David Hill

Network Computing Blogger


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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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Red Lambda: Security Revolution Or Just Evolution?

Security statistics are depressing. The bad guys seem to be overwhelming the good guys, even when the good guys are well-known security vendors. So when an emerging company, such as Red Lambda, claims to have software that significantly improves the odds for the good guys, you need to pay close attention.

As an industry analyst, I am briefed by vendors large and small (and in-between, as well). Large vendors have a rich variety of products, and trying to keep track of everything is a little like being a ringmaster at a three-ring circus. Smaller companies (especially startups) tend to focus on one (or, at most, a few) products.

That can be somewhat limiting, so in examining a smaller company, I look for a defensible value proposition that enables it to clearly differentiate itself from the competition and enable it to compete effectively with larger, established companies that have all the resource advantages (large installed base, solid distribution channels and a well-endowed R&D infrastructure, among other things). That is not to say that the smaller companies cannot compete with the giants; as we well know, many have done so successfully. However, for every truly successful startup, how many more struggle to gain traction and profitability, have modest success or are, frankly, failures?

Most startups have a decent story or at least enough salesmanship skills to get hard-nosed or even reluctant venture capitalists to supply funding. Still, many of these companies are a variation on a theme. SSD startups are popular today, but identifying the winners and losers is hard, at best. Others may have brilliant ideas, but market forces may make success difficult--for example, a maker of a software product that is best sold through a service provider, but the service provider cannot make as much on the service engagement as it would prefer or demand.

Other startups have a clearer path to success. They offer a compelling value proposition, and adoption by many, many enterprise customers is a reasonable assumption. Now, it is too soon to say whether Red Lambda will be in the winner’s circle (as there is many a slip between cup and lip). However, pay attention to what Red Lambda can do.

Security is always a major topic on the CIO agenda. The number of technologies that address security issues, from oldies, such as firewalls, to newer technologies, such as security event appliances, is mind boggling. Yet threats keep on mounting. Anti-virus technology has to meet new threats quickly after the fact. Responding to threat vectors in real-time is difficult, especially when the threat is hard to identify. And the bad guys seem to possess deep knowledge of the seams or holes in the software aspects of the information infrastructure, including applications, database systems and operating systems.


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