anywhere we land is more frequently being realized. Free wireless is always best from the user perspective, but it's completely reasonable for a business owner to try to make a buck, or at least cover his or her costs, on the signal provided f
Solid-State Disk Or Solid-State Storage?
Commentary  |  5/20/2011  | 
SSD, or solid-state disk, is a term that gets overused when we talk about solid-state storage. SSD is incorrectly applied to seemingly everything related to memory-based storage.
The Fiction Of MSRP
Commentary  |  5/20/2011  | 
In my 25 years as a consultant, my clients have tended to straddle the mythical line between small/midsize businesses and what vendors like to think of as true enterprises. Working both sides of the line that way has made it painfully obvious that the process of figuring out what some piece of kit will cost my client is very different depending on which market the item I'm spec-ing out is targeted to. While an SME customer buying one or two Dell servers expects to pay the price on the Dell websi
Avaya: IP Office 7.0 Takes The Cake
Commentary  |  5/19/2011  | 
Unified communications vendor rolls in celebrity baker Buddy Valastro to tout the latest version of its IP phone system for SMBs.
LinkedIn Not So Boring Anymore
Commentary  |  5/19/2011  | 
The business social network's IPO opened strongly and gave the company a valuation of $8.9 billion by the end of the day, prompting talk of a new tech bubble.
IBM's Spring Storage Announcements
Commentary  |  5/18/2011  | 
IBM has just made its spring storage-related announcements and, since the company has a very broad and functionally-rich storage portfolio, the enhancements, upgrades, and new products cover a lot of ground. And, unlike Paris spring fashion shows, which are about style, business announcements are about substance, as customers care much more about functionality than they do aesthetics.
EMC Struck By Lightning
Commentary  |  5/18/2011  | 
As I discussed in "The Elephant, The Blind Men and Fusion IO," the jury may be out on Fusion IO as a company, but it's indisputable that putting flash right on the server's PCIe bus keeps latency to a minimum and therefore maximizes application performance. Until now, the problem has been that PCIe flash is usually used to emulate wicked-fast direct-attached storage (DAS),and that means you have to choose between speed and the flexibility that VMware's vMotion provides. In addition to acting as
Interop Premieres New Technology; Everyone Wins
Commentary  |  5/17/2011  | 
One of the coolest displays I saw at Interop was not in Start-up City nor in the Czech Republic zone. It wasn't the Lamborghini that Securent rolled onto the floor, nor was it the Barracuda Bus. It was the fiber backplane that HP brought out from its R&D facility and had running as a proof of concept, as well as the number of vendors that had products--nearly all proof of concepts--in the InteropNet Openflow lab. Staying awake is hard after sitting through the sixth top-of-rack switch of the day
Skype: Three Ways Microsoft Can Blow It
Commentary  |  5/16/2011  | 
Microsoft's massive acquisition of Skype will end in failure if they try any of these strategies.
Wired Networks Face Limited Future
Commentary  |  5/16/2011  | 
Xirrus CEO Dirk Gates sees major growth in WLANs as enterprises deploy bigger and faster wireless networks to meet demand from pervasive mobility and consumerization of IT.
Is Your Smartphone Spying On You?
Commentary  |  5/16/2011  | 
As Paula cleared out her desk after being fired, she couldn't help but wonder how she was busted. Her boss, Larry, seemed to know every detail of her transgression. She was supposed to attend a number of seminars at a conference in Las Vegas that the company paid for, but she gave in to a friend's cajoling to play golf and go sight-seeing instead. Larry knew where she had lunch, what her friend was wearing on the links, even Paula's golf score. As Paula turned in the company iPhone, she had no i
Learning To Fake Sincerity, Spontaneity In Social Media
Commentary  |  5/13/2011  | 
The puzzle of sincerity and spontaneity versus security and control.
Building A Sustainable Cloud (And More Predictions)
Commentary  |  5/13/2011  | 
I thought that the cloud was supposed to be about the aggregation of thousands of low-cost servers and disk drives, integrated together with a web services layer and a robust object store, all accessed as a pay-as-you-go service. Wasn't that how cloud service providers were supposed to make money--by using commodity components with their own "secret sauce" software on top? High-cost legacy infrastructure products are not congruent with building a long-term sustainable cloud.
Technology Can Extend Solid-State Storage's Life
Commentary  |  5/12/2011  | 
While the way solid-state storage is used can impact its longevity, storage vendors have techniques that can help prolong SSS life expectancy.
Citrix CTO On Demanding Clarity From Cloud Vendors
Commentary  |  5/11/2011  | 
Citrix Systems CTO Simon Crosby sat down with Andrew Conry Murray at Interop 2011 for a candid question-and-answer session on a variety of subjects, including emerging cloud power centers--Citrix is a major player in some. The company is also pushing emerging standards on a variety of fronts, including cloud computing and application performance. Crosby talked about the company's goals for these efforts. He also advised IT to demand more vendor clarity about the cloud.
Cisco Unveils First Wireless Cloud Offering
Commentary  |  5/11/2011  | 
It was just a matter of time. Cisco is often fashionably late to the party, but does know how to impress once it gets there. While smaller players like Meraki and Aerohive have enjoyed calling the wireless cloud space their own until now, Cisco branch office customers have been without viable cloud options for wireless. Given the IT talent constraints typically found in the branch model, combined with the complexity of WLAN done right, Cisco's new Flex 7500 Series Cloud Controller will likely fi
40-Gbps Ethernet Makes Its Debut At Interop
Commentary  |  5/10/2011  | 
The new high-speed ports can be seen on systems from Hewlett-Packard, Enterasys, Extreme, and others, even if the products won’t be available until later this year.
Hadoop And Enterprise Storage?
Commentary  |  5/10/2011  | 
Both NetApp and EMC have announced that they're turning the turrets of their marketing battleships toward the Apache Hadoop marketplace that provides the back end to many Web 2.0 implementations. While I understand how Hadoop is attractive to these storage vendors--after all, a typical Hadoop cluster will have hundreds of gigabytes of data--I'm not sure I buy that Hadoop users need enterprise-class storage.
How Long Will Flash SSD Last?
Commentary  |  5/10/2011  | 
A key factor that affects the life span of flash solid-state storage is how often data is written to it.
What To See At The Interop Exhibit Hall
Commentary  |  5/10/2011  | 
Yesterday I had a chance to walk the Interop show floor before it opened. Controlled chaos is a good word for it. It's hard to imagine that all the exhibitors and show staff get the exhibit hall ready in a little more than 24 hours. Forklifts are flitting around, carrying everything from equipment racks to rolls of carpet. Cherry pickers are rolling through the aisles hanging signage. Vendor system engineers are setting up booths, racking equipment and preparing demonstrations for the show. You
CacheIQ Rises From The Ashes Of StorSpeed
Commentary  |  5/9/2011  | 
While I've gotten used to the vulture-capital-driven creative destruction of companies in the tech business, even I sometimes get whiplash at how fast the VCs will eat their young. While cloud storage gateway vendor Cirtas is the latest example, NAS caching startup StorSpeed set a new land speed record coming out of stealth in October 2009 and blowing up just five months later. Now StorSpeed founder Greg Dahl, and a new executive team, have re-entered the market as CacheIQ.
SAS Storage In The Cloud
Commentary  |  5/6/2011  | 
The latest incarnation of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) not only has tremendous performance, it also has some compelling networking capabilities.
Is The Wired Edge Dead? Meru Says Yes
Commentary  |  5/6/2011  | 
As the WLAN industry continues to try to land body blows against the wired network edge, the message that "yes, you can go all wireless" continues to be reshaped and trotted out again and again. The more open-minded among us tend to cautiously buy into the notion of organizationally ditching the UTP in favor of high-performance wireless, while others can't quite bring themselves to drink the Kool-Aid yet. With Meru Networks' announcement of its Mobile Edge wireless platform, the "virtual cell"
Practical Analysis: Join The OpenFlow Show On Next-Gen Campus Networks
Commentary  |  5/5/2011  | 
The OpenFlow standard from the Open Networking Foundation is one to watch.
Brocade Flexes Fabric Muscle At Technology Day Summit
Commentary  |  5/5/2011  | 
Last June, the industry embraced the introduction of the Brocade One architecture, VCS technology and VDX switches--which for the first time brought to life a new fabric network design for flatter scale-out in virtualized clouds. At its Technology Day Summit in San Jose, Brocade presented its vision for the fabric industry, unveiled its next-generation fabric architecture called CloudPlex and announced the availability of several new products.
Demystifying SSD Wear Leveling
Commentary  |  5/4/2011  | 
Solid state storage brings high performance, but demands an effective way to spread writes to the drive to minimize risk of early failure.
We Are IPv6 Ready!
Commentary  |  5/3/2011  | 
I am happy to say that Network Computing is now IPv6 ready. That's a pretty neat leap for us, and when I get around to setting up a tunnel broker from my home office, I will be enjoying some IPv6 goodness. The neat thing about being IPv6 ready is that whether you are coming from an IPv4 or an IPv6 network (and, frankly, you won't know or care which), you will still get to the same place. Making Network Computing available via IPv6 means you will get to us no matter where you are. Congrats to our
The Elephant, The Blind Men And Fusion IO
Commentary  |  5/3/2011  | 
Last week, Enterprise Strategy Group's Steve Duplessie opened a real can of worms with his blog post "Why I'm Bearish on Fusion IO." By questioning Fusion IO's prospects, Steve insulted the popular girl at the prom, and several other industry observers played the role of the football team coming to Fusion IO's defense, with blog posts like "What Storage Folks Don't Get About FusionIO" and "Steve Duplessie Hates Fusion IO". Of course, all of this chatter is in response to Fusion IO's filing for
Brocade Unveils 1st Fabric Adapter Technology
Commentary  |  5/2/2011  | 
Analyst reports, press articles and the blogosphere are full of commentary about new fabric architectures from Brocade, Cisco and Juniper, that are designed for flatter scale-out in virtualized clouds, LAN/SAN convergence and 40/100Gbs performance. Brocade was the first to introduce this class of fabric with the unveiling of its Brocade One architecture, VCS technology and VDX switches in June of 2010. Cloud-optimized fabrics built with this class of technology connect virtual servers and their

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