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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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Software-Defined Networking Market to Soar to $2B--But Not Yet

One trend that has been affecting the security of enterprise networks is BYOD, or bring your own device. According to InformationWeek's 2012 State of Mobile Security, CIOs need to put the brakes on BYOD, shore up Wi-Fi polices and bolster encryption to secure corporate data. Pitt says SDN can enable an organization to control access to the network and resources at a very granular level. "You can directly program the network for the characteristics of an individual user."

The ability to program the network is what software-defined networking is all about, says Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research, but OpenFlow isn't the only avenue available. He notes some vendors such as Arista and Brocade have open APIs, enabling software-defined networks to work together. "A lot of people have linked software-defined networking and OpenFlow together, but it's programmability that makes a software-defined network."

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Software-defined networks could help enterprises deal with big data, as well as cloud computing, adds Doyle. "Big data is a network challenge--what's going to be local, and what's going to be remote?"

Doyle says OpenFlow is getting a lot of vendor support and there are a lot of OpenFlow products going to market, but it does pose challenges. "It's a new set of tools that have to be learned, and it doesn't do everything."

Bob Laliberte, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, says service providers and telcos in particular should look at software-defined networks, even though the technology is in its early days. He says SDN can help automate manual processes for companies looking to consolidate and scale up data centers.

It's still early days for SDN, says Kerravala: "There are lots of potential trajectories for the technology." He says enterprises need to look at their own particular challenges and focus on solving a specific business problem. For example, SDN lends itself to separating network traffic. "Software-defined networking is for networks what VMware was for servers," he explains.

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