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What is Nmap and why do you need it on your network?

Nmap, short for Network Mapper, is a free and open source tool used for vulnerability checking, port scanning and, of course, network mapping. Despite being created back in 1997, Nmap remains the gold standard against which all other similar tools, either commercial or open source, are judged.Nmap has maintained its preeminence because of the large community of developers and coders who help to maintain and update it. The Nmap community reports that the tool, which anyone can get for free, is downloaded several thousand times every week.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco’s $15B backlog: China COVID worries, impact of war in Ukraine

Global uncertainties created by ongoing COVID closures and the war in Ukraine continues to impact business for Cisco and its networking competitors.Cisco’s 3Q earnings announced this week show another round of backlog growth—this time to $15 billion with an additional $2 billion in software backlog and a $200 million earnings hit from the company pulling business from Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Overall quarterly revenue of $12.8B was flat year-over-year while total product revenue was up 3%.Two big factors affected Q3 earnings the most, according to Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins. "The first is the war in Ukraine which resulted in us ceasing operations in Russia and Belarus and had a corresponding revenue impact,: he said. "The second relates to COVID-related lock down in China, which began in late March. These lockdowns resulted in an even more severe shortage of certain critical components."To read this article in full, please click here

Pure Storage, Snowflake partner for on-premises data warehousing

Pure Storage and data-warehouse developer Snowflake have partnered to bring Snowflake’s cloud-based data-warehousing technology on-premises.Under the new relationship, the Snowflake Data Cloud compute engine will be run on Pure Storage’s FlashBlade file- and object-storage array. Pure has another line of storage devices, called FlashArray, but those serve a different purpose, notes Rob Lee, CTO of Pure Storage.“I look at FlashArray as our scale-up platform, and FlashBlade as our scale out platform,” he said. “We tend to see FlashArray applied much more to transactional database-type workloads, like OLTP, trading databases, billing databases, where you have high update rates, and we tend to see FlashBlade applied to data warehouses or analytics types of environments where you don't have a ton of transactional change, but you've got a lot of analysis, a lot of read-type workloads,” he said.To read this article in full, please click here

Suprise! The internet of things doesn’t necessarily include the internet

When the now-familiar concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) was new, what we really were envisioning a massive deployment of “things”, mostly sensors, connected directly to the internet and, like the internet, available to many companies to form the basis for new applications. Neither the business model nor the privacy/security issues of that approach were easily validated, so we’ve fallen back to something that largely takes the internet out of IoT. But what replaces it?Answer: The Network of Things or NoT, and if you’ve never heard of that concept, you’re at the first step of understanding the problem.To read this article in full, please click here

8 questions to ask vendors about Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA)

The increased deployment of core business applications in the cloud and the shift to remote work brought on by the pandemic have obliterated any notion of the traditional “corporate moat” style of security.Today’s hybrid workplace, where employees are on the road, working from home and maybe visiting the office once or twice a week, has forced network and security teams to adopt a more flexible approach to managing the network, identities, and authentication.Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) has emerged as the preferred approach to address today’s security challenges. The concept is relatively simple: Instead of building a layered perimeter defense of firewalls, IDS/IPSes and anti-virus software, Zero Trust assumes that every user or device is untrusted until it becomes sufficiently verified.To read this article in full, please click here

Google Cloud boosts open-source security, simplifies zero-trust rollouts

Google Cloud is rolling out new security services designed to address enterprise challenges including securing open-source software and accelerating the adoption of zero-trust architectures.At its annual Google Cloud Security Summit, the company said it's building on its Invisible Security effort, which promises to bake security into tools and services that enterprises and other customers use most.One example is a new service called Assured Open Source Software (Assured OSS), which is aimed at making it easier for organizations to securely manage their open-source dependencies."Today patching security vulnerabilities in open source software often feels like a high-stakes game of whack-a-mole: fix one, and two more pop up," wrote Sunil Potti, vice president and general manager of Google Cloud Security, in a blog about the new services. "This helps explain research done by Sonatype software that shows that there’s a 650% year-over-year increase in cyberattacks aimed at open source software (OSS) suppliers."To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco issues alert for defective memory sticks in its servers

Cisco is urging customers to replace flawed memory sticks in some of its Unified Computing System (UCS) servers before they fail.The problem is caused by a manufacturing error in 24 dual in-line memory modules (DIMM) that exhibit persistent correctable memory errors that if left in place could knock the servers offline. The problem is found in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB memory DIMMs. [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] Cisco describes the flaws as manufacturing deviations that affect memory modules used to make up the DIMMs. All of the problem parts were manufactured during the middle-to-end of 2020, according to a Cisco alert.To read this article in full, please click here

Red Hat debuts edge features for Linux, Kubernetes platform security

Red Hat, one of the open source software world's biggest players, rolled out a raft of new features for its flagship enterprise Linux distribution — several of which were focused on edge computing — this week at its annual Summit gathering,The Red Hat Edge initiative is a project designed to streamline the processes of deploying and managing edge infrastructure, and, under its banner, the company announced several new features like automation technology via Ansible and advanced cluster management for Kubernetes, among others.To read this article in full, please click here

Juniper’s enterprise networking business on a roll

Enterprise networking has never been so prominent for Juniper Networks as it is right now.For the first time in Juniper’s history, its enterprise networking business was the largest of its three core divisions – cloud, service provider and enterprise – in the first quarter of 2022. Enterprise networking revenue grew 18% year-over-year in Q1 to $433 million, while Q1 cloud and service provider revenue came in at $307 million and $428 million, respectively.A variety of things came together to make that happen – everything from pent-up demand and pandemic-delayed network refresh cycles to enterprise digital transformation and an influx of spending to support hybrid workers, said Manoj Leelanivas, Juniper Networks' chief operating officer, in an interview ahead of the company’s Global Summit event this week. To read this article in full, please click here

Cohesity launches FortKnox to protect data from ransomware attacks

Data management specialist Cohesity is launching a new data isolation and recovery tool called FortKnox, in a bid to help customers protect their data from ransomware attacks.FortKnox provides an additional layer of off-site protection for customers by keeping data in a secure ‘vault,’ with physical separation, network and management isolation to keep threat actors from accessing sensitive data.An object lock requires a minimum of two or more people to approve critical actions, such as changes of vault policy, and access can be managed using granular role-based access control, multi-factor authentication, and encryption both in-flight and at rest.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco warns of critical vulnerability in virtualized network software

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Cisco's Enterprise NFV Infrastructure Software (NFVIS). The worst of the vulnerabilities could let an attacker escape from the guest virtual machine (VM) to the host machine, Cisco disclosed. The other two problems involve letting a bad actor inject commands that execute at the root level and allowing a remote attacker to leak system data from the host to the VM.NFVIS is Linux-based infrastructure software designed to help enterprises and service providers to deploy virtualized network functions, such as a virtual router, firewall and WAN acceleration, Cisco stated.To read this article in full, please click here

Dell offers data, app recovery support for multicloud assets

Dell is offering an expanded ecosystem of multicloud data management tools for its customers with a focus on data recovery services, adding recovery vault support for on-premises as well as public cloud assets."Our customers want help reducing complexity and are seeking solutions that use a common approach to managing data wherever it lives — from public clouds, to the data center, to the edge," said Chuck Whitten, co-chief operating officer, Dell Technologies, in a statement. "We are building a portfolio of software and services that simplifies on-premises and multicloud environments and offers." To read this article in full, please click here

How to deal with network-operations brain drain

Even before the tight labor market that emerged in the later stages of the pandemic, enterprise network operations teams were struggling to hire personnel, especially people with advanced technical skills. It’s safe to say the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation.Over the last six years, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) has observed a significant decline in the effectiveness of network operations teams. EMA’s ongoing, biennial Network Management Megatrends research asks NetOps professionals to assess the success of their teams every two years. In 2016, 49% were fully successful. In 2022, only 27% reported total success. EMA believes that the current IT job market is partly to blame.To read this article in full, please click here

4 networking best practices learned from the Atlassian network outage

Last month, software tools vendor Atlassian suffered a major network outage that lasted two weeks and affected more than 400 of their over 200,000 customers. The outage took down several of their products, including Jira, Confluence, Atlassian Access, Opsgenie, and Statuspage. While only a few customers were affected for the full two weeks, the outage was significant in terms of the depth of problems uncovered by the company’s engineers and the lengths they had to go to find and fix the problems.The outage was the result of a series of unfortunate internal errors by Atlassian’s own staff, and not the result of a cyberattack or malware. In the end, no customer lost more than a few minutes’ worth of data transactions, and the vast majority of customers didn’t see any downtime whatsoever.To read this article in full, please click here

Licenses for 5G service provider auction winners approved by FCC

The winners of a critical FCC auction for midband spectrum that ended last November have received their official grants of license to use the airwaves for which they spent a total of $22.4 billion, the FCC announced Wednesday.A total of 4,041 licenses were issued to 23 different bidders, according to the commission. Licensees hoping to use the spectrum for 5G rollouts still have to reimburse incumbent non-federal users of the band, which had been in use for radiolocation purposes, and the FCC said that further details about those costs would be laid out in a subsequent filing.Auction 110 saw the government sell off 100MHz of spectrum in the midband — around the 3.45GHz range — divided into 10 10MHz blocks for each Partial Economic Area or PEA that the FCC adopted in 2014. (There are 416 PEAs covering the US, meaning that 119 specific licenses were not sold in the auction.)To read this article in full, please click here

The case for declarative network automation

Nemertes recently looked at how organizations with larger networks—specifically Cisco-heavy networks—implemented network automation. The results were a bit surprising in that less than 20% use Cisco’s flagship DNA Center network controller and management dashboard that can automate provisioning and change management.On the other hand more than 40% roll their own automation solution using various forms of imperative scripting or programming (mostly Python), and about 50% engage a different model instead of or in addition: declarative automation.To read this article in full, please click here

Using strace and ltrace to help with troubleshooting on Linux

Both strace and ltrace are powerful command-line tools for debugging and troubleshooting programs on Linux: Strace captures and records all system calls made by a process as well as the signals received, while ltrace does the same for library calls.If a program acts differently than you expect, you can use these tools to see “behind the curtain” and maybe get some clues as to what is going on. [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] Be forewarned, though. When you use either of these commands, you will end up with a lot of output to look through. Still, that can tell you quite a bit about how a process is working and sometimes give you important insights.To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco offers technology to predict enterprise-network problems

Cisco says it is working on a service to let enterprises proactively avert network problems and increase performance.The company says it has built a predictive analytics engine it will offer via software-as-a-service (SaaS) to help network operators quickly and accurately predict network issues and prevent problems before they happen. [ Get regularly scheduled insights by signing up for Network World newsletters. ] “The future of connectivity will rely on self-healing networks that can learn, predict and plan,” Chuck Robbins, Cisco chair and CEO said in a statement. “Our research for predictive networks has been tested and developed with customers, and early adopters [including Phillips 66, Schneider Electric and the Adecco Group] are seeing major benefits saving them time and money.”To read this article in full, please click here

Cisco urges software update to thwart counterfeit switches

Cisco is encouraging users of its popular Catalyst 2960X/2960XR switches to upgrade their IOS operating systems in an effort to combat counterfeiting.Because of the pervasiveness of these switches on the gray market, it’s imperative that customers enable the latest software release – IOS release 15.2(7)E4 or later – to validate the authenticity, security, and performance of their Catalyst 2960X/2960XR 24/48 port Gigabit Ethernet switches, Cisco stated in a notice to customers. To read this article in full, please click here

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