Top Network Computing Stories of 2013

This year's most-read stories include news and analysis of software-defined networking, a compilation of free mobile wireless tools, and just-for-fun slideshows.

December 26, 2013

3 Min Read
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In 2013, IT professionals as usual had their hands full keeping corporate networks humming along, but they also kept a close eye on the rise of software-defined networking. This year's favorite articles include SDN news, a how-to on Cisco Nexus Fabric Extenders, and IT memes. Here are the 10 most-read stories on Networking Computing of this year.

10 Ways Software-Defined Networking Will Change IT

When networking professionals converged upon New York for Interop in the fall, software-defined networking (SDN) was a major theme throughout session talks and informal conversations. As the industry watches the results of early adopter case studies and hears pundits advocate for this new means of controlling the network fabric, consensus is building for the potential that SDN could be an IT game-changer. Here's how, in the words of experts from around the industry.

10 Free Network Analysis Tools

Network management can be a tall task without the right statistics and data about traffic flows, device configurations and user activities. The following utilities offer visibility into various aspects of network activity without breaking the bank. Utilizing these free tools gives network managers a better foothold for improving performance, spotting potential problems and nipping security incidents in the bud.

VMware's SDN Dilemma: VXLAN or Nicira?

VMware has invested in two overlay network approaches: the VXLAN standard originally conceived by Cisco and STT, drafted by SDN startup Nicira. VMware acquired Nicira for more than a billion dollars. Which will VMware choose?

Inside Google's Software-Defined Network

Google shared details on its production use of OpenFlow in its SDN network at the Open Networking Summit in the spring.

How to Set Up Cisco Nexus Fabric Extender

Cisco Nexus Fabric Extenders (FEXs) provide ToR connectivity for Nexus 5000 and 7000 series switches. This 9-step plan shows you how to bring a FEX online, and includes configuration tips and code examples.

Software-Defined Networking Architectures

Software-defined networking is a hot topic for debate in the industry. Experts argue about the best way to implement it, the ways it might affect network engineers and administrators, and how it might disrupt the traditional power structure in the networking industry. While there are a lot of opinions about this emerging technology, there's one inescapable fact: SDN has brought new attention and innovation to the network.

To get a view into the various approaches to SDN, we asked 10 vendors to supply images and short descriptions of their SDN technology. While there's some marketing fluff in some of the write-ups, the images provide a window into the wide range of technical approaches to SDN.

10 Free and Low-Cost Mobile Wireless Tools

There's no replacing meaty, licensed tools for wireless network support. But a growing number of free and low-cost apps are available when all you have is a smartphone or tablet at hand. Most of the gems live in the Android space, so you iOS developers need to get to work.

Linux Desktop In The Enterprise: Ubuntu Vs. Windows

With Windows 8.1 and Ubuntu 13.10 just out and Windows XP support going away, this is a good time for companies to consider switching to Linux on the desktop.

Nerdy Gifts For Networking Pros

Does your favorite IT guy or gal have just about every Dr. Who, Star Wars or Star Trek collectible known to man? Are you looking for something a little different for that geeky loved-one or fellow cube-dweller? Have no fear, Network Computing has come to the rescue with this year's ultimate IT gift guide. We've got a range of gifts appropriate for stocking stuffers, gift exchanges, employee appreciation gifts and just plain old fun gifts for roommates or family members.

10 Amusing IT Memes

From Google Glass to Linux to tech support hell, these memes put an amusing slant on the day-to-day business of information technology. Whether it's The World's Most Interesting Man on routing, or Morpheus from "The Matrix" with some uncomfortable truths about SDN, these memes should elicit a laugh. If we missed your favorite, or you've made your own, share it in the Comment section below.

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