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Where's my gigabit Internet, anyway?
Americans cool with lab-grown organs, but not designer babies
IE6: Retired but not dead yet
Enterprise who? Google says little about Apps, business cloud services in Q1 report
DDoS Attackers Change Techniques To Wallop Sites
Can we talk? Internet of Things vendors face a communications 'mess'
AMD's profitability streak ends at two quarters
Michaels says breach at its stores affected nearly 3M payment cards
Exclusive: Google's Project Loon tests move to LTE band in Nevada
H-1B loophole may help California utility offshore IT jobs
How a cyber cop patrols the underworld of e-commerce
For Red Hat, it's RHEL and then…?
Will the Internet of Things Become the Internet of Broken Things?
Kill switches coming to iPhone, Android, Windows devices in 2015
Israeli start-up, working with GE, out to detect Stuxnet-like attacks
Galaxy S5 deep-dive review: Long on hype, short on delivery
Google revenue jumps 19 percent but still disappoints
Windows XP's retirement turns into major security project for Chinese firm
Teen arrested in Heartbleed attack against Canadian tax site
Still deploying 11n Wi-Fi?  You might want to think again
Collaboration 2.0: Old meets new
9 Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud
Can Heartbleed be used in DDoS attacks?
Secure browsers offer alternatives to Chrome, IE and Firefox
Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router: Faster than anything we've tested
Where's my gigabit Internet, anyway?
Americans cool with lab-grown organs, but not designer babies
IE6: Retired but not dead yet
Enterprise who? Google says little about Apps, business cloud services in Q1 report
DDoS Attackers Change Techniques To Wallop Sites
Can we talk? Internet of Things vendors face a communications 'mess'
AMD's profitability streak ends at two quarters
Michaels says breach at its stores affected nearly 3M payment cards
Exclusive: Google's Project Loon tests move to LTE band in Nevada
H-1B loophole may help California utility offshore IT jobs
How a cyber cop patrols the underworld of e-commerce
For Red Hat, it's RHEL and then…?
Will the Internet of Things Become the Internet of Broken Things?
Kill switches coming to iPhone, Android, Windows devices in 2015
Israeli start-up, working with GE, out to detect Stuxnet-like attacks
Galaxy S5 deep-dive review: Long on hype, short on delivery
Google revenue jumps 19 percent but still disappoints
Windows XP's retirement turns into major security project for Chinese firm
Teen arrested in Heartbleed attack against Canadian tax site
Still deploying 11n Wi-Fi?  You might want to think again
Collaboration 2.0: Old meets new
9 Things You Need to Know Before You Store Data in the Cloud
Can Heartbleed be used in DDoS attacks?
Secure browsers offer alternatives to Chrome, IE and Firefox
Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router: Faster than anything we've tested

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Identity management 

Identity management
Enterprise content delivery
IT portfolio management
Honeypots for security
Public wireless nets
Grid computing

Of course you want to protect your network from hackers, cyberterrorists and other boogeymen. You want to know who is logged on, regardless of location or type of client, and that only those who have a right to use them can access resources. You want identity management. You want it so badly that marketers are busily relabeling an impossibly wide range of offerings from portal authentication servers to log reporting applications as "identity management" products.

Yet the core of identity management is tried-and-true password management tools coupled with new automated account management software. This latter "provisioning" software is buzz, too.

Password management is a relatively mature set of technologies, typically for help desks, available from vendors such as Courion, M-Tech Mercury Information Technology, PentaSafe Security Technologies and single-sign on vendors such as Oblix. Provisioning adds a workflow engine, middleware and features for automating user account management. Most password management vendors offer products for some form of provisioning, such as managing IT accounts when hiring, moving or firing employees. Other vendors, such as Business Layers and Waveset Technologies, offer tools for larger-scale provisioning such as granting access to IT resources based on user role. This type of provisioning is doable today and much closer to the identity management ideal, but tends to require much business re-engineering and considerably deep pockets.

Enterprise content delivery

Graft caching and intelligence, and you get content-delivery network switches, the root of an enterprise CDN (eCDN). Companies are about to go nuts for eCDN, analysts predict. IDC tags spending at $1.3 billion in 2006 for CDN equipment, most of that for switches, up from less than $400 million in 2001.

An evolution of simple caching, eCDNs let companies intelligently manage what data is cached, and where. For instance, the eCDN could enact a rule to cache in a specific location any data that is requested repeatedly by the same region over a specified time frame. This way, companies can cache not only Web data but also streaming media and, eventually, e-mail and non-IP legacy applications, says Lucinda Borovick, an IDC analyst.

ECDN vendors include Cisco, Digital Pipe, F5 Networks and Volera.

IT portfolio management

If you find the term IT portfolio management confusing, you're not alone.

Some use it in reference to an ever-more-sophisticated breed of asset management and capacity planning products. These tools, from companies such as Opnet Technologies, Clairvoyant and NetScout Systems, are meant to allow accurate forecasts of what equipment you must buy next often down to the brand name. Other industry observers say IT portfolio management means a comprehensive cost/benefit view of all things IT hardware, software, services and worker knowledge past, present and planned.

Additionally, a crop of IT project management tools make up a closely related buzz term: project portfolio management. These tools help users run multiple IT projects while analyzing the bigger picture of overall IT spending and scheduling. This batch includes software from vendors such as Artemis International, ProSight and Pacific Edge.

What all these definitions have in common is accountability. Regardless of whether you use a trendy term like IT portfolio management for your resource allocation methods, this is the era of spending accountability. And network executives must be equipped to quantify, and defend, resource consumption.

Honeypots for security

If crime fighting runs in your blood, then honeypots could be for you. Honeypots are a form of intrusion detection that tricks hackers much like a law enforcement sting operation draws in the wrongdoers. The bad guys think they are cracking your server but the honeypot is actually feeding them false information or acting as a decoy server intended to be compromised. In some cases, honeypots gather information useful for tracking down your attacker.

Researchers tend to use honeynets, an extreme form of honeypot in which an entire network is the lure, to discover new hacker trends.

Honeypots will become a crucial tool for the good guys because they divert all types of attackers and provide an understanding of hackers and their tools, says security expert Marcus Ranum in the foreword of a newly published book on honeypots. You can find honeypots from a variety of vendors, such as Symantec, which recently acquired Recourse Technologies and its ManHunt honeypot, and ForeScout Technologies, with its ActiveScout. Or you can download one of the original honeypots, Fred Cohen's Deception Tool Kit, from www.all.net.

Public wireless nets

When Sprint launched a nationwide, 3G wireless network in August, the buzz over 3G grew to a scream. True, 3G services for now are for consumers, but that might not always be the case. Revenue for North American 3G services are predicted to increase from a projected $2.5 billion in 2004 to almost $6.7 billion in 2006 as businesses and consumers adopt en masse, says the UMTS Forum, an international industry association that promotes a 3G technology called the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System.

Yet, the latest scuttle says that 802.11 public wireless LANs could cut off 3G at the knees. Here's the argument: 802.11 chips will drop in price to a couple of dollars each, making them standard fare on most laptops and many consumer devices. By 2006, more than 5 million people will access the Internet regularly via nearly 42,000 publicly available wireless LANs dotting the U.S., IDC predicts. So, who needs 3G?

Wireless service providers, which are spending billions of dollars to upgrade their networks to 3G, want to squash this line of thinking. In July, a UMTS Forum report concluded that 3G and public-access wireless LANs will complement, not compete. Perhaps, but the decapitation of pay phone revenue by cell phone use teaches that one technology is likely to dominate. The forum's report, not surprisingly, says 3G would dominate, because it can be used while traveling at high speeds, among other reasons.

Either way, you and your road warriors will win, as wireless becomes just another IP fabric to you.

Grid computing

Grid computing, also known as computational grids, is server clustering to the umpteenth power. It taps into unused CPU cycles on widely distributed computers and coordinates those cycles to calculate enormously complex problems. For instance, the United Devices Cancer Research Project uses a computational grid to process molecular research. Anyone can donate CPU cycles to the project by installing freeware onto a computer.

But grids needn't be a hodge-podge of hosts. Some, such as the optical research network TeraGrid, are created among designated computers, similar to how a company might construct one. TeraGrid links computers at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northwestern University.

Grid computing, like the Internet, might one day be part of the average company, but not before software development toolkits, management tools and fault-tolerance methods are mature enough. Efforts abound on this, such as the Globus Project's open source Globus Toolkit for building grids, and the Grid Application Development Software Project's application development environment.

Commercial vendors include Avaki; Entropia; IBM; Hewlett-Packard; and Platform Computing, all of which sell and support the Globus Toolkit.


Related links:

Users wary of ID mgmt. complexity
Network executives take a look at access standards.
Network World, 07/22/02.

Identity management news

IT portfolio management
Balancing risks and rewards of projects yields significant returns.
Network World, 04/01/02

Keeping an eye on IT
Evolving project portfolio management tools are useful, but can't substitute for good processes.
Network World, 03/04/02

Honeynet looks to sting hackers
A group of 30 computer security researchers who set up inexpensive "fake" networks to observe how hackers behave as they break into them are finding out about new software vulnerabilities and warning the public.
Network World, 04/22/02

'Decoy nets' gain backers in battle against hackers
As hackers obtain ever more dangerous and easy-to-use tools, they are being countered by novel defense strategies.
Network World, 03/05/01

Experts torn over mobile carriers' zeal for public Wi-Fi
Network World Wireless in the Enterprise Newsletter, 04/22/02

Grid computing uses spare CPU power
The goal of grid computing, which gets its name from its gridlike architecture, is to link surplus computing power and other spare IT resources with clients who have periodic needs beyond the capacity of their machines.
Network World, 07/15/02

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