• 03/10/2006
    5:00 AM
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The Art of IT: Keeping It Real

Network Computing editors are committed to creating the most comprehensive tests -- and therefore the most thorough analysis -- of technology anywhere.
Network Computing's mission is to help you turn your IT strategies into reality. In that spirit, you can think of my last column as a dose of strategy, and this column as a dose of reality. As I discovered on a tour of the magazine's far-flung labs, our testing facilities are as real as it gets. Our hard-working editors use these facilities to pound on products and provide expert analysis so you get the straight story on today's most critical technologies.

Finger Lakes Fun

My first stop was our Real-World Labs® at Syracuse University. Last time I visited, the lab was in the basement of Machinery Hall on the SU campus--grungy digs. Now, the facility runs in conjunction with SU's School of Information Studies, and boasts an enterprise data center, with 40 KVA of power and cooling. The racks are strung together with five miles of Cat 5 cabling, there's a SAN and a pile of servers. Lab manager Ron Anderson showed off the facility and promptly informed me that there was barely enough equipment for the technology editors and freelancers to do their jobs. New bosses always come with a new budget, right?

While our data center at SU is noteworthy, even more impressive is the collaboration between our editors, contributing editors, and the School of Information Studies' faculty and students. While I was there, two engineers from Cisco arrived with a refrigerator-sized box of gear destined for a Wi-Fi test, now in progress. The engineers spent one day discussing their solution with Dave Molta and a throng of his students. The next day was spent on installation, after which the Cisco team left and Dave's team got down to testing the gear.

It's a particular point of pride for me to see our editors work so closely with students. The editors' wisdom and experience blend nicely with the students' energy and enthusiasm to produce some of our best work.

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