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Joel Snyder

Snyder, a Network World Test Alliance partner, is a senior partner at Opus One in Tucson, Ariz. He can be reached at


Recent articles by Joel Snyder

Oh, Bi the Way…

March 03, 2014

Hidden in Cisco's Nexus 9000 and Application Centric Infrastructure news was another nifty announcement: an optical transceiver that delivers 40Gbps speeds using older 10Gbps fiber and standard connectors.  Cisco's "BiDi" optical transceivers solve a sticky cabling problem in an elegant way.  

First Look: Cisco ACI re-imagines the enterprise data center network

March 03, 2014

Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a revolutionary re-thinking of how to provision and manage data center networks. While the early version we looked at has some rough edges, and Cisco still has some hard problems to solve, ACI has the potential to completely change the way that large, highly virtualized data center networks are configured and built.

FIRST LOOK: Cisco Nexus 9000

March 03, 2014

The Cisco Nexus 9000 series, the fruit of Cisco's Insieme spin-in, is more than another fast router -- it's a change in the way that high-end routers are designed and built.

I wrote the Macworld Networking Bible and it was good

January 21, 2014

My first Mac was a Mac 512K from the early 1980s, probably 1985. It replaced my Heathkit CP/M system, and when I went on business trips, that thing -- and an external hard drive, what a luxury -- traveled with me all over the country in a huge padded case.  

Riverbed wins 7-vendor WAN optimization test

November 11, 2013

As applications move to the cloud, network managers are seeing increasing requirements to optimize and manage WAN connections. Most enterprises have migrated to web-based applications and make heavy use of Internet services for day-to-day business. All of this makes network performance a key factor for productivity and end-user satisfaction.

Cisco impresses with first crack at next-gen firewall

June 17, 2013

When we tested next-generation firewalls last May, at least one important security vendor wasn’t there: Cisco, because they weren’t ready to be tested. Now that the ASA CX next-generation firewall has had a year to mature, we put the product through its paces, using the same methodology as our last NGFW test.  

Review: HP's new thin client raises the bar

March 11, 2013

Thin clients can't be cracked or hacked; they don't have fans or disks to fail; they don't need to be patched nearly as often as Windows; they don't draw much power; and they don't cost a whole lot of money to buy or maintain.

Cisco brings server virtualization to the branch office

February 25, 2013

The Cisco UCS E-Series family is a new set of blades that add high-performance general-purpose Intel server capabilities to the ISR G2 series of routers.

Cisco virtual router targets the cloud

February 25, 2013

The Cisco CSR 1000V router is designed for enterprise network managers who want to have a little piece of their Cisco infrastructure in the cloud.

Next-gen firewalls: Off to a good start

May 07, 2012

When we tested four next-gen firewalls strictly on performance, we found that the products could forward packets at impressive rates, but throughput dropped when advanced security features were turned on. We now dive deep into application identification and control - the defining features of next-gen firewalls - to find out what works and what doesn't.