Networking: Opinions

  • Why Avaya deal is good for customers

    For the price of US$8.2 billion, private equity firms Silver Lake and TPG Capital have offered to take Avaya private. This is the largest such transaction ever in the enterprise networking and communications arena. And it's a positive development for Avaya's shareholders, employees and most importantly its customers.

  • SMB - SMBs emerge from the enterprise shadow

    Not long ago, network products for small and midsize businesses were nothing more than enterprise products with lower port densities and perhaps a partial lobotomy. After all, if it's good for Citibank or General Motors, it has to be good for you, right? Not really -- but it sounds good, if that's what you're selling.

  • A bullish outlook for Longhorn security

    Vista's security advances may be ambitious, but they could seem ho-hum in comparison to those of Longhorn when the server OS stampedes onto the scene later this year. The last time we saw Longhorn it was still prebeta 3, but its security promise remains bright.

  • Dealing with 'technically challenged' tech techs

    The call forwarded to me seemed simple enough. A vendor's technician was at a client's site to install a card access system, and he was having issues connecting to the application running on a Windows Server 2003 over the corporate LAN. He requested that the network be checked to ensure there were no network issues. I proceeded to the site with my tool kit and a laptop with a sniffer program installed.

  • Why standards matter

    The fact that a particular enterprise-class piece of network gear meets a formal industry standard certainly doesn't guarantee that it works and performs as advertised.

  • Understanding delta compression

    While WAN-compression solutions have been around for years, new compression advances have resulted in previously unheard of gains in bandwidth savings. Delta compression, commonly referred to as segment caching or byte caching, leverages pattern-matching techniques and large persistent dictionaries to dramatically reduce the amount of data sent across the WAN.

  • DEMO - Vendors make a splash

    Sixty-eight companies at Network World's DEMO 07 conference last week managed to bring attention to their new products and services without shutting down a single highway, bridge or river. Not a bomb-sniffing dog in sight. No one hauled off in handcuffs.

  • BOB as an IT industry acronym?

    SpongeBob SquarePants is cool, and Bob the Builder isn't a bad guy. I can even root for "Smiling Bob" on those Enzyte natural male enhancement commercials.

  • 10GBase-T taps twisted-pair wiring

    The IEEE in June approved the publication of the 802.3an-2006 standard, otherwise known as 10GBase-T. This document describes a physical layer (PHY) transmission device for 10Gbps Ethernet over twisted-pair copper. While running 10G Ethernet over this type of wiring was once thought to be impossible, standards makers relied on four technical building blocks to make 10GBase-T a reality: cancellation, analog-to-digital conversion, cabling enhancements and coding improvements.

  • Brocade/McData: Only fools rush in?

    The expectation that rivals Brocade Communications Systems and McData would eventually beat their swords into plowshares to present a united front against Cisco's predations was already in the cards. Nonetheless, Brocade's pre-emptive bid last week to gobble up fellow SAN (storage area networks) switch vendor McData for a whopping US$713 million is raising eyebrows.

  • PCI Express gains I/O virtualization

    The PCI Express bus has emerged as an efficient and cost-effective platform for network applications. Created to address the performance, scalability and configuration limitations of older parallel computer bus architectures, this general-purpose serial I/O interconnect has been widely adopted in enterprise, desktop, mobile, communications and embedded applications.

  • Exchange upgrade: challenges ahead

    Corporate users who migrate to Exchange 2007 will face mandatory infrastructure changes that, while advancing security and management, could add complexity and costs to their networks.

  • Branch in a box for remote management

    Looking to eliminate the hodgepodge of devices users have to manage in branch offices, many customers are turning to single, multi-function devices known as a "branch in a box" that perform branch-office network functions while being managed remotely.

  • Enter the age of the warm, fuzzy IT integrator

    Your technology integrators want to know what keeps you awake at night. Don't worry; they're not going to offer to sing something soft and soothing over your plain old telephone service line at 3am. But many are taking their consultative capabilities to a whole new level.

  • InfiniBand: Back to the beginning

    Some readers may remember efforts during the 1990s by Compaq, HP and IBM to deliver a high-speed serial connection technology called Future I/O. Some may also recall a competing technology -- Next Generation I/O (NGIO) -- from a group consisting of Intel, Microsoft, and Sun. Eventually the two camps merged their efforts to work on what all commonly saw as the next generation of technology for connecting servers and storage.

  • IT will give up control

    As we look at all the changes taking place on the Internet during the past several years, I think we can boil it down to two simple observations. First, the volume of traffic is increasing exponentially: e-mail, IM, and RSS all mean more connections. Second, each connection is moving a great deal more data, including multimedia, voice, and video.

  • App IDS guards databases

    Applications and their back-end databases are increasingly exposed to application-level intrusions, such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting attacks and access by unauthorized users -- all of which bypass front-end security systems and attack data at its source.

  • Linux comes to the channel, in a big way

    A recent development that could result in an uptick in corporate Linux desktop adoption had nothing to do with the open source community, government rulings, or legal fillings by SCO or Microsoft.