Networking: Opinions

  • Small SNW plays could make big waves

    Storage Networking World came and went with me neck-deep in my lab testing products for review. Yet even at a distance, some of what was announced in Dallas this week caught my attention as harbingers of advances to come.

  • Google boxes the rest of us in

    It doesn't take a genius to realize that you could build an addition onto your data center by stuffing some equipment in a separate container. It just takes a genius to secure the intellectual property for it.

  • SSL VPNs a good option for remote access

    The mobility and remote-access boom is undeniable. Rapidly expanding wireless bandwidth coupled with the improving capabilities of laptop computers, mobile phones, personal digital assistants and other mobile devices is making it possible for organisations to adopt new means of satisfying the mobile workforce's demand for anytime, anywhere access to information.

  • Computing trends overburden the network

    Don't call it "client/server." Today's database-driven applications are a world apart from the green-screen terminal apps of decades past. And yet, in this age when "the network is the computer," more and more data processing tasks are handed off to remote resources. Server-based applications, centralized content management, SOA (service-oriented architecture), and SaaS (software as a service) are all part of this trend -- and all put increased burden on enterprise network links.

  • Why gateways are pivotal to the rest of the network

    A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the impact of wireless LAN system architecture on performance and why the debate on this issue won't be settled any time soon. This week I want to look at the impact of system and solution architecture on the success of wireless wide-area networks (WWANs).

  • Best of open source in security

    In areas such as CRM software and portals, open source gained a foothold because users were willing to compromise -- less could be more, because the price was right. In security, open source rushed in because commercial vendors fell down on the job. As security problems in the enterprise outstripped the capabilities of commercial solutions, a number of talented security researchers stepped into the breach via the open source model.

  • Best of open source in platforms and middleware

    Open source cut its teeth on operating systems, earned its street cred on Linux and Apache, and never looked back, continuing ever since to extend the kingdom to databases, middleware, and newfangled platforms such as hypervisors for server virtualization. Our Bossies in platforms and middleware recognize a few old faces, and some fairly new ones.

  • Best of open source in networking

    If we had to pick the most significant trend in networking today, the VoIP phenomenon might well top the list. And open source is playing no small part. While enterprises remain reluctant to rip out their tried-and-true PBXes, open source VoIP -- usually in the form of Asterisk -- is capturing business communications one small business or branch office at a time. Sooner or later, enterprises too will catch the open source VoIP bug. The cost savings and flexibility are too compelling to resist.

  • Green In and Out

    There are two kinds of people: optimists and pessimists. Sadly, I'm one of the latter. So I wasn't surprised when the vast majority of scientists concluded that human contributions to the buildup of greenhouse gases are a key component of global warming.

  • Unified communications - battle royal

    For me the recent VoiceCon show in San Francisco gave new meaning to the words "unified messaging." As I made my rounds to close to two dozen analyst meetings, almost every executive was focused on laying out their company's "Unified Communications" strategy and/or its upper-stack cousin, "Communications-enabled Business Processes." UC and CEBP were certainly the stars of the show but how we'll get there is not at all clear and a big battle is brewing.

  • Intel adds desktop NAC to latest chips

    Intel's move to provide new integration with NAC (network access control) tools in its latest vPro desktop processors could provide interesting opportunities for use with the device authentication systems while further strengthening the technology standards it supports, according to industry watchers.

  • E-mail's future, pumped look

    With IBMs launch earlier this month of Lotus Notes 8 and this week's unveiling of Lotus SameTime Version 8, industry analysts say we are beginning to see the evolution of the e-mail client from a communications tool into a coordination channel. And when that happens, IBM may be in the unprecedented position of getting a second chance at knocking off longtime market leader Microsoft Outlook.

  • Lotus Notes and Domino 8 show new life

    I'll admit that in my IBM Lotus Notes 7 review about two years ago, I got Version 8's release date a wee bit off. Hey, the fortune teller I consulted skipped town right after the reading. But my wrap-up hit the mark, saying Notes 8 "should further support composite applications, such as bringing together e-mail, documents, and meetings into a single interface -- a key part of an SOA." Here's my initial impression of how well IBM Lotus engineers met this goal and the way they did it.

  • Network Notables: Seven golden rules for implementing IPv6

    IPv6 is not a "maybe" that could be 10 or 20 years out in the future; it is a hard reality you are going to encounter, possibly before the end of this decade, IP routing expert and author of Routing IP published by Cisco Press, Jeff Doyle, claims. He has detailed his top seven considerations for rolling out IPv6.

  • Exchange 2007 SP1 packed with goodies

    This is what happens when your friends have kids. The kids get sick; your friend gets sick. He comes over to help with rebuilding your deck. You get sick. Or, rather, I get sick. As a dog - which is an expression I've never fully understood. But does that dissuade editors from asking for a column? Heck no. I could have been tagged in a drive-by and they'd still be looking for copy. So despite a head that feels like a beach ball stuffed with sand, I've managed to put together some details on Exchange 2007 Service Pack 1, which officially popped out from behind the secret beta earlier this week.

  • App Accel and Microsoft's stack attack

    "Niche killer" has been an oft-encountered modus operandi of Microsoft over the years. Whether it is disk defragmentation, disk compression, firewall or antispyware, Microsoft has eventually decided to play the game and, in the process, change the game. While in the past these forays were limited, Microsoft is now poised to potentially shake up a much bigger space -- the world of application acceleration.

  • Take the guesswork out of capacity planning

    Paperwork bites. So badly, that it's amazing how far normally lucid (in my case semi-lucid) people will go to avoid it. For example: The process of reviving the Ducati also involves obtaining a new title because I've managed to lose the original ... somehow. That means going to New York where the bike was purchased, filling out paperwork, and dealing with notoriously uncooperative DMV staffers. Such an unpleasant prospect that I black out this weekend and come to in a BMW dealership trying to convince myself that buying a brand new, super-sexy K 1200 GT for US$20,000 is a good idea because the dealer will take care of the Duc. Now that's avoidance behavior!