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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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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Throw out your test lab: Virtualized workloads can be trialed in the cloud

James

Every enterprise struggles with performance testing. You never have enough hardware, you can’t mimic production, the build up and tear down process is far too time consuming and let’s not even get into the hassles of scheduling. Virtualization can help in that environments can be stored as templates easing setup and with tools like VMware Lab Manager, scheduling and environment management are made easier, but the hassles of shared time, resource constraints and stress testing remain.


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Can You Trust Historical Weather Data To Assess Risk Any Longer?

Stephanie_2 The severe flooding across the Midwest has caused at least 24 deaths and while there are no exact estimates, the damages are expected to be in the billions of dollars. This is the second time in the last 15 years there has been a supposed “100 year flood” of the Mississippi River. The flooding has caused inestimable financial and emotional losses for residents, and some might not return to the area. Those businesses that do not directly rely on the Mississippi for their operations and the surrounding area – like shipping and farming -- need to decide if they’ll re-build in the flood plains of the Mississippi. The answer is likely no.

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Is Wi-Fi Bluetooth's Death Knell?

Chris Silva
The recent announcement by Ozmo Devices of its
plan to enable Wi-Fi as a Personal Area Network (PAN) technology at Computex in Taipei last week
shows a non-networking future for the wireless networking standard. Ozmo,
backed in part by chip giant Intel, will look to build the capability into
future peripheral devices to make use of a laptop or desktop’s existing Wi-Fi
radio (some software updates will be required) to use the Wi-Fi radio as a
higher-bandwidth, low power consumption alternative to Bluetooth, the current
technology most often associated with PAN. The company claims a 2.25x
improvement in battery life, from 4 hours on Bluetooth to nine hours on Wi-Fi, for
a mouse as one metric of power savings.

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Trapeze: For Sale After All, And Sold

SilvaIn October of 2007 I speculated, out loud via this blog, as to whether or not WLAN infrastructure vendor Trapeze was for sale. While I don't claim to be a fortune teller (yes, RSS feeds and briefing sessions have, in large part, replaced my standard-issue analyst crystal ball) and it was no secret that the company was, at least intermittently, being shopped, it was with a bit of surprise that I greeted the news of Belden being the confirmed buyer. At $133 million in cash, there is some debate on whether the value of the transaction is consummate with the value of the goods. Given the delayed IPOs as the relatively steep slide ARUN has taken since its post-IPO high in July 2007, it's likely $133M is a fair valuation I'll leave that question to the 'Street analysts,' you know, the analysts that still use crystal balls.

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Cisco Motion: Tackling Mobile Middleware With Hardware… Yes, Hardware

Silva 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.

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Sprint, Back In The WiMax Saddle?

Silva 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
build out.

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Cisco To Enter Femto-Fray?

Silva
ThinkPanmure released a bulletin this week speculating that networking stalwart Cisco had plans to enter the femtocell fray via the potential acquisition of equipment vendor iP.access.

If the plans prove true, is this another Navini move for Cisco? I’d say not. An acquisition like this would symbolize a new vector in the vendor’s network equipment strategy. This move would take Cisco equipment in a place where it has not (at least officially) gone before; extending the cellular networks that are of increasing importance to businesses, especially those with a high percentage of mobile workers.

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Wireless Access Proliferates, FUD Continues

Silva
I recently
came across an article from the Journal. It goes into
great detail talking about the various means of having your data compromised
when using a public Wi-Fi network. The article makes valid points discussing
the means of using evil twin and man-in-the-middle attacks to compromise data
and network resources access by an 802.11-enabled PC.

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