Networking and Hardware Blog

Jan 24, 2011
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Windows IT Pro Arrives in Fort Collins! 2

Monday morning, 8am, we started streaming into the new building that would house Penton Media, home of Windows IT Pro and other fabulous magazines, such as SQL Server Magazine, SharePointPro Connections, and DevProConnections....More
Jan 20, 2011
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Windows IT Pro Is Moving!

For a couple decades, the home of Windows IT Pro has been Loveland, Colorado. That’s not as woodsy or mountainous or lovely as you might imagine. Truth be told, our digs have been lacking. Today is our final day in a building that has always seemed like “MC Escher meets Dilbert”—a poorly designed, bland block of an edifice standing in the middle of a grocery store parking lot, surrounded by a drab strip mall and a McDonald’s....More
Jan 14, 2011
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SMBs Not Prepared For Disasters, Don't Act Until It's Too Late 1

On the heels of its sixth annual Disaster Recovery Survey, Symantec has announced the findings of its 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey, which measured the attitudes and practices of SMBs and their customers toward disaster preparedness. The survey findings show that though SMBs are at risk, they're still not making disaster preparedness a priority until they experience a disaster or data loss. The data also reveals that the cost of not being prepared is high, putting an SMB at risk of going out of business....More
Dec 17, 2010
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The Benefits of Network Automation

Network automation—it's a technology and it's also the name of a company that prides itself on a no-code, no-limits approach to IT automation. In my recent discussion with Network Automation, Dustin Snell (founder, CEO, and chief software architect) and Gary Bishop (chief strategy officer) talked about the benefits of not only network automation but business process automation (BPA)—or IT process automation—which focuses on streamlining, optimizing, and automating the key processes that drive value for an organization and its customers. ...More
Dec 15, 2010
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Disaster-Recovery Study Points to Trends in the Cloud, Virtualization, and Testing

I recently spoke with Symantec's Dan Lamorena, director of storage and availability management, on the event of his company's sixth annual Symantec Disaster Recovery Study. Lamorena has worked on the study for five of those six years. The results of this year's study demonstrate the growing challenge of managing disparate virtual, physical, and cloud resources because of added c omplexity for organizations protecting and recovering mission critical applications and data....More
Dec 2, 2010
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IT Teams Lack Appropriate Tools to Manage Cloud and Virtual Networks 1

I always look forward to the release of Network Instruments' annual State of the Network Global Study. This is the company's fourth year conducting the study, which is consistently revealing about industry challenges and concerns. When I spoke with Network Instruments' Brad Reinboldt and Steve Brown last week, they said that the key findings of this year's results show a majority of companies implementing new technologies, but lacking appropriate tools to accurately manage performance....More
Nov 11, 2010
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New Free Tool from SolarWinds Analyzes Permissions

I’m a sucker for a great free tool, and in fact, you should be sure to keep watching this space for an ongoing series I plan to begin that will highlight popular free/open source tools available for the IT pro. On that note, I received some interesting news from SolarWinds about a new tool called Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory. Designed with feedback from SolarWinds’ systems administrator customers (I love companies that maintain this kind of communication with its customers), Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory gives users a quick and easy solution to help answer the question, “Who has the permission to do what?”...More
Nov 10, 2010
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“Too-Small” BlackBerry PlayBook Gets Pricing Details 1

Last month, Steve Jobs said his market darling iPad is better than any would-be competitor simply because of its 9.7” size. At a more diminutive 7”, he said, the BlackBerry PlayBook is too much of an in-betweener—bigger than a smartphone but smaller than an e-reader, and not really useful as either. Well, we’re getting closer to checking out the device for ourselves. It’s set to debut in the first quarter of 2011. Today, Research in Motion (RIM) co-CEO Jim Balsillie revealed some pricing information—namely, that it will be “very competitively priced” at “under $500” In North America....More
Oct 26, 2010
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Tablet Sales Strong, Netbooks Waning … Where's Microsoft?

IMS Research released an interim update to its tablet study following six months of iPad sales. The firm estimates that 21 million tablets will ship in 2010 and forecasts this market at 129 million units shipping in 2015. Based on the recently published study Impact of Connected Tablets on the Consumer Electronics Market – 2010 Interim Update, tablet sales are expected to continue at an even stronger rate as Apple expands its retail reach and as others such as Samsung and RIM introduce new products....More
Oct 21, 2010
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It’s the End of the File-System World as We Know It

Check out Paul Carpenter’s recent blog post about the rapidly evolving storage world. He talks at length about the coming end of file systems and the advent of the scalable object cloud. “Many evolutionary processes start with pain. So does this one - real PAIN. Stands for Proprietary, Aging, Isolated, Non-standard. Pretty much describes the archiving infrastructure in many organizations....More
Oct 15, 2010
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The Rise of Solid State Storage

Solid-state storage is the talk of the industry these days, promising an evolutionary step in the storage space. More and more, businesses are adopting Solid State Disks (SSDs), and in fact, Intel SSDs have scored well in our Windows IT Pro Community Choice and Editors' Best awards. That being said, some IT pros are hesitant about taking on such a young technology. Like any technology, as it has matured it has become more affordable, and so it has become quite enticing....More
Oct 4, 2010
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Salesforce.com Answers the Question, “What Is Cloud Computing?”

What exactly is cloud computing? It’s a term that doesn’t have a hard-and-fast definition, and yet it’s the talk of the industry. In this video, top-tier cloud-computing provider Salesforce.com does its best to answer a question that’s on everyone’s mind....More
Sep 29, 2010
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5 Reasons Why Object Storage Is the Best Choice for Cloud Storage Environments

Caringo recently provided us with some excellent advice about cloud storage environments. According to the company, "Cloud storage has changed the rules for deploying simpler, infinitely scalable, and more affordable storage. So it makes little sense to burden a cloud storage platform with storage systems that are based on 20th century file systems that inhibit administration, scalability and cost."...More
Sep 28, 2010
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How to Use Network Automation to Save Time and Money

Extreme Networks’ Huy Nguyen has written a handy little article for IT pros, espousing the benefits of using network automation “to cut back on tedious and expensive IT processes such as password resets, device provisioning, and simple employee moves.” (Nguyen is a Knowledge Center contributor at eWeek.com.) In the article, titled “How to Use Network Automation to Save Time and Money,” he explains how IT administrators can save time and virtually eliminate these IT costs by using network automation to streamline their organization’s IT processes....More
Sep 15, 2010
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Avere Responds to Storage Study

The fact that IT executives are challenged with managing storage growth isn't surprising, but some of the findings of this survey are. Between July 14 and August 10, Gatepoint Research invited more than 1,000 select executives to participate in the Next Generation Storage Performance survey, which asked them about their top storage challenges. The top responses were managing storage growth (77 percent) and managing costs (72 percent). Also, more than 66 percent of responders consider performance scaling decisively important—accomplished mainly by short-stroking HDDs, adding more HDDs and NAS controller upgrades....More
Aug 5, 2010
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Top 5 Considerations for Disaster-Recovery Planning 2

Nasuni is a storage company founded last year by industry veterans who wanted to deliver a secure gateway to cloud storage that makes the cloud feasible for business users. Recently, Nasuni contacted us to discuss the top five considerations—as the company sees them—to keep in mind for effective disaster-recovery planning. Those considerations are downtime, data integrity, cost, simplicity and security....More
Aug 3, 2010
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Product Branding in the Wake of Vision Solutions' Double-Take Acquisition

Last week, Vision Solutions acquired Double-Take Software—a Windows backup/recovery company with which we're all very familiar. When we spoke to Vision representatives recently, we talked about how the acquisition will significantly expand Vision Solutions’ product offerings in the Windows market, and we made a special point of asking how the acquisition will affect—if at all—Double-Take's reputation in that market....More
Jun 24, 2010
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Should You Use a Hosted (Cloud) Backup Solution?

Cloud storage, backup, and recovery solutions seem to have cropped up overnight in massive quantities. While these solutions were relatively unheard of just a few years back, there's about a dozen of them now out there, many of them sending me eager press releases about how cloud backup is the next big thing. But I have to wonder—are these cloud backup solutions much ado about nothing?...More
Jun 14, 2010
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TechEd 2010: NETIKUS.NET Talks EventSentry

On the first day of TechEd 2010, I met with Ingmar Koecher of NETIKUS.NET--always a pleasure to catch up. You'll recall that EventSentry is an interesting cross-platform, proactive, real-time monitoring solution that watches over your servers, workstations, and network devices to ensure maximum availability. EventSentry also assists with your compliance needs. "This is a versatile, reliable, comprehensive solution," Koecher says....More
May 18, 2010
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Azaleos Takes a Hybrid Approach to Exchange Storage Management

Microsoft has mad e some big storage-related changes in Exchange Server 2010. Specifically, it's now easier to afford a high-availability Exchange infrastructure by using existing or inexpensive commodity hardware (SATA in some cases)—rather than expensive, new SAN devices, for example. So, what's the safest and most economical storage approach for the next generation of Exchange Server?...More
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