Art Wittmann

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Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

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A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

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Microsoft Releases Data Protection Manager 2007

For businesses that rely heavily on Microsoft back office products, DPM 2007 has a lot going for it. The product provides near continuous backup for products such as Exchange, SQLServer, SharePoint server and more. Continuous Data Protection, or CDP, is an abused term. Real CDP requires fat pipes usually between similar storage arrays and usually - though not always - comes from the storage vendor. This is expensive stuff, and is often beyond the needs of many businesses.

In true Microsoft fashion, DPM 2007 is a reasonable alternative to what can be a very costly technology. DPM replicates state dependent systems like Exchange and SQL Server as often as every 15 minutes. the system manages moving those snapshots (up to 512 per system)to external disk systems and to tape archive. Bare metal recovery is part of DPM's capability.

The software is definitely affordable at $722 for the DPM servers and $199 for the standard file agent.

Microsoft uses the usual mechanisms to achieve protection. The system stores only changes, which amount to a series of incremental backups usually to disk. Archiving can then be done on the backup rather than burdening the production system.

The system is typical of Microsoft insomuch as it is very simple, but may lack some of the detailed configuration options of competitors. That said, for Microsoft shops, it's absolutely worth a look.

Art Wittmann is a freelance journalist and writer with 30 years of experience in IT and IT journalism. Wittmann specializes in IT infrastructure, cloud computing and data center issues. Email him at Follow him on twitter @artwittmann

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