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Category Archives for "Network World LAN & WAN"

Cisco sets $2.3B deal for unified access, multi-factor authentication security firm Duo

Cisco said today it had closed the $2.35 billion deal it made for network identity, authentication security company Duo.According to Cisco, Duo’s zero trust security model authorizes secure connections to all applications based on the trustworthiness of users and devices. Duo’s cloud-delivered technology lets IT professionals set and enforce risk-based, adaptive access policies and get enhanced visibility into users’ devices and activities.  As more devices come onto the network remotely this issue takes on more importance.“Outdated devices are particularly vulnerable to being compromised, which can easily spiral into a full-blown, major breach,” wrote Richard Archdeacon, Duo Advisory CISO about a recent Duo study on remote access security.   “Organizations don’t necessarily need to block individuals from using their personal devices, but they do need to re-shape their security models to fit these evolving working practices…If you don’t know what’s connecting to the network, how can you protect data from being compromised? “To read this article in full, please click here

802.11ax preview: Access points and routers that support new Wi-Fi protocol on tap

The latest update to the Wi-Fi protocol standard, 802.11ax, has been designed to transmit data even faster, to better negotiate bandwidth among several computers and other devices connected to a network, and to more reliably deliver high-bandwidth applications to them, such as streaming video, than the protocol standard it succeeds, 802.11ac.To take advantage of these gains, client and networking devices need to have hardware that supports the new protocol, of course. Many network device makers have announced 802.11ax products to come. They’ve also filed 802.11ax devices with the FCC for licensing, which reveal more technical information about them.To read this article in full, please click here

802.11ax preview: Access points and routers that support the Wi-Fi 6 protocol on tap

The latest update to the Wi-Fi protocol standard, 802.11ax, has been designed to transmit data even faster, to better negotiate bandwidth among several computers and other devices connected to a network, and to more reliably deliver high-bandwidth applications to them, such as streaming video, than the protocol standard it succeeds, 802.11ac.To take advantage of these gains, client and networking devices need to have hardware that supports the new protocol, of course. Many network device makers have announced 802.11ax products to come. They’ve also filed 802.11ax devices with the FCC for licensing, which reveal more technical information about them.To read this article in full, please click here

Industrial IoT faces big challenges

Future cellular Internet of Things (IoT) networks are going to be expected to deliver much lower latency and significantly higher reliability. Getting to that point, however, must be a step-by-step approach, said a telco equipment executive at Mobile World Congress Americas earlier this month.“Doing one at a time is not so difficult, but doing both at the same time is a challenge,” said Jawad Manssour, head of Networks Portfolio Management at Product Area Networks with equipment maker Ericsson, during a presentation at the conference.Ericsson is one of the world’s big three principal base station and cellular equipment vendors, along with Huawei and Nokia. Mobile network providers Sprint and Ericsson recently announced that they are building a distributed virtualized core IoT network and an IoT operating system.To read this article in full, please click here

5 criteria for application-aware SD-WANs

Over the past five years, SD-WANs deployments have skyrocketed. And for good reason: They increase network agility and cut the cost of network transport.One common myth about SD-WANs, however, is that they improve application performance. They certainly can under some circumstances, but there is no guarantee they will under all situations. SD-WANs address only part of the transformation of the network to becoming a digital enabler. SD-WANs must now become smarter, or “application aware,” to optimize user experience, improve customer service, and increase worker productivity. The requirement to have an application-aware network has never been more urgent, as application performance has a direct impact on a company’s top and bottom line. For example, according to an Accenture survey, 66 percent of millennials have changed their brand loyalties because of a bad user experience. Also, a recent ZK Research survey found that workers are 14 percent less productive than they could be as a result of poor application performance. Make no mistake; poorly performing applications are costing companies today.To read this article in full, please click here

400G Ethernet demos, plugfest tout hyperscale network power

High-speed Ethernet is taking center stage this week at the European Conference on Optical Communication in Rome, Italy where a number of vendors including Arista, Cisco and Huawei are showing off gear that will power large-enterprise and hyperscale networks.The key demos come from the Ethernet Alliance and the 100G Lambda multisource agreement (MSA) group that are pushing technology advances needed to support 400G Ethernet, including new pulse amplitude modulation or PAM4 for electrical and optical interfaces, high-bandwidth switching silicon and a new high-density pluggable connector system known as QSFP-DD.To read this article in full, please click here

NetBeez performs active network monitoring from the user perspective

It’s a fairly common scenario. An end user calls the help desk about a problem he’s experiencing. He might say, “I can't access the inventory application.” The worker has no idea why he can't get to the application today when it worked fine yesterday. The help desk consultant collects the relevant information for the ticket, which then gets escalated to the network operations center that is the control center for the enterprise.The technician assigned to the ticket doesn't know if this is a true network problem, an application problem, or even something that is specific to that user's workstation or environment. Narrowing the possible causes of the problem will require some investigation using various toolsets. Traditional network monitoring tools can tell if there’s anything wrong with a server, router, or switch on that user’s network segment. If those major components are fine, the hunt for the root cause gets underway. This can be time consuming in the absence of user-specific metrics.To read this article in full, please click here

Intel makes a play for high-speed fiber networking for data centers

Intel is revamping its strategy around the data center by going beyond the Xeon chip and into silicon photonics transceivers. The company announced Monday at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) that samples of its silicon photonics transceivers targeting 5G wireless infrastructure and data centers are available now, with production set to start in the first quarter of 2019.The company notes that global data center IP traffic is increasing significantly. In 2016, global data center IP traffic was 6.8 zettabytes, and that will triple by 2021 because of all this data generated by humans and the Internet of Things (IoT).The choke point becomes copper wire, the standard for Ethernet connectivity. Copper wire can only effectively transmit about eight to 10 meters, said Eoin McConnell, director of marketing for the connectivity group in Intel’s data center group. Fiber optics can go as far as 10 kilometers.To read this article in full, please click here

Hybrid IoT communications could be the best option

Using a sole communications technology doesn’t make sense in many Internet of Things (IoT) implementations, says connectivity vendor Sigfox.In fact, the company, which provides Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks, says one could use a hybrid that includes an unlicensed LPWA network along with a licensed, cellular LTE narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) or LTE Cat M1 network solution instead. That way you can support cheap, unlicensed IoT short messaging close up, as is offered by Sigfox and others, and then offload the sensor traffic to more expensive, licensed LTE cellular mobile networks as the devices move off home base, such as what happens in asset tracking, Sigfox says.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Zero Trust Networking (ZTN): don’t trust anything

John Kindervag, a former analyst from Forrester Research, was the first to introduce the Zero-Trust model back in 2010. The focus then was more on the application layer. However, once I heard that Sorell Slaymaker from Techvision Research was pushing the topic at the network level, I couldn’t resist giving him a call to discuss the generals on Zero Trust Networking (ZTN). During the conversation, he shone a light on numerous known and unknown facts about Zero Trust Networking that could prove useful to anyone. The traditional world of networking started with static domains. The classical network model divided clients and users into two groups – trusted and untrusted. The trusted are those inside the internal network, the untrusted are external to the network, which could be either mobile users or partner networks. To recast the untrusted to become trusted, one would typically use a virtual private network (VPN) to access the internal network.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Beware the networking industrial complex

There is a status quo in the networking industry that is the enemy of innovation. The major hardware equipment makers collectively benefit by propagating the many layers of equipment and protocols. This “deep state” that exists within our innovation economy must be defeated to unleash the next wave of innovative networking, which will be software-based and ideally designed to support business applications and services.One leader of the Networking Industrial Complex has a certified army of mercenaries that are compensated by unsuspecting enterprises to architect networks. These mercenaries attend training camps to be reprogrammed on a frequent basis. Examinations are held to ensure compliance. This entire system ensures that networking architectures, techniques and methods will not change. It’s no wonder many executives of companies are handing the keys to IT and networking to third parties.To read this article in full, please click here

Wi-Fi analytics get real

A number of Wi-Fi analytics tools have been brought to market over the past few years, and while most organizations have yet to dip their toes in the Wi-Fi analytics waters, our research shows that those who have are realizing significant benefits.To read this article in full, please click here(Insider Story)

IDG Contributor Network: 5 ways to derail IT transformation projects

Projects involving virtualization, cloud architectures, advanced networking and cutting-edge digital technologies are critical to pushing a company into the future. As a result, missteps can be costly. Take a good idea on paper, execute it poorly, and your desire to create value will end up squandering value.Given the complexity of IT transformation projects, there are many ways to get them wrong. If you've ever been called upon to assist companies stuck in the middle of such projects (as has our team, many times) it’s easy enough to identify several sure-fire ways to derail them – and corresponding ways to keep them on track. Here are five:1. Trivialize the effort required Have you ever sat in a meeting and heard an executive dismiss the difficulty of a project? "That sounds easy!," he or she might say. Whether it’s a desire for the project to be completed, a lack of knowledge about the details, the planning fallacy or some other error, following that lead is a good way to set yourself up for failure.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: 4 ways next generation NPMD solutions reduce risk in network transitions

Forced to keep pace with rapidly emerging business requirements, networks are changing faster than ever. The business-facing side of networking is under continuous pressure to do more, in more places, faster. Challenging as it is, the network-to-business interaction is simpler than what is going on behind the scenes, as network professionals transform almost every area of their networks to meet new demands.New technologies such as cloud, NFV and SDN are turning traditional networks into hybrid ones. In fact, Gartner predicts that cloud infrastructure services will grow 35.9 percent in 2018, and IDC predicts that SD-WAN adoption will grow at a 40.4 percent CAGR from 2017 to 2022. These numbers imply a great deal of change in networks, change that introduces significant risk of service disruption from minor – a few inconvenienced users – to major – significant outages visible to customers and executives. Reducing the risk during significant transitions is critical. That’s where network performance management and diagnostics (NPMD) products play a significant role.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Cutting complexity at the edge

The edge is top-of-mind for many IT and OT professionals across a wide range of industries and sectors. This interest is driven by the need to use data more effectively to maintain operations, optimize performance and increase uptime.Existing IT and OT infrastructures typically don’t collect, store and analyze data at the edge. They instead either send this data to the cloud or to enterprise-level computing systems for storage and analysis, the domain of IT personnel.A better solution, specifically for applications where access to data needs to happen quickly, is to perform data collection, storage and analysis at the edge using technologies designed to perform these specific tasks. The benefits of this approach include reduced latency, improved data security and more efficient use of bandwidth.To read this article in full, please click here

6G will achieve terabits-per-second speeds

The first of the upcoming 5G network technologies won’t provide significant reliability gains over existing wireless, such as 4G LTE, according to a developer involved in 5G.Additionally, the millisecond levels of latency that the new 5G wireless will attempt to offer—when some of it is commercially launched, possibly later this year—isn’t going to be enough of an advantage for a society that’s now completely data-driven and needs near-instant, microsecond connectivity.“Ultra-reliability will be basically not there,” Ari Pouttu, professor for Dependable Wireless at the University of Oulu, told me during a visit to the university in Finland. 5G’s principal benefits over current wireless platforms are touted as latency reduction and improved reliability by marketers who are pitching the still-to-be-released technology.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Network engineers are from Mars, application engineers are from Venus

Application and network engineers see the world differently. Unfortunately, these differences often result in resentment, with each party keeping score. Recently, application engineers have encroached on networking in a much bigger way. Sadly, if technical history repeats itself, we will revisit many of the long-ago problems again as application engineers rediscover the wisdom held by networking engineers.There are many areas of network engineering and application engineering where there is no overlap or contention. However, the number of overlapping areas is increasing as the roles of network and application engineers expand and evolve.Application engineers will try to do anything they can with code. I’ve spoken to many network engineers who struggle to support multi-cast. When I ask them why they are using multi-cast, they nearly always say, “the application engineers chose it, because it's in the Unix Network Programming book.” The Berkley Socket programming interface permits using multi-cast. The application engineers then provide lost packet recovery techniques to deliver files and real-time media using unicast and multicast. The Berkeley Socket does not easily support VLANs. Thus VLANs have always been the sole property of the network engineer. Linux kernel network programming capabilities in recent years become much more Continue reading

Alternatives to Nmap: from simple to advanced network scanning

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Nmap, the open-source network mapping tool that became the standard used by many IT professionals, but that can be a bit much if you only need to do general network maintenance and are intimidated by its command-line interface.There are alternatives – not many – that range in technical sophistication from tools with GUIs that can ease you into performing the essentials of network maintenance to more advanced software that is similar to Nmap itself.[ Also see reviews of Icinga, Observium, Nagios and Zabbix network-monitoring software.] Like Nmap, all these network tools are free.To read this article in full, please click here