Mike Fratto

Network Computing Editor

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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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What To See At The Interop Exhibit Hall

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 can catch all of TechWeb's Interop coverage at the Special Report Page.

I made a point of stopping by the InteropNet Labs OpenFlow demonstration by the NOC and catching up with team lead Jed Daniels. Setting up a demonstration, as anyone in IT who has done one knows, is a difficult job, but Daniels and his team were pretty far along in the process. The demonstration has 16 different vendors, all interoperating in the lab network. Some of the more interesting demonstrations will be showing a virtual machine move between the OpenFlow Lab and participating vendor booths.

iheartopenflow.jpgThe techs will walk you through how the network is designed and then show it, and what is really interesting is that the address spaces overlap in both locations but the move happens. They will also demonstrate bridging to a non-OpenFlow network, which shows how you can have both an OpenFlow managed network and a traditional one running side-by-side and that you can split a physical switch into OpenFlow and non-OpenFlow. Finally, they will have OpenFlow running in a Xen hypervisor.

Be sure to take a NOC tour with one of the InteropNet volunteers. They will walk you through the InteropNet, featuring a backbone of Cisco and HP switches, wireless gear from Cisco and Meru, and the monitoring and management layout. This is also the first year that Interop is offering IPv6 throughout the show, and the tour will highlight that, as well.

Other highlights include the Security Zone, where you can see current security-related products, and the Czech Republic zone, which showcases companies from (you guessed it) the Czech Republic. I have always enjoyed going through the Korean zone during past shows to see what companies from that area were doing. Hope you enjoy the show, and let us know what you found interesting by commenting below.

Mike Fratto is editor of Network Computing. You can email him, follow him on Twitter, or join the Network Computing group on LinkedIN. He's not as grumpy as he seems.

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