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Preview: Networking

ITworld Networking





Published: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:54:18 -0700

Last Build Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:54:18 -0700

 



Cisco axes Spark, elevates and enhances WebEx

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:59:00 -0700

Cisco has unified its two, largely separate, collaboration packages – Spark and WebEx – into a single platform that supports a single set of features.

The move makes sense because Cisco had been developing the somewhat similar packages separately, and there was some confusion about that in the market and sales channels. No more.

Webex Teams combines collaboration features in Cisco Spark and WebEx  such as whiteboarding, persistent messaging, roster, meeting controls, content sharing and so on. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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Understanding Virtual Private Networks [and why VPNs are important to SD-WAN]

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700

Internet-based virtual private networks rose to popularity in the 1990s by providing cost-effective connections securely across an insecure internet, and along the way VPNs have provided the impetus for today’s SD-WAN technology.

VPN definition

The definition of a virtual private network (VPN) is creating a secure network over network transport that is less secure, such as the internet. 

VPNs are used to connect two or more nodes in a network and are most commonly used to connect individual users’ machines to sites or to connect sites to sites.  It’s possible to connect users to each other, but the use case for that is very limited so such deployments are rare. 

To read this article in full, please click here


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Network World's searchable glossary of wireless terms

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700

This is a glossary of terminology frequently used in describing and discussing wireless technology – from amplifier to wireless network topology  that will come in handy when trying to understand articles about wireless devices and networks.

It is designed to enable those familiar with networking but not necessarily with radio and wireless technologies to quickly cut through the clutter and understand the meaning of these terms.

The entries are arranged in alphabetical order except for this initial entry, radio, which is meant to set the stage for all the rest.

To read this article in full, please click here


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What is DNS and how does it work?

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 08:39:00 -0700

The Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the foundations of the internet, yet most people outside of networking probably don’t realize they use it every day to do their jobs, check their email or waste time on their smartphones.

At its most basic, DNS is a directory of names that match with numbers. The numbers, in this case are IP addresses, which computers use to communicate with each other. Most descriptions of DNS use the analogy of a phone book, which is fine for people over the age of 30 who know what a phone book is.

If you’re under 30, think of DNS like your smartphone’s contact list, which matches people’s names with their phone numbers and email addresses. Then multiply that contact list by everyone else on the planet.

To read this article in full, please click here


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What is the Open Compute Project?

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0700

The Open Compute Project began in 2011 when Facebook published the designs of some homebrew servers it had built to make its data centers run more efficiently.

Facebook hoped that other companies would adopt and adapt its initial designs, pushing down costs and improving quality – and they have: Sales of hardware built to Open Compute Project designs topped $1.2 billion in 2017, double the previous year, and are expected to reach $6 billion by 2021.

Those figures, from IHS Markit, exclude hardware spending by OCP board members Facebook, Intel, Rackspace, Microsoft and Goldman Sachs, which all use OCP to some degree. The spend is still a small part of the overall market for data-center systems, which Gartner estimated was worth $178 billion in 2017, but IHS expects OCP’s part to grow 59 percent annually, while Gartner forecasts that the overall market will stagnate, at least through 2019.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Cisco emboldens its disaggregation strategy

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 07:57:00 -0700

The notion of disaggregation — separating the operating system and applications from the underlying hardware — has always been a conundrum for Cisco. In a nutshell, why would the company risk losing all of the millions of dollars in development and the key networking features tied up in current Cisco hardware and software packages?

But in the new world of all-things software in which Cisco plans to be king, the disaggregation strategy is gaining momentum.

This week the company took things a step further in announcing a variety of disaggregation steps enterprise and service provider customers could be interested in.

To read this article in full, please click here


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REVIEW: Network test tools from Fluke, NETSCOUT and SignalTEK

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0700

It’s not good enough to run cables and just hope they work, or simply say it’s all good if they provide a working network connection to the computer or device. You should double-check by testing or qualifying the cable runs before you call the job complete.

You should use a tester to check if all the cable pairs are intact and correctly wired and see if the cable can truly handle the data rates you desire. Network testers can also be a lifesaver when troubleshooting network issues or making changes to the wired network.

They could for instance tell you which cable pairs you might have mixed up when terminating the cable. Or if you’re working on someone else’s network install that didn’t document or label any cable runs, you can utilize the tester to help identify where the cables are running.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Penn State secures building automation, IoT traffic with microsegmentation

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 04:59:00 -0700

It was time to get a handle on BACnet traffic at Penn State.

BACnet is a communications protocol for building automation and control (BAC) systems such as heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting, access control and fire detection. Penn State standardized on BACnet because of its openness.

“Any device, any manufacturer – as long as they talk BACnet, we can integrate them,” says Tom Walker, system design specialist in the facility automation services group at Penn State. “It’s a really neat protocol, but you have to know the quirks that come with deploying it, especially at scale.”

To read this article in full, please click here


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FPGA maker Xilinx aims new software programmable chips at data centers

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:57:00 -0700

As data centers are called upon to handle an explosion of unstructured data fed into a variety of cutting-edge applications, the future for FPGAs looks bright.

That’s because FPGAs, or field programmable gate arrays, are essentially chips that can be programmed, after manufacturing, to act as custom accelerators for workloads including machine-learning, complex data analysis, video encoding, and genomics – applications that have far-reaching consequences for communications, networking, health care, the entertainment industry and many other businesses.

Such applications lend themselves to parallel processing, an important feature of FPGAs, which can also be reconfigured on the fly to handle new features as the nature of these workloads evolve.

To read this article in full, please click here


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The internet of useful things

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0700

The industrial internet of things is growing
(image)

Image by Peter Sayer/IDG

When we talk about the internet of things, consumer applications too often get the lion’s share of the attention. But there are also a growing number of industrial applications for IoT technologies, from building better mousetraps to preventing theft of manhole covers.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Cisco attacks SD-WAN with software from Viptela, Meraki acquisitions

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Cisco this week took the wraps off new software packages it claims will help customers manage their biggest networking blind spot: the software-defined wide area network or SD-WAN.

The SD-WAN is typically made of diverse networks and technologies that many times are outside the control of IT.  Add to that the increased use of multi-cloud services and other advances, and the traditional complexity of the WAN has been increased, Cisco stated.

+RELATED: SD-WAN: What it is and why you'll use it some day; How to negotiate a Cisco Enterprise Agreement that works for you+

To read this article in full, please click here


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Why a bare-metal cloud provider might be just what you need

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Cloud services, particularly infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service, are well established, but in some cases customers demand more — more control, more access to hardware, more performance, and the ability to pick their own operating environment.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)


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Hybrid cloud: How organizations are using Microsoft's on-premises cloud platform

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Microsoft’s on-premise Azure cloud platform, Azure Stack, has now been embedded in real-world, core business environments with early adopters validating business use cases that require secured and host environments.  Here are some of the current uses of Azure Stack that are deployed in enterprises.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)


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How to deal with networking IoT devices

Fri, 02 Mar 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Networking IoT devices can be challenging for IT managers because the communications requirements can be very different from those for typical PCs, tablets and smartphones currently connected to corporate networks. 

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)


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What is 802.11ax Wi-Fi, and what will it mean for 802.11ac

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 10:24:00 -0800

Each new Wi-Fi standard has brought significant improvements in performance, with the most recent, 802.11ac, offering an impressive theoretical maximum rate of 1.3Gbps.  Unfortunately, these gains have not been enough to keep pace with demand, leading to that exasperated cry heard across airports, malls, hotels, stadiums, homes and offices: “Why is the wireless so slow?”

The IEEE is taking another crack at boosting Wi-Fi performance with a new standard called 802.11ax or High-Efficiency Wireless, which promises a fourfold increase in average throughput per user.

RELATED:

802.11ax is designed specifically for high-density public environments, like trains, stadiums and airports. But it also will be beneficial in Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, in heavy-usage homes, in apartment buildings and in offices that use bandwidth-hogging applications like videoconferencing.

To read this article in full, please click here




Getting the most out of your next-generation firewall

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Are you getting the most out of your next-generation firewall? Probably not if you take to heart recent research from SafeBreach.

SafeBreach, a relative newcomer to the security arena — it was founded in 2014 — sells premise and service packages that continually run network breach simulations that help customers locate and remediate security problems.

RELATED:

Specifically the company deploys software probes distributed throughout customers’ networks, and attempts to establish connections among devices and network segments just as a hacker would do in attacking your data. These breach attempts are defined by SafeBreach’s Hacker’s Playbook, a library of known attack methods that uncover network security weaknesses and how these vulnerabilities might be exploited.

To read this article in full, please click here


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Nokia expands home networking reach with mesh Wi-Fi product

Sun, 25 Feb 2018 10:23:48 -0800

Nokia wants to help carriers upgrade their mobile networks to 5G -- but it also wants to give home Wi-Fi a boost, President and CEO Rajeev Suri revealed Sunday.

The networking equipment vendor will soon release a range of mesh Wi-Fi products, including gateways and associated "beacons" intended to improve in-home connectivity.

Suri showed off one of the beacons at a news conference in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress.

Housed in a sleek white case, it is intended to support high-bandwidth applications such as streaming VR (virtual reality) or remote video monitoring of the elderly.

"It's far better than those nasty black boxes that typically get hidden in a closet," he said.

To read this article in full, please click here


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SD-WAN helps radiology firm cut costs, scale bandwidth

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology's journey from MPLS to SD-WAN networking began last spring when Joseph Funaro sat down to review carrier contracts that were up for renewal and realized that he could not only save his company money, but also improve network resiliency and his users' application experience.

With 24 outpatient radiology clinics throughout the greater New York metro area requesting or transmitting a terabyte of imaging records a day and requiring access to more than 1.2 petabytes of stored patient data, Zwanger-Pesiri, the largest outpatient medical imaging center in the country by volume, depends on its WAN to provide timely, effective patient service.

To read this article in full, please click here


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5 things that will slow your Wi-Fi network

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Wi-Fi is quite fickle. The contention between Wi-Fi devices and the dynamic communication medium of the airwaves makes it a sensitive technology with many settings and situations that can slow it down.

To read this article in full, please click here

(Insider Story)


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Cisco CEO: "We are still only on the front end" of a new version of the network

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 04:52:00 -0800

Fresh off a positive earnings call that saw Cisco report $11.9 billion in revenue for the 2Q 2018 — a 3 percent increase from the same quarter in 2017 and the first time in 6 quarters the company reported year-over-year sales increases — CEO Chuck Robbins has a lot to crow about.  

First of all, the company's most strategic new direction: The Network. Intuitive, more commonly known as intent-based networking is rapidly finding acceptance amongst customers, Robbins said.

+RELATED: Getting grounded in intent-based networking; What is intent-based networking?+

To read this article in full, please click here


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