September 09, 2013 12:14 PM
IT managers may be excited about VMware's new virtual storage product, but they aren't necessarily ready to run out and buy it when it becomes available.
January 08, 2013 21:38 PM
Cloud services promise faster deployment and more flexibility, but if you want your CFO to back your cloud gambit, show her a solid financial analysis–preferably one with a good ROI. Here are 7 tools that can help.
November 27, 2012 11:45 AM
Hurricane Sandy had a lot to teach technology professionals about disaster recovery and business continuity. It certainly reinforced the basics—back up your data and test your DR systems—but there are other lessons to learn. Here are five.
November 06, 2012 18:50 PM
Network tunnels used to have a bad reputation, but the rise of software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization is changing that. WAN optimization, which uses tunnels, may offer insights that IT can apply to SDN.
April 21, 2011 07:00 AM
It seems that every few years there's yet another prognosticator that the Internet is about to collapse. Once it was the stellar growth in bandwidth demand driven by the phenomenal increase in Internet-connected devices. At other times, it was the lack of Net neutrality (see this video). Still other times, it was sinister attacks on BGP or the fact that we've run out of IPv4 addresses.
April 11, 2011 09:30 AM
In the early days of Ethernet switch vendors, IT organizations would routinely hear vendors profess to deliver better line rate performance at 20 percent less than the market leader. The catch, because there was always a catch in this industry, was that performance was only achievable in specific circumstances. Turn on port monitoring or enable encryption and Ethernet switch performance would skid to a halt. A similar story may be brewing in the WAN optimization space. While vendors, such as Blue Coat, Riverbed, and Silverpeak, rush to tell us about how they can achieve incredible performance improvement, turning an OC-3 into an OC-12, other limiting factors may prevent end users from actually seeing those numbers.
March 30, 2011 11:13 AM
Recently, on the LinkedIN WAN optimization professionals group, I participated in a conversation around whether virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is ready for the WAN. Face it, delivering responsive VDI over the WAN is going to be a challenge. One of the interesting points that came up was the importance of correcting for packet loss when considering WAN optimizers.
March 11, 2011 10:28 AM
Listening to the give and take about WAN optimizers made me remember another battle between networking giants. It was nearly 10 years ago, during the early days of firewalls, when it seemed Marcus Ranum, then with Network FlightRecorder, would go head-to-head with Check Point's Gil Schwed on a weekly basis. Ranum was among the early creators of the application proxy and was vociferous about the value of delivering a firewall that terminated and inspected every session before passing the contents onto the destination. It was very effective, very secure and yet ultimately eclipsed by competing approaches.
February 16, 2011 13:57 PM
Last week, Blue Coat upgraded its MACH5 to become the industry's first IPv6-compatible WAN optimizer. WAN optimizers have long supported tunneled IPv6 over IPv4, but the MACH5 is the first WAN optimization appliance to accelerate native IPv6--and then some. The MACH5 is actually a very sophisticated IPv6 application layer gateway (ALG), providing IPv6 connectivity, security and optimization in a single device. Yet it's precisely its sophistication that raises questions around device scalability and price.
February 14, 2011 11:56 AM
I was sitting in on a peer-to-peer exchange about virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) hosted by Wikibon and listening to how great VDI is for organizations. I asked about multisite VDI and what recommendations people had for implementing VDI between sites. The speaker paused and said that she hadn't see any multisite implementations. No surprise there. VDI itself is still in its infancy, but it hit me once again that if organizations are going to see VDI's benefits at the remote office, they've got to pay close attention to their WAN acceleration layer.
January 06, 2011 11:04 AM
Signs of the increasingly pivotal role that WAN optimization is playing in the enterprise can be seen in the emergence of hybrid cloud architectures within corporate networks. As Mike so poignantly pointed out in his blog, the simple ability to run a VM does not make an application ready for the cloud. If developers are to leverage on-demand services, such as Amazon's EC2, they need to rethink how they architect their software to leverage a hybrid cloud environment.
November 17, 2010 10:45 AM
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.
October 21, 2010 09:00 AM
Two months ago we were talking about when IOV would make it to the motherboard. Representatives from Xsigo played down the whole concept, arguing it was still premature . Perhaps they were right, or perhaps it was just misdirection on the part of Jon Toor, vice president of marketing at Xsigo, because buried in the details of HP's new server introduction, the SL6500 was IOV on the motherboard. The back and forth illustrates what's right and wrong in today's IOV world.
October 04, 2010 09:30 AM
Avaya and Skype have announced a joint integration that makes Skype services available on a variety of Avaya platforms. Under the terms of the relationship, Avaya customers in the US will be able to make global calls via Skype right from their Avaya communications system. This is good news for enterprises today because the partnership can help them cut costs. In the long term, it may be even better news for contact centers because it will provide greater opportunity for businesses to connect with customers via voice, video, IM and more.
September 24, 2010 14:38 PM
Collaboration pundits got their drool opportunity last week with the introduction of Flare, Avaya's new communication tablet. For IT pros, Flare's real impact may have less to do what happens while in the hall and more at the desk. The Flare Experience, as Avaya calls is, a new kind of interface that will initially be available on the Avaya Desktop Video Device. Think of it as an iPad for business users.
August 27, 2010 10:30 AM
Enterprise IT professionals have reputations as curmudgeons who can cite 32 reasons why deploying a particular codec won't work on a particular link, or why choosing that particular application isn't the smartest thing to do (aka a really dumb thing to do). But have we missed the mark by being skeptical of Google's communication revolution? Surely you've had to field questions like "Why can't we just use Google Docs?" or "Can't I just run GTalk inside the firewall?" But there's good reason for the IT curmudgeon to hold off on adopting Google as a Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) provider, at least for now.
August 17, 2010 11:00 AM
I recently wrote about how Skype is going to be using the revenue generated from the IPO to attack the business market. The company does a good job highlighting its penetration into fringe business cases--mobility and international calling--and emerging business cases, such as video calling, but perceptions of Skype as prone to security and other problems have been a barrier to enterprise-grade use. Should you consider Skype for enterprise-wide deployment? Let's discuss.
August 11, 2010 13:00 PM
Reading about Skype's IPO filing on Gigaom reminded me of a conversation that I and Michael Osterman had with David Gurlé, the general manager for Skype for Business in June. Gurlé was in France at the time when we caught up with him, and we spoke about the Skype's future in the business market. He was bullish, as you'd expect, about their prospects to penetrate business, and went through detailed plans on how Skype for Business would succeed in business communications.
April 11, 2007 04:00 AM
Without the collaboration of competing vendors, UXcomm's SOMA looks less like a solution to managing the virtualized data center and more like a marketing move at short-lived media attention.
March 15, 2007 04:00 AM
Despite the best efforts of the communications industry, telephony servers have never been a strategic buy. Most VoIP purchases are made to increase business value rather than transform the enterprise.