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Dell EMC puts big data as a service on premises

To get up and running on a self-service, big-data analytics platform efficiently, many data-center and network managers these days would likely think about using a cloud service. But not so fast – there is some debate about whether the public cloud is the way to go for certain big-data analytics.For some big-data applications, the public cloud may be more expensive in the long run, and because of latency issues, slower than on-site private cloud solutions. In addition, having data storage reside on premises often makes sense due to regulatory and security considerations. [ Also see How to plan a software-defined data-center network and Efficient container use requires data-center software networking.] With all this in mind, Dell EMC has teamed up with BlueData, the provider of a container-based software platform for AI and big-data workloads, to offer Ready Solutions for Big Data, a big data as a service (BDaaS) package for on-premises data centers. The offering brings together Dell EMC servers, storage, networking and services along with BlueData software, all optimized for big-data analytics. 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

IDG Contributor Network: Are you seeing what I’m seeing?

Enterprises are investing in their networks at an accelerating rate. As legacy IT on-premises infrastructure gives way to hybrid cloud and virtualized environments, and an escalating data tsunami drives data center expansions, increasing investments of time and money are raising the stakes ever higher. Unfortunately, end users’ expectations for service are growing as well, piling additional demands onto network operators and engineers who are already wrestling with network migration challenges.Yet despite the fact that the enterprise networking environment is rapidly changing, IT support teams are still using the same network performance metrics to monitor their networks and evaluate whether or not service delivery is up to par. The problem is that they’re using a one-dimensional tool to measure a subjective experience that tool was not designed to even understand, much less aid in troubleshooting.  It’s kind of like trying to tighten a screw with a hammer.To read this article in full, please click here

Vapor IO secures new funding for major U.S. rollout

Vapor IO, the edge computing specialist that builds mini data centers for deployment at locations such as cell phone towers, has secured Series C financing, which the company says will help accelerate the deployment of its Kinetic Edge Platform as a national network for edge colocation.Vapor IO has been all about developing a model for a distributed network of edge colocation sites, with micro modular data centers in containers about the size of a shipping container. The company had been working with Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure, on an edge collaboration project under the name Project Volutus.Vapor IO has now acquired the assets of Project Volutus from Crown Castle and will offer it under the brand name The Kinetic Edge. It uses both wired and wireless connections to create a low-latency network of its colocation sites, allowing cloud providers, wireless carriers and web-scale companies to deliver cloud-based edge computing applications via its data centers.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco introduces its first server built for AI and ML workloads

Cisco has introduced its first Unified Compute System (UCS) server designed specifically to handle artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) workloads. The Cisco UCS C480 ML is designed specifically for data scientists to perform AI and ML at every stage of the lifecycle.It’s not like Cisco whipped up all kinds of special sauce for this server; it’s just a lot of very high-end components. The UCS C480 ML M5 rack server is a 4U device with the latest Intel Xeon processors and 8 Nvidia Tesla V100-32G GPUs with NVLink interconnects.The top-of-the-line configuration features two Xeon processors, up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM, 24 SATA hard drives or SSDs, six NVMe SSD drives, and four x100G Virtual Interface Cards (VICs). The UCS C480 ML M5 is designed to work with Cisco's various servers and HyperFlex systems with GPUs.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Logistics and delivery – Embracing the IoT before it was ‘IoT’

Some people love to use the expression “before it was cool”. In hindsight, it can be applied to almost anything that gains acclaim. According to this Reddit thread, for example, Facebook was already cool when it was still known simply as “The Facebook” way back in 2004. My point: the “before it was cool” expression is really about when something’s value or significance is recognized very early on, and this can certainly be applied to many of the technological advancements we see today. Connecting devices, or instrumenting machinery with some form of connectivity, to capture data and provide control, was a used in many industries, before the term ‘Internet of Things’ or ‘IoT’ became cool and all pervasive.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Ethernet Adventures: Learning to Thrive in a New World

Ciena Chris Sweetapple, Consultant, Managed Service Providers In our final post in this 3-part series covering one hero’s journey on the road to streamlined enterprise networking operations, Ciena’s Chris Sweetapple describes how Our Hero embraces business Ethernet to shed complexity and simplify operations, creating a network that grows with the business.To read this article in full, please click here

Nagios Core monitoring software: lots of plugins, steep learning curve

The free and open-source network monitoring software Nagios Core has a long and strong reputation, providing the base for other monitoring suites - Icinga, Naemon and OP5 among them – and a history dating back to 2002 when it launched under the name NetSaint.For this review we tested Nagios Core version 4.4.2 for Linux, which monitors common network services such as HTTP, SMTP, POP3, NNTP and PING.There’s a Windows port that’s a plugin, but many users say it’s unstable. The version we tested also tracks the usage of host resources such as processor load, memory and disk utilization.[ Also see reviews of Icinga and Observium network-monitoring software. | For regularly scheduled insights sign up for Network World newsletters. ] Hardware requirements vary depending on the number and types of items being monitored, but generally speaking Nagios recommends a server configuration with at least two or four cores, 4-8 GB of RAM and adequate storage for the intended application.To read this article in full, please click here

Newest OpenStack release comes with bare-metal installs in mind

The OpenStack Foundation has announced the general availability of the 18th iteration of its cloud platform, called OpenStack Rocky. The major new functionalities to the platform are faster upgrades and enhanced support for bare metal infrastructure.Bare-metal cloud is a term for cloud services that come with zero software. When you rent an instance on Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, you get a virtualized environment that is run on a hypervisor and shared with another, unknown user. This often causes performance issues, since you never know what kind of neighbor you will get each time.To read this article in full, please click here

Hardware life cycle approaches to save money, ensure network reliability

High-quality, reliable network hardware and data center cabling are requirements for a high-performing technology infrastructure and for a successful IT team that helps drive more business. It’s the life cycle for your network.However, in these days of shrinking budgets and rising demands, CIOs, IT professionals, and buyers are being pressured to do more while reducing costs. How can this be done?Having the right approach when it comes to network hardware and data center cabling is a powerful way to enable your IT organization to do a lot more while optimizing your budget. [ Read also: How to plan a software-defined data-center network ] The IT value within the life cycle There are many nuances to a hardware investment that some organizations don’t take into account. The opportunity to reduce capital expenditure (CAPEX) spends exists, but it requires incorporating pre-owned hardware into the equation.To read this article in full, please click here

How to pin a pile of addresses onto a Google map

Turning a list of names, addresses and related information into a Google map is a lot easier than you might think. The effort required depends, as you might imagine, on the information that you starting with. But if the format is fairly consistent, it’s relatively easy to massage the information into a form that can be uploaded into a format that works.First, what you can expect Once you’ve loaded a list of names and addresses into a Google map, you will be able view the location of each person and set up your map such that clicking on any of the map markers displays the information collected for that address.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: What’s wrong with Cisco running SD-WAN on your routers?

Cisco’s announcement earlier this month that it will add the Viptela SD-WAN technology to the IOS XE software running the ISR/ASR routers will be a mixed blessing for enterprises. On the one hand, it brings SD-WAN migration closer to Cisco customers. On the other hand, two preliminary indicators —  one-on-one conversations and Cisco’s refusal to participate in an SD-WAN test —  suggest enterprises should expect reduced throughput if they enable the SD-WAN capabilities on their routers.Cisco’s easy migration to SD-WAN By including the SD-WAN code with IOS XE, Cisco will provide a migration path for the more than one million ISR/ASR edge routers in the field. There’s been a lot of conversation as to whether or not SD-WAN is going to kill the router performance. Delivering SD-WAN code on the ISRs is Cisco’s answer: routers are here to stay but they’ll morph into SD-WAN appliances.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: We need innovation to help escape from the cloud-services land of Oz

Welcome to Agility City! Let me set the scene.In the castle, the Wonderful Wizard orchestrates networks in beautiful and powerful ways. Point-to-point tunnel connections are heralded as “architectural wonders,” which decades ago were called bridges with disdain.Meanwhile, The Wicked Witch of the West brews a primordial potion of complexity that is hidden behind curtains of automated provisioning. Packets of information are heavily laden with unnecessary information and double encryption.[ Learn who's developing quantum computers. ] It almost makes you want Dorothy Gale to appear and click her ruby slippers - “There's no place like home. There's no place like home.” If only we start talking about true networking and not orchestration of bridges.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Choosing Cybersecurity Products

Cybercrime damage is projected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021. That’s creating lots of demand for security protection—estimated at over $1 trillion cumulatively between 2017 and 2021. As a result, an estimated 1,200 vendors are competing to provide enterprise-class cybersecurity products, so how do you go about choosing which solution to use?There’s no doubt, cyberthreats are real—according to the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), the number of cyber incidents targeting businesses almost doubled from 82,000 in 2016 to 159,700 in 2017, and due to non-reporting of many incidents, the actual number for 2017 could well have exceeded 360,000.To read this article in full, please click here

What to expect when the internet gets a big security upgrade

Ready or not, the upgrade to an important internet security operation may soon be launched. Then again, it might not.The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will meet the week of Sept. 17 and will likely decide whether or not to give the go ahead on its multi-year project to upgrade the top pair of cryptographic keys used in the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) protocol — commonly known as the root zone key signing key (KSK) — which secures the Internet's foundational servers.[ RELATED: Firewall face-off for the enterprise ] Changing these keys and making them stronger is an essential security step, in much the same way that regularly changing passwords is considered a practical habit by any Internet user, ICANN says. The update will help prevent certain nefarious activities such as attackers taking control of a session and directing users to a site that for example might steal their personal information.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Ethernet Adventures: Turning Enterprise Networking Pipedreams into Reality

Ciena Chris Sweetapple, Consultant, Managed Service Providers In the first installment of this 3-part series, we begin the story of one hero’s road to streamlined enterprise networking operations. Ciena’s Chris Sweetapple details Our Hero’s journey as he navigates the convoluted tangle of enterprise networking.Our hero, responsible for running his enterprise network, is hopelessly stuck in an enormous tangle of network complexity. He needs the best connectivity for collaboration, applications and cloud access. But he knows that the networking technology he has today won’t cope with the demands of tomorrow. The business depends on online transactions, connections to multiple data centers and real-time data. Failover, backup, load balancing and stringent security are essential.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: 4 forces driving the re-networking of the digital world

In a world with vastly increasing amounts of data and dependency on the Internet, digital transformation is now paramount to the long-term survival of enterprises. But what will digital transformation in the years ahead involve? A crucial component for companies will be ensuring they have enough interconnection bandwidth to handle business demands in the future.Interconnection bandwidth is the ability to support direct private data exchange across a variety of hubs and interconnection points within a network, bypassing the public Internet. These private connections are important because they offer scalability, security, and direct connections to copartners and service providers that companies cannot get otherwise.To read this article in full, please click here

IDG Contributor Network: Guarding against the threat from IoT killer drones

IoT is being weaponized. The same sensors, networks and real-time data analysis used monitoring classrooms can morph into weapons for targeted killing. How do such malicious drones operate and what can be done to protest against their airborne threat?Background Here are three data-points of weaponized drones. The recent assassination attempt on the President of Venezuela with drones. “Aug 4, 2018. CARACAS, Venezuela — A drone attack caused pandemonium at a military ceremony where President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela was speaking on Saturday, sending National Guard troops scurrying in what administration officials called an assassination attempt.” The use of drones to shoot down incendiary kites in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ”IDF reservists to help; troops able to shoot down flying objects 40 seconds from detection” Slaugtherbots. “A video by the Future of Life Institute and Stuart Russell, a professor of computer science at Berkeley presenting a dramatized near-future scenario where swarms of inexpensive microdrones use artificial intelligence and facial recognition to assassinate political opponents based on preprogrammed criteria.” How do they work? Drones are aerial IoT devices. They’re mounted with sensors that relay their location, altitude and other sensor readings such as images to a back-end system or Continue reading