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Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
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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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Thursday, August 8, 2013
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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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Crash Course: Router Redundancy Protocols

Peter Morrissey is a faculty member of Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, and a contributing editor and columnist for Network Computing. Write to him at ppmorris@syr.edu.

Single-Vendor Advantages

Router vendors offer proprietary solutions that may provide quicker and more efficient failover schemes than standard protocols. And a single-vendor solution can help avoid finger-pointing after an outage.

Extreme Networks' EAPS (Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching) protocol is the only one designed to fail over within 50 ms. Individual rings can be configured for each aggregator-to-core connection. Foundry Networks also has a proprietary redundancy solution and is working to implement the IETF's BFD (Bidirectional Forwarding Detection) draft protocol, to detect failures more quickly than existing standards when link detection isn't possible. It's not too early to ask your equipment vendors if and when they plan to provide support for BFD.

Nortel Networks' VRRP implementation lets both core routers be active, rather than having just one active and the other on standby--plus, Nortel says it will operate in a multivendor environment. Nortel also uses its SMLT (Split Multilink Trunking) protocol so you can deploy 802.3ad between the aggregator and multiple core routers--SMLT tricks the switches into thinking they are connecting to one switch. Nortel says the protocol works across multivendor environments and the company hopes to make it an IETF standard. Hewlett-Packard, meanwhile, uses its mesh technology in its ProCurve switches to balance traffic dynamically across redundant links using flows based on Ethernet addresses. Cisco Systems uses HSRP (Hot Standby Redundancy Protocol), the precursor to VRRP. All these vendors support the standards-based protocols as well.

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