Randy George


Upcoming Events

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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See more from this blogger

Ready For Open Source WAN Acceleration?

Open-source products have always had a place in enterprise IT. Administrators and engineers usually have some open source tools around, whether on production systems, in a test and dev lab, or in an skunk works playground where folks can knock around ideas and try new things. Consider how open-source alternatives have reshaped the Network Management System (NMS) space.

Not so long ago, if you wanted to get a taste of a truly robust enterprise monitoring solution, you had to drop serious cash on the table--even if you only wanted a few of the features that the big names included in their packages. These days, IT pros have robust options from Nagios to Zenoss and others that provide key capabilities without the costs of commercial software.

So what about WAN acceleration and optimization? For many, WAN acceleration is still an untried technology. The skeptics that have no WAN acceleration now are interested, but need to be won over. With budgets tight, many IT managers want to drive before they buy. Unfortunately, shaking a demo appliance out of a Riverbed or a Bluecoat isn't always feasible, especially if you're a small to medium sized shop.

Enter open-source WAN acceleration. Don't expect to see open-source alternatives as mature as those in NMS, but projects like WANProxy and Squid can perform surprisingly well if you have some Linux talent on staff. WANProxy accelerates and compresses TCP and Squid does the brute-force work of caching; drop the software onto some spare servers and your staff can get a feel for the benefits of WAN optimization for short dollars.

I'm making the disclaimer up front that WANProxy and Squid are not generally scalable replacements for large-scale acceleration, but if you have the time, and you're curious about what sort of performance benefits might be out there, give each a try. If you've seen or had success with any other low cost or open source WAN acceleration or optimization alternatives out there, please share them with us!  We're always looking to test out new and innovative solutions in the Network Computing labs.

Randy George is a systems analyst and network engineer. Read other stories by him at informationweek.com/randygeorge.


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