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Category Archives for "Network World SDN"

The TPM chip controversy for Windows 11 is a non-issue for Windows Server

By now you’ve heard about the kerfuffle surrounding Windows 11 and its requirement for a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip, which is not standard on the majority of PCs and threatens to leave many newer Windows 10 PCs blocked from being upgraded.Normally the issues around a new version of Windows are system requirements, but here, the issue is the TPM chip. TPM is a specially designed chip that assists with security surrounding credentials. It ensures that boot code that’s loaded, such as firmware and OS components, haven’t been tampered with. It can also encrypt the drive contents to protect against theft. Microsoft is mandating that systems have TPM based on 2.0 specifications but few PCs do. Those that do ship with it have it turned off by default but it is easily activated.To read this article in full, please click here

Ransomware recovery: Plan for it now

If your computing environment is subject to a large ransomware attack, you will most certainly be enacting your disaster recovery (DR) plan. But before you begin restoring systems, you must first ensure you have stopped the infection, identified it, and removed it. Jumping too quickly to the restore phase could actually make things worse. To understand why this is the case, it’s important to understand how ransomware works.How ransomware spreads in your environment There are many articles such as this one that describe what ransomware does, but it’s important to emphasize that the goal of ransomware is rarely to infect just one system. Modern ransomware variants will immediately attempt to identify and execute various operating system vulnerabilities to gain administrative access and spread to the rest of your LAN. The attack will be coordinated via command-and-control (C&C) servers, and contacting these servers for instructions is the first thing that every ransomware variant does. They key in responding to an active ransomware attack is stopping further communications with C&C servers, as well as further communications between infected systems and the rest of your network.To read this article in full, please click here

Backing up not just your data, but your productivity

Everyone knows that backups are important, but most of us tend to think of backups solely as the process of backing up our data files -- not necessarily our applications, our passwords or our computers. And, when we run into a serious problem that threatens our ability to get our work done, it just might be time to rethink what "backing up" should involve.Even if you have more than one computer at your disposal, it could easily be that only one of them is ready to help you with passwords you rarely use, provide access to your cloud backups, allow you to connect to the VPN you use for special projects, probe your network for problems or offer you a way to log into remote systems.To read this article in full, please click here

Don’t let subdomains sink your security

If your enterprise has a website (and one certainly would hope so in 2021!), it also has subdomains. These prefixes of your organization’s main domain name are essential for putting structural order to the content and services on your website, thus preventing online visitors from instantly fleeing in terror, disdain, or confusion.Large enterprises can have thousands of subdomains. IBM, for example, has roughly 60,000 subdomains, while Walmart.com has “only” 2,132 subdomains.What is DNS and how it works Whatever value subdomains bring to enterprises--and they bring plenty--they present more targets for bad actors. Why, just last year the subdomains of Chevron, 3M, Warner Brothers, Honeywell, and many other large organizations were hijacked by hackers who redirected visitors to sites featuring porn, malware, online gambling, and other activities of questionable propriety.To read this article in full, please click here

White boxes in the enterprise: Why it’s not crazy

If you’re an enterprise CIO, CFO, or network operations type, you’ve probably been reading about how this service provider or that cloud provider have saved up to 50% on network equipment by using generic “white-box” technology instead of proprietary routers and switches.  It’s hard not to wonder whether your own network budget could buy twice as much gear, and what projects might now meet their business case.  Could enterprises get in on the white-box revolution?  Maybe, if they can address the issues that even service providers and cloud providers have already faced, and in some cases been bitten by.Compatibility The first issue is finding the hardware and software. White-box hardware needs software, either an all-inclusive “network operating system” that provides all the features you need, or an operating system plus a separate routing/switching package. The software can’t just be shoveled onto something and run; it has to match the hardware.  In some cases, the matching process is facilitated through the same sort of drivers found on PCs and servers, but not all hardware has a driver suitable for all software.  Pick a white box and you may not find software you like for it. Continue reading

Intel stumbles in supercomputer rankings, delays next-gen CPU

This week the TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomuters found that, once again, Fugaku is number one, benchmarking at 442 Pflop/sec, making it three times faster than the second place machine. Impressive, but also indicative that it might also be the first to break the exaflop barrier if it’s working on the right kind of problem.TOP500 pointed out that Fugaku’s score (and everyone else’s) is based on double-precision benchmarks, the most accurate floating point math calculation you can do. But much of AI and machine learning is single-precision, which can be less than half the compute power of double precision.To read this article in full, please click here

10 competitors Cisco just can’t kill off

In compiling this iteration of our list of competitors Cisco can’t kill off, one thing is clear: The competition is fierce amongst the bigger players.Nearly all the networking giant’s competitors have refreshed their product lines or bought into technology to compete more closely with Cisco. But that’s not to say Cisco has been sitting still by any means.The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2021 The company has expanded and refreshed its core Catalyst, Nexus and Silicon One networking gear and made major strides in security and software. Going forward, it wants to lead the industry in network-as-a-service.To read this article in full, please click here

What is edge computing and why does it matter?

Edge computing is transforming the way data is being handled, processed, and delivered from millions of devices around the world. The explosive growth of internet-connected devices—the IoT—along with new applications that require real-time computing power, continues to drive edge-computing systems.Faster networking technologies, such as 5G wireless, are allowing for edge computing systems to accelerate the creation or support of real-time applications, such as video processing and analytics, self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and robotics, to name a few.To read this article in full, please click here

How to dig up configuration details on your Linux system with getconf

Linux systems can report on a lot more configuration details than you likely ever knew were available. The trick is using the getconf command and having an idea what you are looking for. Watch out though. You might find yourself a bit overwhelmed with how many settings are available.To start, let's look at a few settings that you might have expected to see to answer  some important questions.Summarizing your command-line usage on Linux For starters, how long can a filename be?You can check this setting by looking at the NAME_MAX setting.To read this article in full, please click here

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2021

When the pandemic hit last spring, employees suddenly began working from home, enterprises quickly shifted applications to the cloud, and secure remote access became critical. As we move (hopefully) beyond the pandemic, it’s clear that enterprise networking has been changed forever.Companies are looking at new technologies like SASE to combine networking and edge security into one manageable platform. Zero-trust network access has moved from the back burner to the hotseat as companies seek a more effective way to fight cyberattacks in a world where the traditional perimeter no longer exists. The lines between security and networking are blurring, with traditional security companies moving into the networking realm, and networking companies upping their security game.To read this article in full, please click here

Peering into binary files on Linux

Any file on a Linux system that isn't a text file is considered a binary file--from system commands and libraries to image files and compiled programs. But these files being binary doesn't mean that you can't look into them. In fact, there are quite a few commands that you can use to extract data from binary files or display their content. In this post, we'll explore quite a few of them.file One of the easiest commands to pull information from a binary file is the file command that identifies files by type. It does this in several ways--by evaluating the content, looking for a "magic number" (file type identifier), and checking the language. While we humans generally judge a file by its file extension, the file command largely ignores that. Notice how it responds to the command shown below.To read this article in full, please click here

Fugaku still reigns as the world’s fastest supercomputer

Fugaku, the supercomputer built by Fujitsu, remains at number one in the TOP500 list of the fastest supercomputers in the world, where it is still three times faster than the nearest competition.The contest for the fastest remains tight, with only one new entry into the top 10 on the latest list—Perlmutter, at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is part of the US Department of Energy. It joins the list at number five and bumps down numbers six through 10 from the previous list published in November 2020.(A system called Dammam-7 dropped off the top 10.)To read this article in full, please click here

Department of Defense works to integrate battlefield intel networks

If yours is like most enterprises, it is under intense competitive pressure to understand faster, decide faster, and act faster in an increasingly dynamic environment.For businesses, that environment is the economy. But for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the environment in which they must leverage technology and tactics against deadly adversaries is more like a battlefield. And all but the most self-aggrandizing sales directors would agree that the stakes on the battlefield are considerably higher than growing revenue and capturing market share. (Not that they are trivial!) Read more: Cisco tool taps telemetry for network, security analyticsTo read this article in full, please click here

The Department of Defense, networking, and the speed of relevance

If yours is like most enterprises, it is under intense competitive pressure to understand faster, decide faster, and act faster in an increasingly dynamic environment.For businesses, that environment is the economy. But for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the environment in which they must leverage technology and tactics against deadly adversaries is more like a battlefield. And all but the most self-aggrandizing sales directors would agree that the stakes on the battlefield are considerably higher than growing revenue and capturing market share. (Not that they are trivial!) Read more: Cisco tool taps telemetry for network, security analyticsTo read this article in full, please click here

A startup makes IoT sensors, no batteries necessary

A startup founded by two MIT grads says that it can deploy self-powering sensors to handle low-intensity IoT tasks, eliminating the need for batteries or wired electrical supplies, adding a new level of flexibility to IoT deployments.Ben Calhoun and Dave Wentzloff are the founders of Everactive, an IoT-device manufacturing startup whose sensor modules can create their own power from a variety of sources, including indoor solar, thermal gradient differential, and vibrations. The sensors can monitor for temperature, humidity, light levels, vibration, movement, sound, pressure and gas, among other things.To read this article in full, please click here

NetApp makes big hybrid-cloud push

NetApp is making a major effort to support hybrid cloud with a batch of software announcements around storage products, converged infrastructure, and cloud-management services.The main news was the release of the latest version of its flagship ONTAP software, as well as updates to other products designed to help organizations build a better hybrid-cloud strategies.ONTAP is the operating system for NetApp’s FAS (hybrid flash-disk) and AFF (all-flash) storage arrays. The latest version, 9.9, adds automatic backup and tiering of on-premises data to NetApp’s StorageGRID object storage as well as to public clouds. It enhances multilevel file security and remote access management, supports continuous data availability for two-times larger MetroCluster configurations, and  more replication options for backup and disaster recovery for large data containers for NAS workloads. It can attain up to four times the performance for single LUN applications such as VMware datastores.To read this article in full, please click here

Rescuing a Linux system from near disaster

The more you know about how Linux works, the better you'll be able do some good troubleshooting when you run into a problem. In this post, we're going to dive into a problem that a contact of mine, Chris Husted, recently ran into and what he did to determine what was happening on his system, stop the problem in its tracks, and make sure that it was never going to happen again.Disaster strikes It all started when Chris' laptop reported that it was running out of disk space--specifically that only 1GB of available disk space remained on his 1TB drive. He hadn't seen this coming. He also found himself unable to save files and in a very challenging situation since it is the only system he has at his disposal and he needs the system to get his work done.To read this article in full, please click here

Sunlight aims at more efficient virtualization

Virtualization software is dated and does not take full advantage of modern hardware, making it extremely power-inefficient and forcing data centers to overprovision hardware to avoid poor performance.That’s the pitch of Sunlight, a virtualization-software vendor whose products take advantage of technologies that didn’t exist when Xen, KVM, VMware and Hyper-V were first developed.[Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters.] “The cloud infrastructure or virtualization stacks have been designed and built 15 to 20 years ago,” said Kosten Metreweli, chief strategy officer of Sunlight. “So the big problem here is that back then, I/O, and particularly storage, was really slow. So fast forward, and we now have NVMe storage, which pushes millions of IOPS from a single device, which is orders of magnitude better than was possible just a few years ago.”To read this article in full, please click here

Aruba Wi-Fi 6E access point to launch this fall

Business users looking for an upgrade to the very latest Wi-Fi standard, also known as Wi-Fi 6E, now have the option of Aruba’s new AP 635, the company announced this morning. Wi-Fi resources Test and review of 4 Wi-Fi 6 routers: Who’s the fastest? How to determine if Wi-Fi 6 is right for you Five questions to answer before deploying Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6E: When it’s coming and what it’s good for Wi-Fi 6E works much the same as Wi-Fi 6, sharing that standard’s improved ability to handle dense client environments, high throughput, and advanced multi-user and multi-antenna functionality. The new feature is the ability to use the 6GHz spectrum that the FCC opened in April 2020 to unlicensed users, representing a two-fold increase in the spectrum available for WI-Fi. That added spectrum means that Wi-Fi users can take advantage of much wider channels, leading to commensurately higher throughput.To read this article in full, please click here

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