What's to like about IT rollouts

* IT pros share details about their favorite new tech deployments

With the flood of disheartening economy-related stories dominating the news, it's nice to read something positive for a change. I had an opportunity to ask a handful of enterprise IT pros what they like best about today's data center technologies. Their answers varied widely, from server and storage virtualization technology to power-management software and load balancing appliances.

Tony Casson, director of operations at Pronto.com, shared details about his company’s rollout of application-delivery gear from Crescendo Networks. (Compare application acceleration and WAN traffic optimization products.) 

Pronto.com is a comparison shopping site, where buyers can search to find the best deals on 70 million products for sale on the Web. Crescendo’s AppBeat DC appliances provide such capabilities as TCP connection management, SSL termination, data compression, caching and network address translation. The gear helps keep requests from 15 million visitors per month flowing smoothly. In addition, a major benefit is that Pronto.com can delay new Web-server purchases even as its business grows.

"It really has extended the life of our server platform," Casson says. "The need for us to purchase new front-line equipment has been cut in half. Each individual Web server can handle approximately 1.5 times the volume it could before."

You can read more about Pronto.com’s deployment in the full story online, which also details Lifestyle Family Fitness’ use of storage virtualization technology, and the Miami-Dade public school district’s use of power management technology. Plus, find out how AISO.net, a Web hosting company in Romoland, Calif., is considering using recycled vegetable oil -- yes, vegetable oil -- in its data center.

I also heard from Henry Denis, director of IT at Epiq Systems. The company provides products and services for the legal profession, including electronic discovery, legal notification and claims administration services.

Security was a key criterion when Epiq Systems was looking for a third-party data center provider. In particular, finding a provider that implemented three-factor authentication was a “must have,” Denis says.

“To gain access to the data center, three-factor authentication requires the use of something you know, something you have and something you are,” he says. “Epiq Systems’ data center requires the entrant to have a pin number, a Triple-DES encrypted card and a verified retina scan.”

All data center administrators need to be authenticated using this process, Denis adds. What he likes best about the use of three-factor authentication is the security it provides. “Three-factor authentication makes it virtually impossible to breach a data center’s security and gain access to servers,” Denis says.

What do think? Have you recently completed a technology project that you’re really pleased about? What do you like best about the rollout? As always, your comments are welcome.

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