Enterprise IT Networking Roundup

This week: HP crafts thinner blades, outsourcing router management, Cisco claims VPN and firewall leadership and community members tackle Gigabit Ethernet upgrades.
Setting IT departments everywhere abuzz...

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HP: You Can Never Be Too Thin

Ever wanted to pack sixteen, dual-Xeon blades in a 6U enclosure? Soon you'll be able to do just that. What that gives you is a rack of 192 processors to make short work of all of those shopping carts that your e-visitors are joyfully wheeling around your virtual store.

Obligatory quote:

"HP is exactly where it wants to be — offering customers solutions for an adaptive enterprise with more choice and better density on industry-standard platforms than IBM and more technological innovation than Dell." - Brad Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Industry Standard Servers taking a shot at the not-so-slim competition.


US LEC's Managed Router Services

Those pesky routers can be a handful, as any administrator will tell you. Why not outsource their management?

If you're in the eastern portions of the U.S., you can now enlist the services of Charlotte, NC-based telecom firm US LEC to manage your routers for you. If you're really in a bind, "customers can outsource the technical complexities of their network router selection, configuration, installation and management to the experts at US LEC."

Who needs an IT staff?

Obligatory Quote:

"The 24/7 monitoring and the total managed aspect of US LEC's service were major factors in my decision to recommend US LEC. In my business, I don't have time to baby-sit a network. US LEC came in and was able to support us right away. The service has been incredible, and we've had no issues. They simply provide the security and services needed." - Shannon O'Dell, telecommunications consultant for Reflex Blu out of Birmingham, Alabama.

FYI: Proper etiquette dictates giving your network babysitter a generous tip.


We're No.1! Cisco Claims VPN and Firewall Leadership

Infonetics Research says that worldwide VPN and firewall appliance revenue reached $1.9 billion in 2003, up 16% from 2002. Add software, and the sector pulled in $2.4 billion in 2003, up 13% from 2003.

Cisco, as it turns out, is the "revenue-leading vendor overall in the total VPN and firewall appliance and software market" beating out the likes of Check Point and NetScreen.

The same research shows, however, that "Worldwide VPN and firewall software revenue dropped 6% between 2002 and 2003; the software market is in the beginning of a slow and steady period of decline." There also seems to be a pricing sweet spot, albeit a rather large one: "Products between $1,500 and $29,999 account for 57% of the revenue for price-banded VPN and firewall appliances in 4Q03."

Obligatory Quote:

"The VPN and firewall market was able to grow despite significant technology shifts and a rocky economy due to continued demand for security, the arrival of SSL VPNs, and the cost-savings benefits of VPNs in a tough economic climate." - Jeff Wilson, principal analyst at Infonetics Research


Review: Red Hat Enterprise Server Put to the Test

We dust off Michael Hall's review of Red Hat Enterprise Server (courtesy of ServerWatch) for the admins out there contemplating deploying this enterprise Linux distro.

Take heed you point-and-clickers! If you're hoping to be blissfully toiling behind a user-friendly GUI, think again. Michael Hall tells us...

All told, as nice as the graphical tools are, we didn't find ourselves warming up to them much. Some of them were merely adequate, and all of them left us with the feeling that while they'd work for a truly simple installation, any detailed work would require getting under the hood and into the configuration files themselves.

Red Hat's GUI menu system could also use some work as far as overall organization goes. We were puzzled, for example, to visit a "system tools" menu, click on a "configuration editor" icon among the icons for tuning the kernel or switching the default MTA, and not only find that we'd accessed a desktop configuration utility, but also that Red Hat thoughtfully provided a popup window to recommended we not use it.

Read the rest of his review here.


Admins Helping Admins: Gigabit Ethernet Upgrade

Community: Want the blistering speeds of Gigabit Ethernet without the growing pains? Follow the advice that eITplanet's forum members dish out.


Elsewhere...

Not ours, but great nonetheless. Click, bookmark and impress your boss!

Tutorial: Applying WLANs in Warehouses - Wi-Fi Planet
Wireless LANs have tremendous benefits in warehouses. Learn what applications and issues to consider when deploying these types of systems.

Off The Shelf And Onto Your Lap(top) - LinuxPlanet
A Linux training company did so well with their laptop giveaways, they're starting to sell new Linux laptops as part of their business. LinuxPlanet recently got their hands on one of these machines, and has a review of LinuxCertified's new product venture.

Enterprise Unix Roundup: SCO's Big Week - ServerWatch
SCO steps further into the zone -- the Lawsuit Zone that is -- and names the first two picks for its 'buy our license or else' campaign. SCO also revealed one company that voluntarily chose the former, and it released quarterly revenue numbers. For Unix admins navigating Mac-land without a map, we explore the fink project, an undertaking to port free and open source software to OS X.






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