Upping The IPS Ante

Silva
Motorola announced this week its intentions to acquires Wireless IDS/IPS vendor AirDefense. The acquisition may provide a bit of deja vu to readers who recall the acquisition of Network Chemistry's wireless IDS/IPS assets by Aruba Networks in 2007.

Meru Networks, eschewing acquisition for product introduction made its own announcement on Monday, announcing the company's RF Barrier, an active RF management solution that aims to solve the problem of what the vendor is calling "leaky RF." The Meru solution actively blocks 802.11 RF from escaping the physical confines of a WLAN deployment to thwart external "parking lot" attacks by closing Wi-Fi based attack avenues.

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Goldman: CIOs Don’t Want Cloud – Well, Duh.

Jamesstaten
Goldman
Sachs & Co. recently released the results of their latest survey of CIOs

which showed that enterprise IT is contracting spending a bit and that cloud
computing is at the very bottom of their priority list. This shouldn’t come as
a surprise to anyone, nor should it be seen as a needle inserted into the cloud
computing hype balloon because CIOs
aren’t the target market for clouds
. Like other disruptive innovations in
the technology space, such as cloud
collaboration
, software
as a service (SaaS
) and the
iPhone
, cloud computing targets the tech savvy business developer, startup
and interactive marketer. These business innovators don’t take their technology
cues from the corporate standards set by infrastructure & operations
professionals.

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VMware Levels The Playing Field: ESX Now Free

Jamesstaten
As predicted
by Forrester
, New
CEO Paul Maritz
announced this week that VMware will drop the price of ESXi (their base server
hypervisor) to $0 (from $495).
This obviously comes in response to Microsoft Hyper-V
pricing ($28 per server) and as competition to the free open source Xen
hypervisor.

Support is not included with the free ESXi; if you want that
it starts at $495/server
per year
.

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Brocade Buys An Ethernet Company, Finally

Jomaitland
The
technology shift is obvious. Enterprises
are increasingly networking their storage with Ethernet
. If Fibre Channel lives
on, it will live on as Fibre Channel over Ethernet. And like other technology
domains, there is a demand for a single vendor for all networking gear. It’s
one throat to choke. But what on earth took Brocade so long?

The
company’s $3 billion acquisition of Foundry Networks this week has been a
long time coming.

Cisco
marched into the Fibre Channel switching market five years ago and has been forcing Brocade’s hand ever since. Brocade’s
acquisition of rival McData was a clear example of a land grab to fend off
Cisco’s increasing market share, not a step forward in evolving network technology.

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IBM's Play In Cloud Computing? Listening Carefully

James IBM's PR engine has been ratcheting up the volume about its efforts in cloud computing lately and if you are like me, I found their press releases confusing, so I got them on the phone to try and get past the hype to better understand what they are really doing in this space. Turns out they have turned on a powerful listening and learning engine.

IBM’s BlueCloud initiative isn't (at least not initially) an attempt to become a cloud services provider or to become a cloud computing platform, but rather to help their customers experiment with, try out, and custom design cloud solutions to fit their needs. Building off the IBM Innovation Center concept, IBM is providing Cloud centers that are places customers from enterprise and government accounts, as well as non-IBM customers can test out cloud computing concepts, mostly for deployment internal to their own data centers. Gerrit Huizenga, the technical solutions architect for BlueCloud for IBM's Systems & Technology Group (STG) said these efforts are helping them build out a series of cloud blueprints, or proven/standardized cloud infrastructures. "Our goal is to deliver solutions that make it much easier to deploy and manage these things," Huizenga said.

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Cloud Maturity Is Accelerating: More Than Just Reaction To The Hype?

James Over the past few months a flurry of announcements have begun swirling around the cloud computing space, which remains a nascent market in the overall IT realm. Do these announcements portend a fast maturity for the concept or just the typical "me too" that comes with a hyped market?

In June, RightScale, a cloud management software and consulting company that has become a bit of a poster child as a cloud integrator, announced a partnership with GigaSpaces that integrates their eXtreme Application Platform (XAP) clustering and cache solution with the RightScale automated cloud management platform for Amazon EC2 clients. The value of this partnership comes from the fact that EC2 simply provides you with a VM you can populate but no availability or scalability services. XAP is a cluster architecture that delivers these values and can be quickly and easily deployed via the RightScale tool.

Next came Elastra, a San Francisco startup building a Cloud Server, a middleware layer that turns a commodity infrastructure into a cloud (similar value to what 3Tera provides today). The first iteration deploys similarly to XAP -- as a software layer you load into EC2 VMs, that enables scale and availability to the apps you lay on top of it.

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802.11n: An SMB/SOHO Enablement Technology

Silva
In my research I tend to talk a lot about the implications of 802.11n  for enterprise IT departments, however,  the potential impact of the technology for smaller businesses is even more profound.

Forrester defines an enterprise as an organization with over 1,000 employees, anything smaller, and we classify it as an SMB. Our most recent Enterprise And SMB Networks And Telecommunications Survey, North America And Europe, Q1 2008 shows that, while only 10% of enterprise respondents have rolled out 802.11n networks, 15% of SMBs have taken the same step. In companies under 100 employees, adoption jumps to 30%! My hypothesis is these organizations' rapid adoption of the new standard is due to their reliance on Wi-Fi for primary network connectivity, a result of its easier and cheaper deployment across a group of users.

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