Howard Marks

Network Computing Blogger

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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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Novell Is Dead; Cause Of Death Is Lack Of Focus

In yet another chapter of how the once mighty have fallen, once dominant network operating system vendor Novell announced today that it's being acquired by long time mainframe connectivity vendor Attachmate.  Twenty years ago we would have viewed this as a marriage made in heaven, or at least Maui, as Attachmate's 3270 and 5250 connectivity tools were key to connecting NetWare networks to the IT department's "Real Computers". Today the response seems to be AttachWHO?

Attachmate buying Novell surprises me less than it did many of the folks I follow on Twitter. Novell's main assets are SUSE Linux, the ZENworks system management suite and the eDirectory technology.  ZENworks fits with Attachmate's NetIQ group and SUSE can stand on its own. For the rest  Attachmate is well known for maximizing their license income from products, like TN3270 clients, with declining new license revenue going so far as to sue state governments and police forces for under buying licenses.

As a guy who once made his living by being the world's greatest expert in making Windows 3.x work with NetWare, it's sad that Novell's coming to such an ignominious end. Of course over the years Novell made some astounding blunders.

The biggest of course was when Ray Noorda decided that he should take on Microsoft on all fronts by buying WordPerfect to challenge Microsoft Office. Not only did that mean taking on Microsoft's cash cow, but WordPerfect itself was already on the decline as Windows took over from DOS and WordPerfect for Windows was late and frankly not so good.

In fact most of Novell's missteps came from delusions of grandeur and a failure to, as Johnny Mercer's old song said "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive".  NetWare was a highly optimized and, for its time, high performance file server operating system with an outstanding reputation for reliability.  NetWare servers routinely ran for years without reboots as the Netware Loadable Module (NLM) architecture allowed patching on the fly where other OSes (Windows) needed, and still needs, to reboot.  

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