Network Computing's Best Stories of 2012
Andrew Conry Murray
December 28, 2012
It's been a busy year in technology. Clouds, both public and private, continued to dominate the conversation about where and how IT can provide services to business users. The mobile invasion carried on with its relentless march into the enterprise. Microsoft released a new OS in an effort to keep Windows relevant during the long, slow decline of PC dominance. SSDs gave storage admins a new angle to argue over in the price vs. performance debate. And software-defined networking swallowed entire industries from San Francisco to San Jose.
Our bloggers and reporters covered these and other topics in great detail. Here's the best of their work from the past year, including analysis and how to's.
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Networking and Data Center
Software-defined networking (SDN) and OpenFlow aren't the same thing. We'll clarify the technical differences and discuss a more important distinction: SDN emphasizes applications that drive network usability and business requirements, while OpenFlow is a technology to link an SDN controller and network devices.
GoDaddy's September outage proves that whether threatened by internal errors or outsider forces, enterprises need to ensure that their DNS is safeguarded just as much as mission-critical data.
Cisco introduced Open Network Environment, its take on software-defined networking, at Cisco Live. Learn how it's approaching SDN.
Books made from ink and paper still have appeal--and serve a purpose--for network and IT pros. Here are four that no network engineer should be without.
Arista's 7124FX switch uniquely puts customer programmable FPGAs at the edge of the network for microsecond application processing.
Cisco Virtual Port Channel (vPC) technology enables multichassis link aggregation (MLAG) in Nexus 5500 data center switches. This article walks through how to create a vPC domain between two Nexus switches, including code examples and configuration tips.
IT pros need to learn the proper language to communicate with the data center facilities team. Lesson one: the difference between power and energy.
Wireless networks have changed in a big way in the past 10 years. Take a look at how it used to be, and how Big Wireless has changed wireless networking.
Don't fall for vendor scare tactics about an impending iPad-fueled WLAN-a-geddon.
Vendors are introducing 802.11ac products--are you ready for the wireless standard? Here's what you need to know.
The 802.11ac wireless standard will be ratified in 2013, and pre-standard consumer hardware is on the market. Follow these five steps to prepare now for the day when 802.11ac comes knocking.
Network Computing takes a close look at the pros and cons of available storage virtualization options.
Apple's Fusion Drive, a hybrid of SSD and hard disk, revs up iMac performance while also providing terabytes of capacity. PC makers should pay attention to this powerful combination.
Our blogger examines SSD-based storage arrays: Are latency and cost drawbacks? What about reliability?
Storage quality of service (QoS) aims to make storage performance more predictable without the need to over-allocate resources. We'll look at the ins and outs of this emerging concept.
Casino gaming machines undergo independent scrutiny to certify their reliability. Shouldn't voting machines get the same treatment?
New technologies are emerging to streamline storage environments. Whether you call those technologies storage virtualization, storage hypervisors or software defined storage, IT still has to be persuaded to embrace them.
Cloud and Mobile
Android has given Microsoft the first really credible competitor to a major new version of Windows in more than a decade.
What are the differences between OpenStack and CloudStack? Here are some things to know.
Network Computing provides detailed information on 12 IaaS vendors, from Amazon to Terremark. Readers can download features charts with more than 60 data points and compare details on services, SLAs, pricing and more.
IT admins can't clone themselves, but they can get darned close to being two places at once by using mobile tools. The following Android apps, several of which are free, offer handy consoles for network mapping, remote client administration, cloud management, Wi-Fi analysis and more.
Most data centers are boring boxes--but not all. Take a look at a data center that houses a supercomputer in a chapel, or an underground data center with James Bond-styling, or a solar-powered data center, and much, much more.
It's the time of the season to make a list and check it twice. We've assembled a holiday wish list for work and play, including tools to improve your mobile life, gaming gadgets, and tablet alternatives for those who already have, or don't want, an Apple in their stockings.