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Special Report: Standards Rule


It's easy to point out the flaws in IT standards and the bodies that produce them. They can be glacial in execution, weakened by compromise, co-opted (or ignored) by vendors with the biggest market share--or just plain boring.

But consider the alternatives: technological anarchy where no two products integrate, or totalitarian control by entrenched monopolies. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, standards are the worst form of government, except all those other forms that have been tried.

Fact is, without standards, the Internet wouldn't exist, interbusiness communication would be near impossible and you'd be under the thumb of equipment vendors (anyone remember IBM SNA and Digital DECnet?). The effect of standards on your network and application infrastructures can't be overstated. That's why we've prepared this primer on key standards in major technology areas: enterprise applications, security, servers and storage, management, wireless and network infrastructure.

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