Back to basics: Duplex and symmetry

Photo courtesy of DeClanTM Over the past few weeks I've been onsite helping some customers update their network architectures and network management strategies. During these discussions I was reminded that since many network...

06/13/12

Is big data a big drain on your network?

There's a lot of talk right now in the industry about big data and the Business Intelligence (BI) applications that are being used to wrangle it. However, very few people are talking about the impact that big data can have on the...

05/23/12

5 tech team lessons from 'The Avengers,' and a movie review

Last weekend I went and saw the new movie "Marvel's The Avengers". For those of you who don't know me very well -- I am a HUGE fan of superhero movies. I went into this movie with very high expectations and with the realization that...

05/09/12

Results from Geek Day 2012 in Washington D.C.

Last week I was out in Washington D.C. presenting at Geek Day. It's a trade show and networking event focused on IT professionals (geeks) in both the public and private sectors. As you would imagine, I couldn't resist the opportunity...

04/25/12

Data center expertise: Hard to come by, harder to validate

Last week I spoke at Data Center World out in Las Vegas. This was my first time to attend this show and AFCOM did a great job with it. My presentation was on best practices for simplifying data center networking and not only did it...

03/29/12

The softer side of network administration

Many times when we think about what makes a good network administrator, we limit our thinking to technical knowledge. Do they understand Ethernet? Do they have a firm grasp of 802.11? Can they make practical use of the OSI Model?...

03/14/12

Tracking down problem devices on your network

If you've been a network administrator for very long, you've probably had to deal with a situation where you had to track down a problem user or machine. Here's how that might have gone:A situation emerged where you had to shut down...

02/29/12

Are virtual network devices creeping into your network?

Virtualization technologies have dramatically changed the way that we think about servers and computing resources in general; this is common knowledge among most technologists and especially with system administrators. However, many...

02/15/12

Does compliance equal security?

Unless you're a network security or IT security professional, hearing the word "compliance" probably makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It's sort of like when you realized (spoiler alert) that Bruce Willis was dead at...

01/31/12

The dangers of mobile management for you, the user

The subject of personally-owned mobile devices like tablets and smartphones being used on the corporate network is a hot one. I posted about it here, but it's a much wider issue than I covered in that piece. Many companies are...

01/18/12

Managing the influx of wireless devices around the holidays

'Tis the season for new and cool 802.11 enabled gadgets. Whether you have house guests jumping on your network with laptops, iPads, and smart phones, or employees showing up at work with their newly acquired Wi-Fi capable iPhones,...

12/15/11

Using IT management tools for forensics

The primary purpose of most IT management tools is to identify problems within your IT systems. Whether the problem is a down server or WAN link, a saturated fiber channel or trunk port, an Exchange store or SAN queue backing up or...

12/02/11

IT certifications -- why, which, and when

SolarWinds recently hosted a survey on the value of IT certifications. Based on the survey results, IT certifications are more valuable than any other time that I can remember, and folks with these certifications are seeing a return...

11/17/11

Holiday projects for your network and data center

Now that Halloween is behind us, we have officially entered into the "Holiday Season." That can mean anything from "hands off everything" to "time to get those special projects done" depending on which industry that you're in. If you...

11/03/11

Dispelling common network myths and taboos

One of my biggest pet peeves is being told that I can't do something, or more specifically, that something can't be done. As soon as you throw a statement like that at me, you can bet your bottom dollar that all I'm thinking about is...

10/20/11

Virtualization's slow creep into your network, becoming a flood?

In many organizations, virtualization technology is managed by the systems team, the data center team, or a specialized virtualization team. Seldom do I see network teams responsible for the virtual layer. This makes sense, but it...

10/05/11

The fall TV schedule, and how it may affect your network

This week the autumn 2011 TV schedule kicked off with premiers of several of my favorite shows. As usual, I was working late last night so I missed some of the premiers but I can watch them online or on my DVR. So, as I sit here in...

09/22/11

IT recovery and planning in the wake of fires, floods, and quakes...

These last few years seem to have been wrought with natural disaster. Here in Austin, Texas, where I live, we've been ravaged by wildfires the last few weeks. The East Coast has recently been hit hard by hurricanes and flooding, and...

09/16/11

Cloud computing -- more philosophy than technology

At least once a week I end up in a conversation about cloud computing with someone who really has no idea what it is. It's hard to blame them as there are so many different things that get lumped into this bucket and the explanations...

08/23/11

The Session Layer: Understanding layer 5 of the OSI Model

According to the OSI Model, the session layer is where connections are established, managed, and torn down. For connection-oriented network protocols, understanding how the session layer works, and what symptoms would help you...

08/10/11

Load More