Virtualization is a term that gets plenty of press and even more refinement in terms of its definition. It is valid, however, to cite virtualization, in its many forms, as a driver of IT imperatives. In terms of Cisco's recent announcement of its Cisco Motion offering, I'm not referring to the virtualization of operating systems or enterprise to run on consolidated hardware, or the use of AJAX to bring rich applications to your desktop via a browser and eschewing a hard drive footprint, in Cisco's case I'm talking about what could be called "de-virtualization."
Cisco Motion, through its Mobility Services Engine (MSE) takes many of the interoperability benefits previously achieved thorough the use of mobile middleware software such as Sybase's iAnywhere solution, and places these capabilities in an appliance server that resides in the network closet. Mobility? In hardware? In short, yes. There is a lot under the hood that makes this announcement by Cisco more than just another appliance.
Imagine the ability to account for information on device whereabouts, capabilities and readiness published from all devices interacting with the network -- wired and wireless -- regardless of network egress point. This is possible as the MSE makes use of a protocol, an overlay of sorts, the Cisco Network Mobility Services Protocol (NMSP) to unite applications making them "wireless aware" across a number of devices, protocols and networks.
With June 30th just one month away, your business may be feeling pressure to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista. But don't panic if you're not ready. Three of the world's largest PC manufacturers have announced that they will continue support for Windows XP on new PCs when customers exercise their Windows Vista downgrade rights. The best part of the downgrade process is that when you're ready to move to Windows Vista, you have already purchased the license for it. So the upgrade should be "free." And why is Microsoft allowing this? Because machines shipping after a Windows Vista downgrade (hence, with Windows XP) still count as shipped Windows Vista licenses, which allows Microsoft to continue touting how well Vista is selling.
Here's a quick guide to the Windows Vista downgrade process by PC manufacturer for all of the businesses that aren't yet ready for Windows Vista.
The last of the service packs for Windows XP (SP3) was released to manufacturing last month and to the Web on May 6 after a delay to fix compatibility with Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS). SP3 contains the usual rollup of all the fixes and patches along with several (mainly security) enhancements including black hole router detection and network access protection (NAP). Don’t expect any new features or new versions of Internet Explorer or Media Player, however, given that Microsoft has turned its focus to Windows Vista and subsequently "Windows 7."
As with any SP release, the Microsoft support forums were immediately flooded with some irate consumers. The most consistent complaint was of endless reboot cycles on AMD-powered machines. This error was quickly traced back to mistakes made on the part of HP that have still not been resolved. However, the majority of consumers and businesses alike should expect a non-event in upgrading.
NAC is an ever evolving topic in its
definition and understanding. For me, NAC remains a curiosity. Our clients
crave deploying it, but remain stymied by its ever evolving nature. NAC today
is about enforcement, policy, and posture. Adding to the mix of these features
is better identity for your users and asset management for your non-computing
network attached end points. This last issue is actually becoming a real sore
point as more IP enabled devices start to show up on your network. IT managers
are brainstorming ways to track, monitor and manage end point devices such as
printers, faxes, IP phones, badge readers, HVAC systems, wireless access
points, etc. Yet most NAC solutions
today don’t adequately extend access control to these non-computing endpoints.
In fact, many just require you create a white-list and allow these devices to
bypass any authentication and access control framework.
How is your organization preparing to adopt and implement its
roadmap for IP telephony? Although IP telephony adoption has reached the
mainstream and most organizations have deployed it in several locations, future
planning should also consider how unified communications (UC) will transform
enterprise communications by offering new capabilities that facilitate business
processes and integrate voice into the desktop.
The workplace landscape is dramatically changing -- fueling
new requirements for voice communication and mobility within most organizations.
Top trends fueling this change include rapid growth in remote workforce, expanding
global coverage, proliferation of mobile devices, and the onslaught of various social
I’ve been following the voluminous press around Sprint’s WiMax partnership
announcement today. I’ve been following the news mostly to see if I’m
missing anything, and it seems I’m not. It looks like a good news/bad news story
for end users of the service. The good news is that there is a solid consortium
around Sprint’s Xohm initiative which, until now, seemed increasingly more
promise than substance. With the most recent dissolution of the agreement with
Clearwire and subsequent deployment delays, I was beginning to think we’d see
LTE before WiMax coverage that Sprint had promised. In short, it looks like a
solid team – albeit with some fluffy marketing language. Intel’s roadmap was
already committed to supplying WiMax chipsets in its devices as a way to drive
up sticker price with a small increase in BOM cost, regardless of the network
Everyone wants to make their data centers more efficient and
gain recognition for their efforts but we’re lacking the benchmarks to shoot
for. Well, here’s your chance to help change that. On March 20th the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) kicked off a data collection process to help create Energy
Star™ ratings for data centers. Energy Star, the best known energy efficiency
identifier, is respected as a mark of credibility for products and services
that deliver superior energy efficiency. While mainly a consumer mark, the EPA
recently published a draft standard for servers,
its first serious foray into providing enterprise product and service guidance.
While extending Energy Star to your corporate data center, consumed only by
your own company, may not have customer impact, it has corporate brand value that
matters to the C-level executives. It will also have differentiating value when
choosing outsourced service providers.